Framed sites are basically composed of multiple pages all assembled into a single browser screen. Usually there is a top header, side navigation and main body content, and sometimes a footer. Building a site using frames is great to create an easily updated site-wide navigation system. That’s where the value of frames ends. There are far better ways to accomplish global navigation updates that frames provide. Without going into those at this time, let’s discuss some of the issues inherit in using framed websites.
Search Engine Ranking Problems
When a search engine visits your site, it grabs and indexes each page individually. Framed pages can have a good amount of textual content and can therefore achieve search engine rankings. Unfortunately, these pages, outside of the framed navigational structure, lack headers, footers, site ID and other necessary navigational elements, creating “orphaned” pages. An orphan page essentially leaves the visitor stranded, not knowing where they are or how to find more information on your site.
Framed sites also create problems for visitors who wish to bookmark (or add to favorites) specific pages of your site. Because the visitor never really leaves the home page but only navigates by swapping one content page for another within the framed structure, you eliminate the ability to bookmark any specific page other than the home page.
If you are a brick and mortar store, forcing visitors to walk through high-selling items is a great way to up-sell, but in the online world, forcing visitors to have to navigate through your site each time they want to get back to the useful item or information they need only creates a frustrated visitor.
This post is part of a continuing series on the topic of:
Designing a Money-Making Website
Trash the Splash Pages
Search for all posts on Designing a Money-Making Web Site, including this and the following sub-topics:
Building a Professional Website that Achieves Your Goals
Creating a Marketing Focused Website that Sells