Why Not to Use Frames in Your Web Design?
Website developers have studied very hard to just try and keep up with Internet technology, and to stay at least one step ahead of their competitors on the web.
They’ve used tons of colorful fonts and different text sizes, exceptional graphics & animations, tables, frames, etc. – and all of these are a means to an end. They want to get your page read! This is all fine and dandy but I’ve always taught that simple web design will serve your customers better.
Okay – Let’s Talk about Using Frames in Web Design
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 your site harder to navigate and a whole lot more confusing if not used properly.
What Do You Sacrifice by Using Frames on Your Site?
Using frames should be like another 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 these 3 trade-offs that go along with using them.
1. The biggest trade-off and probably enough reason by itself NOT to use frames: Search engine robots do NOT read pages with frames!
When they encounter a frames page all they see is the outline of the frames. 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 website.
If you want to generate sales, you need customers. To get customers you first need to get people to your website. To do this, you need the search engines.
To go through the time, trouble, and expense of setting up an Internet Store (website) and then to deliberately block your site from the search engines is like opening up a retail store.
You begin by painting the windows black and not putting up a sign. You have an unlisted telephone number. You are open for business, but nobody knows it, unless they happen to accidentally stumble in.
2. Frames can often times 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.
3. 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.
This can destroy 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.
You Can Use Frames in Web Design But ..
Frames can be useful, but having your main site done in frames is not wise. Look around at other sites that have frames, try to 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?
Filed under: Web Design