Frames - Why or Why Not! Your Choice

What are FRAMES and why should I care?
- Frames allow web masters to create and show many pages in one view, which may be independent windows or subwindows. Example:
within the main window, one frame might display a banner ad, one frame a navigation menu, and another could contain main text... all could be scrolled independently without hurting the others placement.

There is a downside to FRAMES besides the GOOD and BAD facts listed below. Many Web masters say frames are a little outdated but all agree they do have their uses even being outdated. Many Web masters agree if you can use CSS or PHP (just two examples) to achieve the frames look and many of the frames strengths without all the weaknesses... then do so. You will be ahead of the game! Especially when the "rumored" internet laws on FRAMES comes through.

The "rumored" law only deals with frames and internet companies and making them liable on how their shows it's content. I did not see anything on personal sites... but I wouldn't be surprised if they make it in the "rumored" law. When I say "rumored" law, I mean just that. All the books I've studied on frames, and the sites I've seen, only three or four of those medias speak of this law. But I won't be surprised if this is true.

Good Reasons
- Frames provide a simple way to create and update a Menu for your site:
It's simple because you only need one page to create this menu... which means you only have to update one page when you need to add or remove a link. Why do multiple updates over and over when you can do all your Menu updates once.

- Create an advertisement that is always present:
Advertisements may be annoying, but it is the easiest way to generate revenue for your Web site. Link to a "sale page" your site may be running, link to your "banner exchange" program or just advertise another business. Either way, it's always there, and may generate cash.

- Frames allow you to easily brand your site:
You can create a space for your Web site logo or Company Information (just like an advertisement) and keep it in a frame so that it is always in view of your readers. This helps your audience remember your site, especially if you have an eye catching element.

Bad Reasons
- More than two or three frames on a page can be cluttered:
Frames are hard to navigate in them especially if they all are scrollable or positioned wrong. Having multiple frames makes it very difficult to follow where to read and where to scroll. Don't confuse.

- Not all browsers support or understand frames well:
Frames can mess with your BACK BUTTON or ANCHOR TAGS functionality and make it impossible to go back.

- Bookmarking in a framed site:
When your visitor puts one of your pages in their FAVORITES, they could be putting only one frame in, instead of the full page. So when the visitor clicks your link in the FAVORITES, only one frame shows... not what you want.

- One Web master linking to your informative page:
To create this link many Web masters (without paying attention) will take the address that is shown in the browser! And once again it is EXPECTED that this address leads to EXACTLY the page the visitor was looking at when he/she grabbed the address and not the whole frame.

- Frames create additional work for your host or server:
When you create a frameset with two frames in it, you have three pages to maintain at all times. If you decide that you want your name branded on the bottom of every page, you have to change three pages, not just one. Also, every time you create a new frameset, there is a minimum of two (with one frame) or three (with two frames) hits to the server. Meaning the more framesets you have, the more hits to the server you generate, without the additional page views. If you have a limiter on the amount of traffic allowed to your site, you'll be eating away at your transfer allowance... by viewing ONE PAGE?

Side Notes
Put the GOOD and BAD aside for now, you should always use a <noframes></noframes> version of your site for people with non-framed browsers. And when I mean a noframes version, I don't mean a page that simply has a "get Netscape" or "get IE" button on it but a page built for that audience. So build two sets of pages... FRAMED and NOFRAMES.

Using frames you need to use <noframes></noframes> tags.

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