RE: To Frame or Not To Frame

by "Elias Thienpont" <elias(at)>

 Date:  Thu, 30 Sep 1999 19:46:57 -0600
 To:  "HTML Writers Guild / Basics" <hwg-basics(at)>
 In-Reply-To:  hyperioncorp
  todo: View Thread, Original
Hi Neil.

I think the following will work for you, but I may have some of my details
in need of correction.

On your frameset page, after the framesets (which older browsers and engines
cannot read) you place your <noframe> </noframe> tags, and for the rest of
this page you enter information that would have otherwise appeared between
your <body> tags. You may make a whole page that will only be seen by
browsers and engines that do not display the frames. You may make links to
all of your pages, and the search engines ought to have no trouble following
these links.

The other problem of "hijacking" frames is something that you have control
over. What people do not want you to do is to link to their sites within a
frame of your site, as if they were still on your site. All of my links to
other sites are via the "_blank" command, so that when they are done looking
at the other page, they can come back to my site.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-hwg-basics(at) [mailto:owner-hwg-basics(at)]On
Behalf Of Neil Kiser
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 1999 17:19
To: HWG-Basics Mail List
Subject: To Frame or Not To Frame

Hi everyone,

I am beginning development on a commercial web site venture in which I will
have two separate and unequal site versions, an advanced version that
supports HTML 4.0 and a less ambitious version that supports HTML 3.2.  HTML
3.2 represents my baseline and I have chosen to loose any business that
might want to browse with browsers older than this.

The one question that I am having difficulty deciding is the decision to use
frames or not.  I have read a lot of posts on the subject of frames and a
lot of editorials.  One of the themes I find is that frames are not
universally supported and/or are problematic.  It seems that, in large part,
this sort of information is dated early 1998 to mid 1998.  I don't see too
many posts in 1999 that speak of the lack of browser frame support.  Another
theme seems to be the issue of frames being "hijacked" by other sites.  And
a final theme that I see is that search engine positioning is much more
complicated with frames.

My questions are: are any of these themes still valid (meaning that they are
not easily circumvented)?  Also, I was only going to allow indexing on my
default page (which is not framed), so would I still suffer from the search
engine indexing problem?  I know I can circumvent my pages from being loaded
into someone else's page, so that is not a concern of mine.

Is there anything else I should consider?  I just don't feel that the number
of clients I would lose, by only supporting browsers who comply with HTML
3.2 or above, is that large.  Part of me wants to require cookies on the
HTML 3.2 version as well but I probably will not.

Bottom line, I have programmed Intranets for the past three years and
Internet exposure is somewhat new.  I am at the point of making the tough
decisions and I would like to ensure that I have not missed anything and
that my perceptions are correct.  If there are any observations you might
share or if you can point me to current write-ups on anything I have
mentioned above I would very much appreciate it.

Thank you,


Just Remember...
"Wherever you go...  there you are."
-Buckaroo Banzai

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