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Why We Don't Like Frames in Web Page Design

Many of our visitors have asked why we are so hard on web sites that use frames in their design layouts. Instead of trying to answer those questions individually we've decided to devote an article to the issue. These are the main reasons we don't like web page frames in any shape or form.

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FramesFrames pages are the most obtrusive form of web page design we know of. Even done well, they fire us up because they go against the very principles the web was founded on...Freedom. Frames force you to view content inside the web site you're visiting at that time. That is not freedom, but rather captivity. That's bad enough in itself, however, if frames are done badly, they can literally reek havoc on your browser and truly muck up your on-line experience.

There are just too many things that can go wrong with a frames site. We've seen frames that don't scroll but should. Frames that do scroll that shouldn't. Sites that have five or six frames making the page virtually impossible to read or navigate. Sites with frames pages, that open other frame sites, in their frames, making the whole thing look like a checker board on drugs. Sites that pirate another sites pages and open it inside their frame. Sites with what we like to call "Sneaky Frames", frames with no menu, scroll or link bars, and no way to back out of them unless you close your browser down. The list can go on and on.

However, the worst of sins associated with frames is the lack of freedom they allow a surfer once they're trapped in a site that uses them. Oh, you know what we're talking about. You click on a link inside a frame and instead of actually going to that site, the page opens inside of the fame of the site you're on. To us that's just not fair. Nor is it right. Webmasters spend a great deal of time developing their sites. In some cases also a great deal of money. Is it fair, or right, that their pages should open up inside another sites frame making it look like the site with the frame generated the content? We think not. This is, in our humble opinion, out right piracy, not to mention real sneaky. How can a surfer bookmark the link they clicked on when it's inside another sites frame? If they try to bookmark the site while inside the frame, the bookmark will wind up taking you back to the framed site and not the link they clicked to. Is that fair?

We realize that there are ways to offset the problems stated above. Like opening the site you clicked to in a new browser window, then closing the frames site. Or webmasters using snippets of HTML code to allow links to open independently of their site. However, those types of fixes are for the more savvy surfer/webmaster and we all know there are a lot more poor souls on the Internet that wouldn't know how to open and close additional browser windows if it jumped up and bit them, let alone how to code correctly in HTML.

As if that wasn't bad enough, frames are also a cheaters dream. They allow a site to trap their visitor and handcuff their freedom of not only movement but choice. Why should we be forced to be captive inside a site with crappy content? The Internet was intended to be completely free. Freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of movement. Frames discount all these factors that make the Internet such a great place.

We know there are going to be loads of web developers who disagree with this article. They'll come up with arguments for frames like "It's the only way to get good navigation on a graphics or sound site" for example. We say baloney! The simple truth is that for every 1 web site with an acceptable frames layout, there are 1000 more that are poorly planned abominations not fit for even the most well seasoned surfer. Web developers love frames because they are harder to do than standard navigational sites. Everyone with an once of common sense knows that "Harder to do" means more expensive. So don't offer up the old tired argument about better navigation. If frames are so great, why don't more multi-million dollar Web properties use them? Especially after all this time. Frames have been around for more than 10 years now, and that's a lifetime on the Internet. If they are so wonderful, why haven't any major players found a way to fix the plethora of problems associated with them?

For the record, almost every major computer and Internet magazine along with a bevy of the top on-line marketing minds in the industry have at one time or another, stated that frames muck up the average Web surfers Internet experience. We have yet to see any major computer related media or tech based think tank come out strongly in favor of frames. Hmmm, kind of makes you wonder why?

Frames, YUCK! We just plain hate them period! Anyway, thanks for taking the time to listen to us ramble on.

Why We Don't Like Frames in Web Page Design
An Article By CoolFreebieLinks
January 2004 - Updated July 2008
© This article is the property of and may not be copied or reprinted in any form without the express permission of or Dynamic Digital Marketing. You may link directly to this article as long as you give proper credit to the author which is

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