Frames are an old method used to develop websites, where the developer ‘slices’ the website into pieces (the header, the menu, the content area) and each piece is loaded into its own ‘frame’ in the browser. You’ve probably seen a framed website when you can scroll a portion of the web page (usually the content) while another section (usually the menu and/or the head or logo area) remains in the browser even when you scroll. You think – ‘hey, this is neat!
The navigation never goes away, so I don’t have to scroll back to pick a new page.’ That’s true enough, and frames were all the rage back in 1999.
What is much harder to see is that frames wreak havoc with search engine positioning, and even simple bookmarking. If your website uses frames, try to navigate to a specific page of content, and then bookmark the page (save it to your Favorites). Now, leave the website, and click on the bookmark in your Favorites folder. You’re taken back to the home page, not the page you marked! Why? Because the browser only sees the homepage of the website, which defines the frames themselves. Each frame pulls its own content in, and the illusion is complete.
Search engines also have a hard time with framed sites, because when they index a content page, and someone later finds that content page in a search directory, the page will come up, but without its surrounding frames (the logo, the navigation, the menu), so the page will be ‘naked’ and the visitor will have no way of exploring the rest of your website!
If this seems a little complicated, that’s because it is. There is no quick fix for this problem – the website would need to be re-written without frames, so that all pages had the menu and/or header and/or whatever other frame content was not on the main info pages. Sorry – no magic pixie dust available.
What have we learned?
- Don’t use frames for websites!
- If you’re website is framed, well, start over – build something far more search engine friendly.
Is your website set up properly?
If you’re not getting the traffic or conversion (new business leads) that you need from your website, then get in touch with me. I’ll review your website for a variety of issues: design, speed, search engine optimization, traffic flow, mobile-readiness, usability and clear call to action. You’ll get the good, the bad and the ugly – it’s only by breaking some eggs can we make a great omelet.
Your bad website may be holding your business hostage – get rescued today!