Frame based sites


Junior Member
I like the look of sites that are coded using frames. I know they can be controversial but what are the main disadvantages of using this technic?


Junior Member
Sorry about not being more specific, but what I do like about frame based sites is their appearance. I like the fact the headers and menus can be held static on the screen whilst the content is scrolled.


That can be achieved using div's as well and calling the information dynamically in the same sort of way :)


Junior Member
Thank you Chris for the suggestions and example. Initially I am not sure the removal of frames is benificial to the overall appearance of the site in the example but I am going to work through an example using CSSeasy and see how it comes out.
Can you tell me what software you tend to use?


Active Member
my side of the bargin....

Objections to frames center around a few basic issues:

Frames block out many people whose browsers are frames incapable
When designing a framed site, it's important to remember that many people use browsers that can't handle frames. Contrary to some people's perceptions, this is not just because the user is too lazy to "get a real browser". Some people use text or audio browsers which render material in a linear fashion. Others simply dislike frames and turn them off in their browser's settings. If you don't include no-frames content, you are simply leaving out a portion of your potential audience.

Frames Are Often Misused
Probably the biggest problem with frames is that it is so easy to use them incorrectly. The web is filled with pages that use frames not because they are correct for the situation but because "they're cool". This is what gives frames a bad name. If you are considering using frames, make the choice based on what works best for your site, not on the mere availablility of "special effects". More importantly there are certain issues relating to frames and web page / site securities for your end users!! particularly with viri.

The functionality of frames can easily be acheived via standard / usable and accessible (x)HTML
Most things that can be done with frames can be done without them... and in fact should be done without them anyway because you should always have a no-frames alternative.

In fact, this is the reason many designers have abandoned frames: redundant effort.

Also by developing a framed site you will also run into lots of issues relating to keeping the code consistant between the framed and non framed site, when dealing with large scales site simply modifications equate to twice the work load to implement and test.

Here's a simple procedure to follow if you are considering using frames. First, design and build your site without frames. You have to do that anyway to provide a no-frames alternative. Once your site works without frames, look it over and decide if adding frames is worth the additional effort. If so, then your site probably really is one of the few sites that truly benefits from frames.

The next point is SEO, frames in their unique nature often reply upon a series of URL's in order to build the complete website the problem with search engines is they try to specificaly target the domain / url of the site, so having multiple urls to content with can cause seo problems.

Ultimatly its up o you how you design and develop your site, if you feel your users will benefit from a "frame expereince" and your research suggests that your target audiance will be accomendating of that fact then go for it, for me on a personal level i have yet to to find a need where html/css cannot produce the same and typically 100% better solution alone.

PS. this may help your thought process

- Frames -- Why and Why Not
CON's - Frames -- Why and Why Not


Junior Member
Thanks Geoff for your help.
It just shows how out of date I am!
I do agree with the pro frames comments, my main love of them (I have to confess this) is the border around the edge keeps the header and menu always available to the users, and to me this not only looks professional but helps to keep the site easy to use. I also have not found it has create more work in updates but in fact less, but I do keep my use of frames to simply framing the key information around a page rather multiple embedded layers.
I am worried about SEO issues and compatibility with some browsers.
I am going to revisit a site I am just working on today and rewrite it without frames and see how it looks.
I will let you know how I get on.


Junior Member
Well I am struggling to wean myself off frames. I spent the day re-doing the first two pages of a website I have nearly finished.
The front page was no problem, with the contents of the page suiting a table, and I was able to use many of the elements of this table on the second page to give it a consistent feel.
In the pro corner it gave me the opportunity to personalise the menu to each page and in the con corner I had a lot more repeated code from page to page, and this has the knock on disadvantage of more work in updating code in the future.
I am already using divs extensively and CSS files.
I don't know whether I am a lost cause but most sites I really like are using frames.
I have nearly finished the frame version of my site - I could put it online to get more feedback on other methods of getting the same effect without extensive repetition of code.