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Resource Center-Articles-5 Reasons Not to use Frames

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Five reasons why you shouldn't build your website with frames
- by Marisa Ramondo

Before we get into the reasons, let's define what a website with frames is.

Simply put, it is a combination of two or three pages into one. You may have a page, for the navigation, one for the header or footer, and one for the body. However when you view the page and move the scrollbar, only the body moves, the rest stays put. Here is an example of a framed website.

This type of layout was more commonly seen in the early days of web design. Although for some reason, there are still some web designers today that choose to set up their website structure in this matter. Some think it's 'cool' to do so, without really understanding the consequences and adverse impact it will have on the website's performance.

Below are 5 of the major reasons why one shouldn't use frames when building their website.

1. Some internet browsers don't support frames.
People using older versions of browser will have difficulty accessing your website. Not everyone updates their browsers or have the space on their PC to accommodate the latest versions. Although the numbers may be getting smaller, why would you want to turn away, say 10% to 15% of potential customers from your website?

2. Search engines don't like them.
Some of the more popular search engines, will not index your website if it is in frames. So if you are expecting a major portion of your website traffic coming from search engines, using frames would be almost suicidal for your business. Because of the website structure, search engines will find it hard to determine the URL for a frameset composed of 2 or 3 sections.

3. Visitors can't bookmark your website
Except for the homepage, someone who wants to bookmark any page of your website for further reference, will have a hard time doing so. The URL of every page will always be the same. Check out this sample and try to bookmark any page and see what happens. Not being able to bookmark properly may affect the way your visitor will return back to your website, if at all. And you want your potential customers coming back, don't you?

4. You can't print properly
With frames, it is very difficult to print what you see on a full view of the page online.
Depending on your browser and version, you will have to print each frame of the page individually. It can become very cumbersome for a visitor wanting to print information about your company. I know it bugs the heck out of me.

5. Users don't like frames

Studies have shown that the majority of online users do not like frames.
This in itself should be enough to not even consider frames.
Why would you deliberately turn visitors off from your website?

So there you have it. You now have 5 good reasons to tell your web designer why you do not want your website to be in frames. If your website is already in frames and you are wondering why it isn't performing as you had hoped, you might just have your answer.


About the Author  
Marisa Ramondo is a web consultant and founder of Alexram Internet Services, where her mission is to help small businesses establish themselves successfully on the Internet. Be sure to visit her website to find out what else she is up to at
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