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Sins of The Internet: Para-Site

By Richard Lowe
Posted Wednesday, December 1, 2004

The other day I was surfing the web as normal, going quickly from site to site. I was looking for a good site to present with an Excellent Site award and I was getting frustrated because nothing was measuring up. You know, more of the say old thing time after time. I'm sure you've had days like this when you've surfed, everything just seemed, well, plain.

Anyway, I ran across a site which looked pretty good. In fact, it was very nice, good graphics, excellent content, nice layout and good navigation. In other words, at first glance it looked like a good candidate for an award.

The only way to be able to judge sites in a high-volume awards program such as ours (usually 40 or so entries a week) is to ensure that time is well spent. This means when I view a contender for an award the first 60 seconds of viewing is used to quickly reject or accept a site. This whittles down the contenders greatly so that my time can be spent on those web sites that deserve a closer look.

So anyway, I was surfing the web and found a site which looked pretty good. Very good, in fact. Lots of nice graphics, very well-done layout, HTML code looked good and the content was first rate. I continued looking and comparing and came to the conclusion that I had a real winner here, a site which was worthy of the excellent site award.

I hesitated as I started to give out the award, though. Something didn't seem right, something was wrong. I continued looking, and before long realized I had found a para-site.

Oh, the guy was good, I'll admit it. What had he done? He had used frames to seamlessly merge someone else's web site into his own. Actually, on further investigation I found that this "webmaster" had similarly merged over a dozen web sites into his own.

I was shocked. Of course, I had heard of this phenomenon before, but i had never seen it so blatant. The guy even claimed the pages as his own work! as far as his visitors could tell, he had done it all without help from anyone. Yet he was using other people's bandwidth, he was "stealing" their pages and he was, well, obviously without any kind of ethics.

Needless to say, I didn't give him the award. I also zipped off an email to the webmasters whose sites had been "borrowed" so that they could rationally decide what needed to be done.

Linking to another site is perfectly legal, completely ethical and should be done without any considerations of any kind. The web is all about linking - referencing other material at will. The best thing you can do is link, link and link some more. To any and every WEB PAGE that you find useful (never, ever link directly to graphics or other multimedia - only to web pages).

On the other hand, para-siting (or framing, as it is commonly called) another person's site without permission is unethical. It confuses visitors to your site and it steals bandwidth. It's even worse to attempt to pretend the web site being framed is your own.

The moral of the story - stay ethical on the internet.

About the Author
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at ( - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.


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