Tag Archives: usability

Fix iframe-positioning problem with frameMagic.js

A short followup on my previous post about iframes; as I happen to like simple drop-in solutions, I updated the javascript that handles the ‘blank 2nd page in an iframe bug’ to automagically work upon inclusion in the html.

So if you happen to have problems with the positioning of 2nd (or later) pages in iframes (due to the top part of the iframe not being visible in the ‘viewport’), just upload frameMagic.js to your webserver and add the following to the head of your html to ease your iframe-blues;

Optionally you can specify which iframes are to be treated this way (excluding the other ones) by doing

You can find more information and examples on http://futtta.be/frameMagic.

5 tips to tackle the problem with iframes

Iframes have always been frowned upon by web-purists (confession: myself included). But things are never black and white and sometimes iframes can be the best solution for a problem (you could substitute “‘iframes” with “Flash” in the previous 2 sentences, but that’s another discussion). So here are 5 quick tips which might lessen some of the SEO- and usability-problems associated with the use of iframes;

1. Google loves doesn’t hate iframes done right!

Although Google is rather vague about the subject, iframes and SEO do not have to be mutually exclusive. But you will have to make sure it’s your main page that shines in search results, not the iframe-content. The main page (where the iframes are defined) has to be more then a mere placeholder for one or more iframes. Migrate as much information (titles, description and other text) from the iframe-content to your main page, which should describe what goes on in the iframe(s). Use the iframe title-property and insert alternative content between opening and closing iframe-tags. A quick example:

Calculate your mortgage rate


Calculating your mortgage rate was never easier; just enter the loan-amount and the duration below!


2. Own the stage

Avoid visitors viewing the iframe-content out of the context of the main page (e.g. because they followed a link in search-results). Add javascript to the iframe-content to check if it is accessed stand-alone and redirect to the main page (or explain and provide link to the main page) if that is the case.

if(self.location==top.location) top.location.replace('http://contain.er/page-url/here');

3. Don’t draw blanks

When a visitor clicks a link at the bottom of a long page inside an iframe and the target is a shorter page inside the same iframe, then he/she will see a blank page which is … well not very usable, no? The (hackety-hack) solution; tell the browser to scroll to the top of the iframe each time a new page in it is loaded, by calling the function below (with the iframe id as parameter) when the iframe’s onLoad event fires: