September 4, 2015 / Melissa Faudree


Imagine you are with your family on vacation in mountains. There isn’t much around you and you don’t have the greatest cell service. At night you virtually have no connection. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because you spend quality time with your family and also gets you away from your phone, at least until you need something from the Internet.

After dinner, you want to look up a ski resort that is about an hour away so you can begin planning some family activities during your vacation. However, because you don’t have any cell service, the website won’t load. You are now frustrated because you just need to look up more information and will have to wait until the morning in hopes that you have some kind of connection by then.

My guess is that something like this has happened to you before. We become irritated when we cannot access websites, especially when we aren’t online. We have become so accustomed to having our cell phones and if we are unable to get the answers right away, it is frustrating. But what if you could access websites when the Internet wasn’t available? Introducing UpUp.

upup-readmeUpUp is a free, open source project that allows web visitors to browse your website even when they are offline. Creator Tal Ater, makes UpUp easy to use, by only requiring you to add two JavaScript files to your website. You must also define what content your visitors can see when they are offline. ServiceWorkers is what allows the content on your page to be seen by visitors while they are offline. This is a new and experimental technology.

The code below is all you need for your page to appear when your users are offline.

<script src="/upup.min.js"></script>
      'content-url': 'offline.html' // show this page to offline users

To enhance the offline experience for your visitors, you can create a separate HTML file. This file will include everything you want you visitors to see. Having a separate file also allows you to easily update your website.

Businesses want to be able to control how their websites look for visitors. UpUp allows you to do so, even when visitors are offline. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on an airplane and wished I had access to a particular website. Sure, I could have accessed the Internet if I had purchased it for my flight. However, not every plane has the capability nor did I want to spend the money. I think that ServiceWorker APIs are just the beginning of our offline experiences. I will be anxious to see how this technology unfolds.

Posted In: Blog, Programming, Technology