JavaScript post request like a form submit

formsjavascriptpostsubmit

I'm trying to direct a browser to a different page. If I wanted a GET request, I might say

document.location.href = 'http://example.com/q=a';

But the resource I'm trying to access won't respond properly unless I use a POST request. If this were not dynamically generated, I might use the HTML

<form action="http://example.com/" method="POST">
  <input type="hidden" name="q" value="a">
</form>

Then I would just submit the form from the DOM.

But really I would like JavaScript code that allows me to say

post_to_url('http://example.com/', {'q':'a'});

What's the best cross browser implementation?

Edit

I'm sorry I was not clear. I need a solution that changes the location of the browser, just like submitting a form. If this is possible with XMLHttpRequest, it is not obvious. And this should not be asynchronous, nor use XML, so Ajax is not the answer.

Best Solution

Dynamically create <input>s in a form and submit it

/**
 * sends a request to the specified url from a form. this will change the window location.
 * @param {string} path the path to send the post request to
 * @param {object} params the parameters to add to the url
 * @param {string} [method=post] the method to use on the form
 */

function post(path, params, method='post') {

  // The rest of this code assumes you are not using a library.
  // It can be made less verbose if you use one.
  const form = document.createElement('form');
  form.method = method;
  form.action = path;

  for (const key in params) {
    if (params.hasOwnProperty(key)) {
      const hiddenField = document.createElement('input');
      hiddenField.type = 'hidden';
      hiddenField.name = key;
      hiddenField.value = params[key];

      form.appendChild(hiddenField);
    }
  }

  document.body.appendChild(form);
  form.submit();
}

Example:

post('/contact/', {name: 'Johnny Bravo'});

EDIT: Since this has gotten upvoted so much, I'm guessing people will be copy-pasting this a lot. So I added the hasOwnProperty check to fix any inadvertent bugs.