Beware: Is your website using an iFrame?

May 16, 2012 |   3 minute read

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Beware: Is your website using an iFrame?

What is an iFrame? An iFrame prevents the entire screen from moving when you scroll down a web page. Instead, only the text scrolls while the company header and page menus remain in view.

I'd give you an example of an iFrame, but I don't want to be liable for defamation--I'm about to criticise the kipper out of them.

3 Reasons to Get Rid Of The iFrame On Your Company Website NOW!

1. iFrames are all about you. iFrames usually reside under your company logo and website page menus. But these two website elements (while necessary for ensuring readers are on the right site) are the two most-ignored website elements by your readers!

Readers view company logos and website page menus as "company" propaganda. They ignore such company info more readily than radio commercial time. So why would you waste precious reading time, risk annoying and depleting your audience's short, online attention span with an iFrame? It's a really bad idea to try to force your online readers to focus on you instead of their interests.

2. iFrames are hard to read. You want to give your readers a reason to read your text. By making your text scroll in an isolated box forces laptop readers to tuck in their chin to read. It's uncomfortable and discouraging.

And don't tell me  you "put the content in an iFrame because no one reads the website words anyway." If you aren't putting interesting content on your website, why bother with any content at all? iFrame content is surely not going to encourage readers to pick up the phone and call you, unlike these copywritten websites.
Further, there is no need for iFrames now that all computers can scroll quickly. Scrolling readers who hit an iFrame feel like they've caught their 'line' on a snag. Readers are jarred when they try to scroll down and the page abruptly stops and  starts scrolling in an iFrame. It annoys readers and makes them feel out of control. The Internet is all about moving along in the driver's seat. By taking away this power, iFrames put a bad taste in the mouth of your readers and are a hindrance to the success of your company website.

3. iFrames are contrary to Web 2.o and are an outdated method of design. Now that we have accepted - and come to expect - the fact that online readers will skim read your content, Web 2.0 website design allows websites to work well for skimming. Your website is more like a newspaper  anyway.

Web 2.0 designs typically use image headers at the top with built-in copywritten text so readers get to see an overview of the site's content at the top of the page (priority space). These built-in headlines help readers skim and find the content that interests them. Setting up your website content with a design that enables quick website content navigation builds rapport with your audience because you demonstrate a respect for their time. Because "everyone's a publisher" in the Web 2.0 environment, you're sure to be publicly criticised if you don't respect your readers' time.

Also, most great websites allow you to interlink easily so that your website works like Wikipedia: readers can quickly move through the content on a path that interests them. Because iFrames make it hard to move through the content, it's hard to get to the links that interest you.

Start phasing out the iFrames in your company website if you're using them. Try learning Wordpress instead.

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