Web design – Understanding framing

Cartoon man typing on keyboard, looking at computer screen.

A frame is a part of an HTML page, where another HTML page can be displayed. The individual segment is referred to as a frame, the definition of all frames as a frameset.


The frame technique was introduced by Netscape Navigator 2.0 in and is now supported by most browsers. The W3C has standardized the frameset in the versions of HTML 4.0 and XHTML 1.0. In HTML5 the frame technique is not applied.


One advantage is the ability to display a plurality of parallel individual documents. This makes it possible to reduce the browser data transmitted from the web server dataset and it is a modularization of a website without server-side technologies.

Thus, for example, the navigation is managed centrally in an HTML document and must not be inserted on each new page.

A further advantage is that only the most current frame is scrolled while other frames are unaffected. Thus, for example, scrolling a content frame, not scroll the navigation and other important areas in their own frame.

A further advantage is that it is possible to easily combine content from different sources and from different Web applications.


Normal HTML pages have only one address at which they can be reached. However, frames are composed of several sub-pages, where usually the address of the frame definition is displayed (the frameset) in browsers that do not change when switching to a different base in the rule.

If anyone tries to link to a particular subpage, bookmark it or to specify it in an e -mail, it is usually a dilemma.

The frameset defined in the frameset Home instead of the desired base is loaded, it indicates the direct address, thus omits the other components in the page such as the navigation. This is confusing, especially for technically less savvy users who are accustomed to the basic principle of ” An address = A side,”.

This problem can be partially circumvented by JavaScript because it can detect if a page is loaded in the frameset or not, and can react accordingly to reload the frameset.

Detection by search engines

Search engines have trouble with frames, although they usually capture the content on frame pages.


With Cascading Style Sheets parts of an HTML document can be made scrollable. Using Ajax, it is possible to load data from the server and reshape it.

Many experts in the field of usability strongly advise against the use of frames. Also it can be observed that professional sites seldom use frames.

Linking from one frame to load the document into another.

Syntax : <frameset> <frame> </ frameset>

Options :

bordercolor = – the color of the border line .
frameborder = – Displays a border around the frame or not.
name = – a unique name for the frame.
noresize = – specifies the frame size can be changed to a user or not.
scrolling = – how to display the scroll bar in the frame.
src = – path to the file to be downloaded in the frame.
Closing tag – not required.

Example of using the tag :

<frameset rows=”80,*” cols=”*”>
<frame src=”top.html” name=”topFrame” scrolling=”no” noresize>
<frameset cols=”80,*”>
<frame src=”left.html” name=”leftFrame” scrolling=”no” noresize>
<frame src=”main.html” name=”mainFrame”>
</ frameset>
</ frameset>

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