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d0nut

Using Frames

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I have read that using frames in web page design is not always a good idea. I use tables, but is this the same thing?

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Many people think of site layout this way: CSS positioning is the best, tables are eh..., frames are terrible.

 

What frames do can now be done in CSS (although I don't remember if IE supports position:fixed; yet). And truthfully, it's not that helpful anyway. People generally use frames to keep their menu in view on the left side of the page... that's not really that much of an advantage when a person can just hit the home key and return to the top. They are also saving a little bit of bandwidth and loadtime by using frames since that particular part of the page (the menu) will not have to be reloaded. However, you save much more bandwidth and loadtime with CSS. You'll also make users happier by not using frames because if they want to bookmark a section of your framed site, it will always return them to the root page (www.yourdomain.com) and not to the page that they wanted to bookmark.

 

As for tables, nested tables can get very complicated if your site is extensive and also increase loadtime and bandwidth usage. And if you ever want to redesign your site, it can become very cumbersome. However, you shouldn't have any cross-browser compatibility problems since most people are using Netscape 7+, Internet Explorer 5+, Opera 8+, Safari, and Firefox 1+.

 

Using CSS positioning (and styling in general) you can save a LOT of bandwidth and loadtime (when I changed my site from tables to CSS, it was such a big difference). Redesigning the site is sooo much quicker now since I basically only have to change one file to change the entire site. I have more designing options than I did before. The major problem with CSS though is cross browser compatibility - mainly with Internet Explorer. Opera 9 claims to pass the Acid 2 Test (the latest Safari I believe also passes this test). The Acid 2 Test is I believe more "extreme" CSS that is standards compliant and Internet Explorer supposedly can't handle it very well at all and FireFox isn't that great with it either. But, all of the browsers are trying to be more compliant with the standards, but IE will always be the biggest headache. If you're doing rather basic stuff though, you really shouldn't have too much trouble... it just takes some time to learn it and a lot of cross browser testing.

 

Jennifer

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Thanks for that in-depth explanation. I have just updated my home page (10 minutes ago) using tables. Your opinion would be appreciated. Still experimenting.

Cheers.

d0nut

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I try to avoid frames. I will use them on rare occasions and for special purposes. I prefer to use the tables because of cross-browser compatibility. If all browsers supported CSS the same, I would use it more often.

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Cowboy, have you tried using CSS positioning on your site before? For more basic stuff, cross browser compatibility usually isn't a problem. You may have to do a little extra tweaking and it may seem pretty tedious in the beginning, but once you get a hang of it and how the browsers act, it gets easier.

 

d0nut, since I didn't see what your site looked like before (I assume it's the one in your sig), it's hard to compare to what you have now. However, it's a start into the *cue Discovery Channel like music* wonderful world of CSS! ;)

 

A few things to work on... css classes and ids. Check out this page for more info: http://www.w3schools.com/css/css_syntax.asp Short summary: for styles repeated throughout a page or a site, you can create classes and ids that will have certain design values that you assign them and put them within the <head> tag. Then, instead of typing in the design values for each and every part that you want styled that way, you just put in the class or id name. Also, ids can only be used once per page, classes can be used as many times as you like. For my own sites, I use ids for main "chunks" of the site, like the header, the navigation bars on the right and the left, and then the main chunks of content. If you want to see how I have my site setup, check out http://rammsteinniccage.com I guess that wasn't a very short summary. :P

 

That should be enough for you to chew on for a little bit....

 

Jennifer

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Very clean HTML code. I like that. I may have to redo my site, just to toy with it.

 

www.legionofnerds.com

 

Ironically, I do use frames on this one. lol.

 

Normally, when I do a page for someone, I don't use frames, or sometimes, depending on the site, I'll use an iframe.

Edited by Cowboy3000

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