What's the URL this Javascript button goes to?
December 10, 2011 1:19 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to discover the destination URL that one gets by clicking a Javascript button?

This coming week an organization is running a campaign to help hundreds of nonprofits raise money, including a nonprofit I co-run. However, the organization is daft about it. It seems as if there's no way to link directly to the Donate page for a specific nonprofit.

What the organizers of this event have done on the event's site is made it so you can only go to the main profile page for each nonprofit and *then* click on the Donate button. There is no visible unique URL for the page that contains the donation form, the actual place you put your name, amount, address, credit card, etc. Clicking the donate button activates a Javascript that then brings in the dynamic donate content but doesn't change the page URL in the address bar.

(I'm not linking to it here, but send me a Me-Mail I will send you the URL.)

Our community knows very well who we are. There is no need whatsoever to send them to the main profile page. They'll be coming specifically to donate because we will have sent out copious exhortations for them to do so. (And if they DO want to know more about us, there are obvious navigation links on the Donate page).

If you know click marketing and fundraising, you know that the more clicks you add to a user's flow, the greater the reduction in total successful transactions. That is, to get more people to do more, you have to reduce the number of clicks. There are tens of thousands of possible donation dollars on the line. Taking just one click out of the click-flow could be an extraordinary increase in our donations.

So, what I'm trying to determine is if there's a way to create or find a direct URL that takes one to the Donate page for our nonprofit without one having to first go to the profile page. I have scoured HTML and found the mess of Javascript to be beyond my ken. I've googled the problem and have found mostly just those people who wish to hide or mask a page's true URL. I've looked at other, simpler sites that also use Javascript buttons in this way and have not found a solution.

Can you help?
posted by Mo Nickels to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Firebug should be able to do it. Exactly how... on that front I'm not sure. I believe it allows you to track the redirects and form submissions/logins; I assume it might be able to do the same for javascript. Memail me the link and I can take a peek.
posted by jng at 1:29 PM on December 10, 2011

There might not necessarily be a separate URL if for example the Donate button is in a hidden div or something like that.
posted by XMLicious at 1:46 PM on December 10, 2011

It's probably possible, though it's also possible that the Javascript is doing something that would be hard to work around, like inserting a nonce into the URL. (But I suppose you could always just make a page with the same javascript but activated automatically on load.)

Feel free to email the link to me as well.
posted by hattifattener at 1:48 PM on December 10, 2011

Capture the http traffic in wireshark or tcpdump. Though if it's https (which it should be, considering money's involved), this won't work.
posted by kickback at 1:48 PM on December 10, 2011

If you're using a recent version of Firefox, turn on the Web Console (command-shift-K on a mac, so probably control-shift-K on PC) and then click the button. You'll probably be able to see what's going on in the console.
posted by moonmilk at 2:09 PM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

...that is, if it is loading a URL, it'll be easy to see in Web Console. If it's doing something trickier, as others have suggested, Web Console might not help much.
posted by moonmilk at 2:10 PM on December 10, 2011

Come to think of it, the Firefox "DOM Inspector" tool would probably be the easiest way to see what's attached to the donate button once you get it to appear. (Safari has something similar, MSIE might also.)
posted by hattifattener at 2:18 PM on December 10, 2011

Thanks, Moonmilk. I am using Firebug and the console in Chrome and TCP dump and coming up with no identifiable URL.

Thanks to everyone who responded offline and in MeFi Mail. What a staggering amount of talent is on display in Ask Mefi everyday!
posted by Mo Nickels at 2:20 PM on December 10, 2011

The page is an ASP.NET application. Pressing the button does a form post, which causes the application to return javascript that creates the form.

The javascript is from something called the Kimbia Form Widget. I snooped around trying to find a test page or something that would allow a direct link but didn't have any luck. If you have any way to insert a snippet of javascript into a page, as described in the manuals at that site, you might be able to create your own page with the form.
posted by XMLicious at 3:14 PM on December 10, 2011

moonmilk: I had no idea ff could do that. Thanks!
posted by madred at 6:20 PM on December 10, 2011

XMLicous, we're thinking alike. That is exactly what I figured out how to do, after looking at a bunch of other pages, a lot of PDFs, and a lot of ASP.NET forums.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:12 PM on December 10, 2011

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