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Author Topic: Iframes  (Read 1022 times)
Necrosia
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« on: March 30, 2023 @599.29 »

I am a big fan of using iframes and making cute web designs that only the main container changes, they are a staple of the retro web. Sadly though they have since fallen in general disuse, as I was remaking a site and considering using them I was curious of the reasons behind their downfall and decided to find out why, to figure out if I was making poor choices or if they were acceptable in my context.

I will paste my finds here together with my commentaries.

Quote
1 - Iframes Bring Security Risks
If you create an iframe, your site becomes vulnerable to cross-site attacks. You may get a submittable malicious web form, phishing your users’ personal data, malicious user can run a plug-in, change the source site URL, hijack your users’ clicks.
Those are valid concerns but easily countered if you use iframes to link to your pages only, also how quaint to read this in the age of solving every of humanity's problem with third-party javascript libraries that bring almost the same problems.

Quote
2- Iframes cause usability issues
The main page URL no longer changes. The browser's "back" and "forward" buttons might not work as expected. No way to link directly to a page that contains anything other than the initial iframe url. You can't always predict the size of the content displayed within, causing scroll bars at least in one dimension.
Another valid concern but again easily countered with wise design choices and if you use it to link to your pages only.

Quote
3 - Not mobile friendly
But not everything has to be...

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4 - Google recommends refraining from creating iframes because they cause SEO Problems
Content displayed via iFrames may not be indexed and available to appear in Google’s search results.
This one was new to me but I am not surprised google is related to this, if you have a retroweb site you can counter this by having smart tags and header on your index page.

In conclusion I did not find enough reasons to not use iframes on my case.


Whats your opinion on iframes? Love? Hate? Indifferent?
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2023 @685.31 »

I can't remember where I read this, but I think Google has since fixed the iframes issue, as they've done with most SEO problems that used to crop up in the old days of the web. I was looking through this same topic, and found that Google's bots are a LOT more flexible and smart than they used to be.

Just something to keep in mind if you're using them.
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2023 @695.65 »

i read the same article you're quoting here when i first got into webweaving and was trying to understand why iframes are so controversial. i agree with your counters to their points and i think you should go ahead and make your cute iframe site!

Quote
No way to link directly to a page that contains anything other than the initial iframe url.
Melon made a guide to fixing links on frame sites that you may find useful!

Quote
Not mobile friendly
while your point that not everything has to be mobile friendly is true, i don't think iframes and mobile friendly design are incompatible at all. you can change the size and position of an iframe, just like any other element on your page.

overall, i like iframe sites! i don't have my whole site set up that way, because i like being able to make new layouts for different topics, but the microscopy section of my site does use iframes. sure, i could have put everything there in one html file and then toggle what parts are shown, but doing it the iframe way was a lot easier for me at the time and it makes it really easy to update. (EDIT: it's mobile friendly, too!)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2023 @697.52 by loren » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2023 @725.31 »

Using iframes for navigation is a must for me because I tend to have a lot of pages and if I need to change something in the navigation, I am not going to make that change on 30 files.

As for content iframe, I used it but reworked the code of my website not to utilize it anymore. This is because I'd like to be able to link to a specific section on the site easily.
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2023 @1.92 »

I love iframes. It's a great compromise to having a consistent style and exploring different ones. You can keep one style for like a menu, and for the actual content you can go a bit wild!

Quote
4 - Google recommends refraining from creating iframes because they cause SEO Problems
Content displayed via iFrames may not be indexed and available to appear in Google’s search results.

This one was new to me but I am not surprised google is related to this, if you have a retroweb site you can counter this by having smart tags and header on your index page.

If Google doesn't want me to do something, I'm doing it! I don't care for SEO, anyway, who in the movement does?
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2023 @198.83 »

i, too, love iframes :grin: it's the easiest way to manage the navigation, for me.

while your point that not everything has to be mobile friendly is true, i don't think iframes and mobile friendly design are incompatible at all. you can change the size and position of an iframe, just like any other element on your page.

i think my site's layout does a pretty good job being mobile-friendly with iframes! it's all about being clever with positioning and resizing.

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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2023 @374.42 »

i read the same article when i was just deciding to change my site to an iframe-based layout since i’d heard they’re bad but then after reading it i was like “..wait, that’s it?  :drat: none of that’s even really a problem!”

the only one that was an issue was the whole bookmarks/back button thing but i got a nifty script to help with that from i think it was melon?  :ozwomp:

i love iframes myself, they make everything so much simpler for me. no more wading through 3,000,000 pages to update one link on the navbar and hoping i didn’t miss any! and it has some other nice things too; i have a little audio box on my site so you can play some background music i picked out if you want to, and having the site iframe based means it won’t pause every time you click on a new page. plus, it just looks more seamless if the whole page isn’t reloading when you hit a link.  :pc:
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2023 @500.76 »

I agree with what's said here! A web revival person did not write this article, it's advice for the generic web. iFrames are far from perfect (I still prefer frameset because it just works better in most cases) but they do allow us to do things that would be totally impossible otherwise  :ha:

All that said; I do think the way people often use iframes (making them very small and fixed in size) can be a bit claustrophobic. That's not the iFrames issue though, you can totally make dynamically sizing iFrames, it's just not done as often as it could be!
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2023 @30.22 »

If Google doesn't want me to do something, I'm doing it! I don't care for SEO, anyway, who in the movement does?

Ditto! I am amazed by the amount of things that google ruined directly or indirectly.

I dont care about SEO either but I think its good to at least have your site be findable if someone types their name on a search engine  :cheerR:
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2023 @834.31 »

I have a bit of a personal distaste for iframes, but I can't put my finger on why exactly. Probably the URL and back button thing, mostly.

I don't mind them that much though. Especially if they make webmastery easier!
Navigation and other persistent site elements can be a bother. Personally I use a static site generator to deal with those.
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2023 @739.43 »

I personally think they are alright, I don't really have a very strong opinion on it tbh. Iframes are something I close to never use myself, primarily because of limitations and the fact that I simply code everything individually.
however they can also be useful. I use them for my story/book area in my character world. So you can simply click to open something and read it. For that it's super nice and easy to do. + It's mobile friendly. I generally don't use / or try to avoid none-mobile friendly elements. I want my content to be accessable and beautiful on most screens. I myself am a mobile user too and like to visit and view things on my tablet and phone when I can't use a desktop device right now. Iframes are something that I close to never see on mobile friendly websites, and for that reason are something I don't really want to implement too often or it gets messy.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2023 @753.23 by Skykristal » Logged


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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2024 @729.11 »

i use iframes on my site and love them a lot! they've made organizing all my pages a lot easier and make my site look much cleaner. i only wish that i could link people to other places on my site with a custom url, instead of only being able to send them to my home page and tell them how to navigate from there. it's not a huge problem especially since i recently added a sitemap, but regardless i worry that people may find it confusing
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2024 @51.40 »

This post is about my preferences; my preferences are not a prescription.

Spoiler
I wouldn't use iframes without a damned good reason. I won't even use YouTube embeds on my personal sites because not only do they use iframes, but they also pull down a lot of YouTube's JavaScript, cookies, and spyware.

Instead, I'll grab the video's thumbnail and wrap it in a link so that if you click the thumbnail you go to YouTube.

If I wanted to do a layout that required iframes, I would try to replicate that layout with CSS instead, especially CSS grid, so that the site would still work on mobile devices.
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« Last Edit: January 09, 2024 @230.37 by starbreaker » Logged


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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2024 @196.84 »

I like iframes, but does anyone know whether they play well with screen readers or similar? Currently I use one for my navigation bar and might do the same for my footer, but would prefer to switch to something else if it's an issue for accessibility tools.
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2024 @230.09 »

I like iframes, but does anyone know whether they play well with screen readers or similar? Currently I use one for my navigation bar and might do the same for my footer, but would prefer to switch to something else if it's an issue for accessibility tools.

Iframes are generally not good for accessibility or performance. Are you using them for your nav bar and footer because you want them to be consistent across pages?
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