What's wrong with using frames on a website?

28 February 2009

First of all for those who are unfamiliar with frames - frames are like having a web browser within a web browser.

The frame can show any website, for instance I could have a frame on my website showing Google.

Because frames are like a web browser inside a web browser search engines see this as 2 separate pages and so crawl them both separately.

The problem with search engines not crawling frames means that the content and links will not be crawled on the same page and so a lot of potential keywords and key phrases will be missed and the page, therefore, will not be fully search engine optimised, but actually quite badly built.

Sometimes, because the content of a frame is a separate page, a search engine result will bring up the frame contents, and so not display any links - just an area of that page (although you're not going to find pages like this near the top of search engines).

A page made up of different frames is called a frameset meaning that the page literally has the frames set out on the page and the frames contain all the content. The frameset page will hold little or quite often no content.

To stop people from displaying their website inside a frame placed on a different website, website developers will quite often use a piece of JavaScript that will break the frames and just show the frame content.

You will notice that user populated websites, such as social networks, they disallow frame and iframe code because, potentially, if the website contains break frame code then the initial website will lose a lot of visitors as soon as they view the page containing the frame or iframe.

An iframe is slightly different to a frame in that, an iframe can be placed anywhere on the page, whereas, frames are cutting off the left hand side of the page of the top, etc. The iframe can just be a small areaa on the web page.

The same rules apply to iframes as they do to normal frames though... They're a big no no!


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