Tutorial :What should i use instead of a frame?


Lots of people have told me that i should not use a frame on my website. Now my question is, what should i use instead?

What do you guys think is the best solution for my shoutbox? http://www.anitard.org/indexx.html


You should use divs with CSS. Frames are not popular at all for many reasons. For some good jumping off points, check out:



That totally depends on the content you are currently showing in the iframe, if it's another website the iframe is fine.

But if it's some part of your website, then you should think about putting the content in via some backend scripting language that builds the html page, instead of creating dozends of pages and glueing them together in a frameset.


If you're just trying to embed a shoutbox, do it with Javascript. Why are you concerned with it reloading when you navigate?

The example you gave actually illustrates really well why you shouldn't be using frames for this. It looks awful, and provides terribly usability. I didn't even see the shoutbox frame the first 3 times I looked!


If you are doing serverside programming like php then you can do like this-

# .... <tr><td>  #  # <?php  # include("/includes/menu.htm");  # ?>  #  # </td></tr>  # <tr><td>  #  # <?php  # include("/includes/header.htm");  # ?>  #  # </td></tr>...  

Or the best alternative is you can use Javascript or AJAX.


I agree with @Matt and @Pradyumma - if all you want is to add a shoutbox, embedded code is good way to go. It's simple and allows you to isolate the shoutbox details from your web page, if that's how you want to do it. An iframe is an ok option - it's just an 'inline frame', so if you're convinced frames are evil, this may not be a solution you're willing to go with. If you think your site is something you will be maintaining for a long time, you may want to consider a web application framework.

Some myth debunking. Frames are not 'Bad'. Frames have been in use for a long time and were very useful before tools like Dreamweaver or web application frameworks (Joomla, Cocoon, etc) existed. Frames went a long ways towards eliminating the excessive use of tables to control page layout. They also have saved a lot of bandwidth in the early web - frames containing navigation, menus, etc. content needed to be downloaded only once. Frames are not bad for search engines. I have no idea how this one started.

Frames do present usability problems. Ultimately, framed pages don't behave quite like regular html pages, so they are always going to present some usability issues for those visiting your site. You as the designer / maintainer have decide what technologies you can live with - what tools can you use, what time do have available to learn something new?

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