|Why Not to
Use Frames on Your Website
By Victor H. Schlosser
Over the years, as the Internet has grown and expanded, website
developers have worked very hard to try and stay just a "little
fresher", or one step ahead of the competition. Different
sizes of text, different colors of text, graphics, tables,
bit maps, animations, frames, push technology, pull technology,
layering, all of these are a means to an end... To get your
I'm not going to discuss the others here (I'll save those
for future reports). Today, I would like to talk to you about
frames. I personally like frames if they are used properly.
Some people seem to use them just because they can. This can
make you site harder to navigate and a whole lot more confusing
if not used properly.
Using frames should be like an other type of advertising
or marketing strategy you use for your business, base the
decision on whether or not it will enhance the message you
are trying to get across. But make sure that you understand
the trade-offs that go along with using them.
- The biggest trade-off. And probably enough reason by itself
NOT to use frames: Search Engine robots do NOT read pages
When they encounter a frames page all they see is they
outline of the frames, the <frameset>. They don't
see any links so they assume it is a dead page (or a dead
site) and they move on. This can be disastrous for a web-site.
If you want to generate sales, you need customers. To
get customers you first need to get people to your web-site.
To do this, you need the Search Engines. To go to the
time, trouble, and expense of setting up an Internet Store
(web-site) and then to deliberately block your site from
the Search Engines is like opening up a retail store but
painting the windows black and not putting up a sign.
You are open for business, but nobody knows it, unless
they happen to accidently stumble in.
- Frames can oftentimes be confusing, especially if all
of them have scrollbars going up/down and left/right. Besides
taking up a lot of your already limited screenspace, the
scrollbars are just distracting. This can cause a lot of
people to leave your site immediately. They figure that
if your front page is confusing (and that is the page you
are using to draw them in) that the rest of the site probably
isn't worth their time or trouble either.
- Navigation. You have to have Everything just right when
you are using frames. If you don't, when you click on a
link it can come up in the wrong window, thus destroying
what was there and probably blowing any and all formatting
that you had done. And, if linked pages come up in the window
where the Links are supposed to be, the person is trapped
on your site, in your frames, with nowhere to go.
Frames can be useful, but having your main site done in
frames is not wise. Look around at other sites that have frames,
try top navigate them, and try to read and see everything
using all the scroll bars. Then... think about your average
customer. Is this something you would want to put them through?
Is it something you would want to have to go through if you
were the client?
Source: "Victor H. Schlosser"
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