grafisches Design-Element
Webseite von Paul Schmidinger

Frames: Advantages

  • reduced loading-times, less traffic (Example: website with content (50 KB), logo (20 KB) and navigation (20 KB): One complete page needs 50 + 20 + 20 = 90 KB of data. Amount of data loaded when loading 10 pages with a non-framed-site: 10 * 900 KB = 900 KB. Amount of data loaded when loading 10 pages on a framed site: 90 KB + 9 * 50 KB = 540 KB (only the content has to be reloaded). Savings: 40 %.
  • no „flashing“, only the changing parts of a webseite are being reloaded
  • important parts (e. g. main-menu) can be static, content can be scrolled

(So called) disadvantages and how to avoid them

  • search-engines have trouble indexing framed websites
    • provide links and text in <noframes>-section (check out the frameset of this website for an example - it contains an automatically generated partial sitemap with links)
    • provide a javascript frame-context-restorator (see this link or check out what happens if you paste the URL of this single frame in your browser's address-bar!)

  • the URL of a framed website remains the same, no matter what content is being displayed => problem when adding to bookmarks
    • can be seen as an advantage ("clean" and tidy address-bar)
    • could be solved by loading a new frameset instead of updating single frames, but that eliminates some of the advantages from above (flashing and loading-time (depends partially on caching))
    • If someone wants to bookmark or mail a link to a specific page, providing just the URL of the frameset is not enough. An expert could extract the URL of a single frame. For non-experts, a “create link”- or a “mail this page to a friend”-button might help. On my website, every content-frame has a "valid link" on the bottom (scroll down to see it!).

  • browser needs to support frames
    • that is the case with nearly all modern browsers

  • printing
    • printing the page like it is being displayed on the screen is almost impossible – and even if it works, printed scrollbars make no sense on paper
    • By default, only the current frame is being printed. I see that as an advantage, for no paper and ink is wasted on navigation, logo, advertisement etc. – who needs a not-usable navigation on paper? Some sites without frames offer a print-view that opens in a new window.

  • using frames for navigation etc. means that less space can be occupied by content
    • However, what use is a full screen of content? I can only read one word at a time. If I see a screen full of text, first thing I do is close the website, for websites are not suitable for presenting large quantities of text. The goal is not to pack as much content as possible on one single page, but to structure content and make sure it will be found.

  • back-button does not always work as expected (for it only affects one frame at a time)

grafisches Design-Element
grafisches Design-Element