B&B Web Design Mistakes: #6 Web site uses frames
Web sites that make use of Frames often run into several problems. Frames are a way of showing two or more different web pages at the same time. The example you are about to see is actually made up of three different web pages. The top that has the navigation is one page, the middle content section is another page, and the contact information at the bottom is the third page. Take a look at this example. You can tell you are at a site using frames because one section has its own scroll bar that scrolls separately from the other sections.
Okay, so now that you can recognize a frame based web site, what is wrong with having your website designed with frames?
- Some spiders can't make the leap from one frame to the next
- Frames sometimes keep spiders from actually crawling to the other pages in the site. As a result, the search engines end up with very little content to "judge" your site. In fact they often only find one page of your site. This leads to your site not showing up well in search engines.
- Inner pages show up without their navigation
- In the example of frames you'll notice that the middle "content" of the page has no navigation buttons. The buttons are above it, on a separate page. So if the search engine directs people to the rates page, there will be no way for the person to click on anything to get to any other pages. This means people will be frustrated and leave your site with no way to even contact you.
- Every page has the same title, description, and keywords
- When you navigate around on a frame based site you will notice that the title of the page (at the top of the browser) never changes (Try it on the example). Frames make it so that every page has the same title, description, and keywords. This is bad for search engine optimization. As I have mentioned in other pages of this site, you want each page to target different key phrases by using different titles, descriptions and keywords. Using frames makes this impossible.
Advice for B&B web design
- If you are having a new site built, specifically tell your designer you do not want frames used under any circumstances.
- If you have an existing site that uses frames, I strongly recommend that you have it redesigned to remove the frames. Even if it is done perfectly so that spiders can index the whole site and pages show up with navigation, it is impossible to optimize separate pages. A frame based web site is guaranteed to restrict the amount of traffic you get from search engines.
- If you are looking for a new designer or website promotion specialist, examine the sites in their portfolio. Do any of their examples use frames? If the answer is "Yes," and they are just a designer, make sure they realize they can't use frames with you. If the answer is "Yes" and they are a promotion specialist, keep looking for another person to promote or design your site. They should know better.