Back in the early 2000's using (i)frames was a big no no for developers. Although they made development easier, it was shunned in every circle and various reasons.

My question is, is it still advised not to use (i)frames? Although there are plenty good reasons to use them? ( e.g. separating navigation from content etc.)

  • 2
    Clarify your question. Bad for what? Iframes were never bad. They were often misused. They had, and still have, a purpose and they're good for cases that call for an iframe's features.
    – Su'
    Sep 22, 2012 at 9:04

2 Answers 2


The kind of "good" use you point to, "separating navigation from content", is actually problematic for SEO and almost certainly for usability and others too.

The problems, essentially, are those of value (PageRank, what have you) not being passed to the target of the iFrame, people arriving from search onto a piece of content without it's frame (and thus without navigation), and people not being able to link directly to content.

I should add, there's actually been some debate about about whether value is passed or not. However, I don't think anything conclusive came out of it and, even if value is passed, the other problems still make it unworkable.

Anyway, the SEO angle is covered quite well on another thread: Do we still need to avoid using frames and iframes for SEO?. I think the bottom line is there's no good reason for iFrames to form the basis of a site's design, and doing so introduces potentially serious problems for users and site performance. However, as Su' points out, there are still occasions where it's the right tool for the job.

  • They are bad since we can do everything with AJAX this days or pure PHP calls - SOAP, CURL, File contents, while they are outdated elements -also w3c validator cry because of it. Anyway companys like Facebook still use IFRAMES for "like" buttons and I guess they have their own reasons for that. Gathering information world wide!
    – Trouble
    Sep 22, 2012 at 12:21
  • As I mentioned on another site, iframes are currently the only way to isolate the inner document from the outer one, which is useful in many use cases and applications. It certainly should not be used to separate navigation from content, unless one really needs the browser to treat them as two different documents: for example, if they come from different servers, managed by different people.
    – Tobia
    Mar 17, 2015 at 14:26

Personally, I have found that they still make some things easier. Although IE (Unfortunately still with one of the largest user bases) still has a lot of problems with javascript and it's many libraries and iframes.

Although with Ajax and re-loadable DIV's I find that it's a little redundant and that iframes are now pretty much obsolete. To my own personal usage at least.

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