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Build Your Web Site Without Frames
If you wish to effectively promote your Web site in search engines and in
directory sites, then you must not use "frames" in your Web site.
Although many Web site developers think it looks attractive and hip to use
frames, if you use frames you'll have immense difficulties promoting your Web site.
build your Web site so that lots of people would view your Web pages, didn't
Contents of this Web page:
If you are not sure how your Web site developer developed your
Web pages, here are a couple of ways you can ascertain this:
Look at the Web address of your Web pages: a)
Watch the Location bar (in Internet Explorer, it's called the Address
bar). This is the area where you can manually enter a Web address (or
"URL"). b) Now click on some links in your Web site. If the
address changes, then your Web site is probably not using frames.
Good. Here are some examples of changing Web pages:
Notice above that each Web page has a different name (e.g., "services.html")
However, if the Web address never changes, then your Web site is
unfortunately probably using frames. Here is an example of a Web address
which might not change:
Look for a reference to "frames" in your Web
page HTML: a) While in your Web browser, click on View / Page
Source (or with IE, it's typically View / Source). b) Now, look for a
reference to "frame" (e.g., "frameBorder" or "frameSpacing")
in your HTML.
Ask your Web site developer
Web directories cannot point to specific Web pages:
There are two kinds of Web directories: general Web directories which
contain information on lots of topics, such as Yahoo or Open Directory, and
infertility Web directories, such as Infertility
Resources. If a Web directory wishes to point to one of the Web pages on
your site, the Web directory will have difficulty doing this if you cannot
supply a specific URL (Web address), such as:
Unless you can supply a separate set of Web pages, then the only page the
directory can point to, is your main framed page, such as:
However, a Web directory will want to point to the specific page, not your
NOTE: It is possible for a Web directory to point directly to one of
your sub pages in a framed site, however, there are at least a couple of
problems with this: a) The person creating the link to your site has to read
the HTML in your Web pages to find the page, and b) the specific Web page
will be missing your framed elements, such as a top bar, navigation bar, and
bottom bar. This means that the page will lose the attractiveness of a
fully framed page and the user will typically not find a way to access your
other Web pages (which might contain information about your organization, a
service or product list, or contact information).
Search engines have trouble following the links in framed
Web sites: Search engines send out robots which typically do the
following: a) travel to the home page of a Web sites and index that page, b)
then follow any hypertext links on the site to other pages and index those
pages, c) return to the search engine server with the indexed information.
The problem with frames is that search engine robots have trouble following
links on framed sites. Search engines also have the same problem as Web
directories. That is, it is difficult for them to index and point to a
specific Web page on your site. This is a major problem.
Usability problems: There are also many usability
problems (which can lead to promotion problems) created with frames. For an
older, yet still mostly relevant article, feel free to review Jakob
Nielsen's Why Frames Suck
(Most of the Time).
The best alternative to using frames is to build your Web
site using tables. Tables allow your Web pages to be stucturally
designed with, for example, the following consistent components:
a bar across the top which contains possibly your logo
a navigation bar which contains organized links to important
pages in your Web site
a bottom bar which might contain your copyright information
Although you will lose the ability to maintain the ability to
have a frozen pane in the web page, that is a very small price to pay to
increase the promotion ability of your Web pages. Also, frozen panes are often
annoying because the typically take up too much valuable page real estate or are
hard to understand.
If you have any questions about how to use tables in place of
frames, feel free to contact IHR.
It is not that difficult to change a Web pages from a framed-pages to
table-based pages. Basically, you or your Web site developer can do the
Create a template Web page using tables.
Add the contents from a framed page, into the table-based
Try to keep the Web page names the same between the framed
pages and the table-based pages.
Upload and test the new table-based site to the server.
Register your new pages in search engines and submit
specific educational pages to Web directories (e.g., Infertility
If your Web site developer says it is very difficult, feel free
to contact IHR for some
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