Site Linking - for Webmasters

I'm always very pleased to consider reciprocal links and so for Webmasters the following is an explanation of how this site is constructed.

This site uses two Access Domains and a Hosting Sub-Domain as follows:

Access Domains: (www.prv.org.uk) or (www.hbh.org.uk). 

Hosting Sub-Domain: (www.ach.brindale.co.uk). 

You may link to this site using the Access Domains as follows:

www.home.prv.org.uk - accesses the Site Welcome page
www.prv.org.uk - accesses the PRV Welcome page.
www.hbh.org.uk - accesses the HBH Welcome page
www.ach.prv.org.uk  - accesses the Tribute Welcome page

However, if you prefer to link to a specific item then please ask and I shall implement a specific link for you that will build the page; all such links will contain "/external_links/" in the URL (see Frames below).

In some cases however, I might supply a sub-domain within either the Access Domain or the Hosting Domain for example (www.something.prv.org.uk), (www.something.hbh.org.uk) or (www.something.brindale.co.uk). 

I do not recommend you link to the Hosting Sub-Domain unless the link has been provided by myself as I will not guarantee future support.

If you already link to my pages using either:

www.b-c-s.fsnet.co.uk
or 
www.p-r-v.fsnet.co.uk

these links must be changed as these services are now terminated.  Please contact me if you are linking via either of these sub-domains and I shall provide a new permanent link.

Frames: This site uses Frames and direct links to present either the HTML pages (Framesets) or the individual Frames within foreign domains is not possible.  Also, the direct linking of images is prohibited on this site for details please see Image Linking.

Notes on Frames: (for Webmasters) - This discussion does not include IFrames (inline frames) that has little to do with Framesets.
Whilst Frames & Framesets, isn't popular as a technique for building websites, the feature(s) remain part of the 'W3C HTML4 Recommendations' and hopefully will never be deprecated as there are many, especially early, websites that use the method and those would be very difficult & time-consuming to re-implement in standard HTML or moved to modern CSS (Cascaded Style Sheets), that can mimic, to a degree, Framesets, though with mixed results - sometimes in the same website.  

However, in HTML5 Framesets are considered non-standard so the <Frameset> tag is no longer supported.  But browsers will need to support both HTML 4 & 5 into the foreseeable future as countless websites will otherwise be consigned to history.

Why were Framesets once popular?
There are several reasons cited:

Reason Cited

Challenge

1

It was a way of making more economical websites.

For example in a typical 'banner/index/data' site where only the data changes; with standard HTML each page replicated the banner & index whereas with frames the banner & index needed to be transmitted once and only the data frame needed changing significantly reducing the use of bandwidth.

2

Frames could be separately nailed & paginated. 

In a typical 'banner/index/data' site the banner could be nailed in position during pagination and the index could be paginated separately from the data frame making for an easier user experience in site manipulation.

Why are Framesets unpopular today?
There are several reasons cited:

Reason Cited

Challenge

1

They are tricky to design and implement.

True, but the advantages can outweigh the implementation difficulties. All websites should be well thought through before building especially framed sites. But that's just a job to do - framesets do not make the job anymore difficult; arguably it can be made easier by using Frames.

2

They are difficult to change. 

Only if you do not initially design the site properly. Arguably by splitting the Frames into those that are more static from those that are always different, updating the changeable frames is made much easier than on a site where static elements are always repeated. 

3

They are incompatible with search engines because:

a) Search engines cannot easily find & follow the links in Framesets to evaluate the site.

True, but this is easily overcome by using the <Noframes> tag to contain appropriate links to other parts of the site, and by careful use of the FOLLOW Meta Tags. 

b) Search engine results will link to a frame and not the whole frameset.

True, but with a little complicated piece of JavaScript this is easily overcome by ensuring that the linked page is displayed along with its constituent parts.  (I'm pleased to offer my JavaScript to anyone interested in using it.)

4

It's old technology. 

Of course it is; but that's no reason to ignore its rather specialised capabilities; though I would agree that any, equally capable, newer technology is preferable, providing the user is mindful of the fact that today's newer technologies will also be surpassed in time.
Remember TCP/IP dates its origins to the 1960's - and it's still used today!

The PRV website began in 1994 after an earlier experiment using bulletin boards.  Frames were used from the outset and it later became clear that the problems above were real and either had to be solved or the website be rewritten in standard HTML.  The latter was too difficult and, worse,  inefficient as replicating headers and indexes in every HTML page wasted space, bandwidth & time. With efficiency as the maxim I had instead to solve the problems; but that was many years later.

Using the <Noframes> tag to add invisible links to help the search engines was easy; then to solve the search engine result issue:
Every time a frame is loaded a small piece of JavaScript checks the 'calling Domain' (document.referrer) for one of 'my domains' and if the test is positive the frame is displayed within the frameset that must be showing (else the test would have failed).   If the test does fail then the 'calling Domain' must be foreign and the full Frameset (four Frames) is constructed and displayed.  This displays any frames linked to by search engines, or any other user/page, in their applicable PRV frameset.

This website remains non-profit making and will always be so!