Why Frames Suck

3 minute read

If you are one of the 5000 (that is 50%) of Australian Agents that have their site developed with frames then yes,…. your site sucks!

It is not my policy to trash talk 50% of my market but really – I am doing you a service!

My views are backed by just about anyone who knows what they are doing including the web useability guru Jacob Neilson.

He has a number of articles on this topic.

Jacob Neilson commands huge fees for his talks on web sites and useability and often incurs the wrath of designers + developers everywhere. Why because he affects their income and they like to do cool things.

The common misconception is that designers and developers know the web. I spent 5 years as a partner with a design and development firm and I really do not think much time was ever spent on what actually works for clients.

It is more to do with cool design and giving the client what they ask. My belief is that designers and developers should know their craft inside out, but the economic realty is it is just too hard to do this and make money.

My view is that most clients do not really understand the medium and turn to designers and developers for this expertise. Unfortunately designers more so than developers are the last people you would discuss useability with.

Back to Frames
I hate frames for a number of reasons and the major one is search engines, all in all the major search engines such as Google do not like frames. There are some very clever developers that can actually work this out, but on the whole they are not very many with the skills needed to make this work.

The second reason is that information is loaded from a different location (server) within the frame. You will see this in most www.realestate.com.au and www.realestateview.com.au developments. This means that any time someone searches your site they are actually searching another server and that server receives all the results.

Note: Some recent development from www.realestate.com.au have improved but essentially still work the same, however I would choose them every time over anything from www.realestateview.com.au

Basically this means you cannot truly understand your websites behaviour as the information is on someone else’s server and will not appear in your stats log (unless it is seamlessly integrated and this is rare).

So I suggest that the next time you want your website developed just tell them you do not want frames – at all.

If they cannot do it, turn to someone who can! For your own future as framed sites are getting left behind every single day in search engines.

Here are links to some other articles on the subject. It took me 2 minutes to get all of these links in Google as there are thousands of articles written on the subject!

Why Frames Suck (Most of the Time)

Original Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design

Why Frames Are Not Supported at MIT

1 March 2003:Why Frames (still) Suck

Things to avoid.

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