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I need 6 more reasons against using frames

frames discussion

     
5:49 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I need a list with 10 reasons not to use frames .... although I think those 4 are enough:

- pages don't print
- navigation frames have to be loaded using javascript if subframe is referenced
- Owner isn't encoraged to use nice <title>s because he doesn't see them in a browser
- Users can't place deep-links because the browser always shows the homepage-url.

Maybe some really good arguments pro frames?
- noframes-spam still works
- any more?

6:25 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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- users can't bookmark pages (or is this what you meant by #4?)
- can get VERY confusing if you have frames within frames within frames...
6:32 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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* Search engines index inner pages out of context
* They MAY contravene the DDA (Disability discrimination act) in the UK and parts of the world because...
* Screen readers can't read them for blind people
* They screw up your tracking systems
6:46 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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almost there, thanks, folks .... still counting

1 pages don't print
2 navigation frames have to be loaded using javascript if subframe is referenced
also: Search engines index inner pages out of context
3 Owner isn't encoraged to use nice <title>s because he doesn't see them in a browser
4 Webmasters can't place deep-links because the browser always shows the homepage-url.
5 users can't bookmark pages (or is this what you meant by #4? no, I meant webmasters)
6 They MAY contravene the DDA (Disability discrimination act) in the UK and parts of the world because... Screen readers can't read them for blind people
7 They screw up your tracking systems
8 Surfers can't send the URL of an interesting page by email (well, that's close to 4 and 5...)

6:59 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Dammit, they look bad!

and they are a sloppy method of making a site.

7:01 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Maybe some really good arguments pro frames?

They are quick
They don't require java to be enabled
They work accross domains easily

7:17 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if this is still the case but I remember a bug when it came to drawing scroll bars on 1 frame when there was none for a 2nd frame.
7:28 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Library thread on this very topic:

[webmasterworld.com...]

7:31 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How about the possibility that browsers will drop support for frames some day in the not too far future?
8:04 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No one has mentioned reduced viewable content area. When you place your main content in a frame, quite often the scrollable area is greatly reduced. On an 800 X 600 monitor I've seen the "main page" as small as a 6" wide X 3" high area. Talk about a belly-button window . . .

Important elements missing if the document is out of frame context: This may be covered in the points above indirectly, but a "main frame" page, one that gets stuck in the main window, generally has no inherent navigability or many of the other things you look for in a web document because all that is drawn out and put into the "nav frame." I have encountered many, many documents on the web that are out of the original frame context with zero navigation back to the site itself, and it's quite embarrassing-looking.

Did you google for "Why Frames Suck"? There is an old 1996 document out there that has some points that are valid today.

8:50 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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you can fake frames using css though? problem solved!
9:05 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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More for the list:

Page refresh sucks (unless you want to see the home page again). Users have to know to right-click in appropriate frame and select refresh.

The outer frame(s), which normally contain the main navigation links, are static when javascript is disabled.

Browser's "back" navigation is confusing and often unreliable.

4:07 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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10) I have frames disabled in my browser :)
4:30 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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:P

The search engine problem is the one mostly on my mind. I don't too terribly mind the complexity of frames-within-frames. For some reason I get a thrill out of getting that mess to work.

5:28 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Maybe some really good arguments pro frames?

The navigation and branding/header are always on screen.

5:30 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That can still be done (relatively) easily with CSS.
5:59 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"logo and navigation stays in place"
- "yes but you can do that with CSS easily"

(not exact quotes from the 2 posts above, sorry. Maybe Brett might want to consider showing the last 6 or so posts, that would make quoting a lot easier ...)

OK, I did just that for a customer: create a framelike behaviour without frames - by putting everything but left-hand navigation bar and logo in a scrolling <div>. Worked nice in my world (IE and Firefox on Win) - but yesterday I saw the site on a mac - and those divs just don't scroll. Scrollbars are there, but they don't move and no - I don't know which browser it was ;-( ) - I was too dazzled by looking at this screen that's larger than my own cubicle-wall.

4:04 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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cubicle = frames for people

do you like cubicles?

4:09 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You don't need a million reasons. They are just bad for seo; that should be reason enough to stay away from them.
4:28 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Let's say I'm on a server without SSI or php - or I believe it's faster to serve HTMl pages with no server-side processing, or I'm just not technical enough to be confident of tackling server-side programming.

What if I want my navigation to include the last 10 articles I have written. I don't want to update my 1,000 pages manually every time I add a page. I would have thought in this case, frames are the logical way to go. How would css insert the new link into all of these pages?

7:08 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Let's say I'm on a server without SSI or php - or I believe it's faster to serve HTMl pages with no server-side processing, or I'm just not technical enough to be confident of tackling server-side programming.
What if I want my navigation to include the last 10 articles I have written. I don't want to update my 1,000 pages manually every time I add a page. I would have thought in this case, frames are the logical way to go. How would css insert the new link into all of these pages?

shtml. It existed before Netscape introduced frames. And it was there for the very purpose you have stated.

I suppose you can back off from all possible intrusions of improving methods and technology. But the logical extension of your argument is that you should just use text files and enable directory browsing. Or stick to hard copy.

Considering that there are hosting packages for under $10 and probably even under $5 that DO provide for SSI and PHP, then not having access to those is not a strong or realistic argument.

If you want to manage a website with over 1,000 pages of static HTML, but not take a few hours to learn some basics that will make you more efficient, then I suppose that is up to you. However your argument doesn't fly. It amounts to "what if I just want to use frames because I don't feel like learning a better way?"

If you know even basic HTML, then it is no great leap to learn how to use simple includes. And that bypasses all of the negatives of frames that have been mentioned in this thread (and others).

btw - If your web server hardware cannot keep up with the load of doing shtml includes, then you need to upgrade from that Commodore 64 to an AT or 486dx. ;)

1:32 am on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If your web server hardware cannot keep up with the load of doing shtml includes, then you need to upgrade from that Commodore 64 to an AT or 486dx.

Not necessarily needed, as long as you don't serve from a floppy disk. I am serving a small SSI website from a Z180 micro-controller, but the files are on flash disk. The same controller runs an FTP server in parallel.

Back on topic:

    Contra:
  • The layout of framed pages can change unexpectdly when scrollbars pop in dependent on screen size.

    Pro:
  • You can easily print the content of a page without menus and titlebar by right clicking on the content and selecting the print option.
  • You can load another site within your frame and put your own AdSense ads around it (tip for questionable webmasters)
  • Search engines spiders will find a very clean HTML file without much menu's etc, which makes it easy to parse and index.
9:48 am on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Can't argue with many of the points listed against frames, except one:

My visitors from search engines INCREASED dramatically since I switched to a master frame at the first of the year. The only thing I changed on the interior pages, besides removing redundant and increasingly confused menuing/linking, was a very prominent link to the site, via an SSI.

YMMV!

Meanwhile, I am working at developing a menu that works for me that uses SSI and CSS. I need that fixed menu/branding layout.

 

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