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> What is a Frames Site?, Basic description of a web-site designed using a frame-set.
Noele
post Feb 13 2007, 04:54 PM
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There are many misconceptions surrounding Frames Sites and it appears it all comes down to 'you either like them, or hate them' - there appears to be no in-between.

So what is a frame site?

Basically, the final page which the visitor to a website sees comprises of several pages. To give an example we can have a section at the top, one on the left and the remaining area will makeup our main content. Each of these 'sections' will be loaded as frames

The section at the top we can make our header frame as it contains the header for all of our pages.
The section on the left we can make our navigation links so we can call it the navigation frame.
Both of these will largely remain uniform throughout the entire site.
The last section will contain our content for each page so we can call this the page frame.

Using HTML code tags we first define the areas for each frame and give them names for identification purposes. I.E. header, navigation and content. The page containing this definition must be loaded by the browser first as it will load in all the other frames - ( wink.gif We can discuss ways of ensuring the correct page is loaded latter, lets get the basics sorted ).

At first glance it seems a lot of work; three HTML pages to produce one.

If you read it once again you well see that two of the frames are uniform across the entire site. Agreed in some situations it may be necessary to duplicate them, but they will simply be a copy with just a link or two changed. In most cases they will be identical; only the page content changes.

I personally use No Frames, Framed, and Flash - which looks great but creates lots of problems which we will not go into here. Whether to use Frames or not is largely down to:
  1. What you are trying to achieve
  2. Your technical ability
  3. Integration if you have existing content.
  4. Personal preference.


Pros and Cons.

Sigh, once again this seems to be down to the 'Love Frames' or 'Hate Frames' syndrome. One can create arguments for and against based upon ones personal preference.

Designing a framed site is generally more time consuming. Once the basic layout is done, however, updating can be simpler. It is said that Search Engines cannot crawl a frame site. The truer statement should be, they cannot crawl all of your pages. But then they do not need to. It is up-to you to place your meta tags where they can locate them.

To take away some of the pain of designing a Frames Site, Software4me members can download a Frames Site Template (Membership is free and we do not Spam). It is well documented and robust, working with 90%+ of browsers. [ Author's note: there is no such thing as 100% browser compatibility - Software4me.net aims for 98%; it does not cater for phone browsers because the products offered would be unsuitable]
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