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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Disguising the address bar. HELP

    Hi
    I know theres been quite a few postings about this and many don't agree with it but this is what I'm trying to do

    I read an article in .net - a UK internet magazine called 'Fake Status' (issue 95 p104) about disguising the address bar. But after trying their method I can't get it work so I thought I'd come here because I don't fully understand it.. (also posted this on their site )

    Here's the method.
    'First create a frameset for your default page, like this;

    <framesets rows="1%,99%" border="0" framespacing="0" frameborder="0">
    <frame src="invisible.htm" scrolling="no"><frame src="contents.htm" name="main">
    </frameset>

    It then goes on to say, 'Put the first page of your main content in 'content.html' and make 'invisible.html' a blank page. When vistors click on internal links the address bar should persistantly show the URL of the main frameset'.
    ------------

    right then... so what I do here I guess is insert this code into my default page i.e. www.mysite.co.uk/home and change 'content.html' to 'home.html', then make a blank html page called invisible .... I know I'm so wrong please help

    Thanks all
    sanc

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    That's structurally correct, but there's no need for a 1% blank frame.

    Just use...

    <html>
    <head>
    <title>My Proper Title</title>
    </head>

    <frameset rows="100%,*" frameborder="no" border="0" framespacing="0">
    <frame name="mainframe" src="myrealindex.html">
    <frame name="blankframe" src="blank.html">
    </frameset>
    </html>


    Save that page as index.html and change myrealindex.html to the real name of your real homepage file.

    Create a blank page or a simple page containing just your a hit counter if you have one.

    Be sure to give this index/frameset page the right title because that won't change either.

    Just make sure that you don't give any links in your site the target="top" or target="parent" attribute and all links should stay within the mainframe.

    One thing you may need to consider is if you are planning to put your site on the search engines.

    If you are then you may have people arriving at your site without being in the frameset and therefore not having the page name and url that you want them to see.

    Check out the javascript depots for scripts that 'force frames'.
    If a visitor arrives at your site directly into one of your real pages (i.e. not in the frameset), then their browser is instructed to replace the current page with whatever page you want it to. You would select your index.html as the page to use (as that contains the frameset).

    There are certain usability problems associated with this method, but if your site is small then it shouldn't create any really annoying problems.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by Bill Posters; May 23, 2002 at 10:30.
    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

    Mate went to NY and all he got me was this lousy signature

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Thanks Bill, thats up and running now

    One thing you may need to consider is if you are planning to put your site on the search engines.

    If you are then you may have people arriving at your site without being in the frameset and therefore not having the page name and url that you want them to see.

    Check out the javascript depots for scripts that 'force frames'.
    If a visitor arrives at your site directly into one of your real pages (i.e. not in the frameset), then their browser is instructed to replace the current page with whatever page you want it to. You would select your index.html as the page to use (as that contains the frameset).
    Okay... so what you're saying is that if they come into my site via search engine (not my index) then I can get some javascript to force either a redirect to my index or force to frames?
    Time to look for some scripts

    There are certain usability problems associated with this method, but if your site is small then it shouldn't create any really annoying problems.
    I'd be interest to hear these, thanks again..
    sanc

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast WizyWyg's Avatar
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    Dont understand why you would. Just like disabling Right click, its useless. All one has to do is VIEW PAGE SOURCE or download your site via a browser for offline viewing. They will know where your page is.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Originally posted by WizyWyg
    Dont understand why you would. Just like disabling Right click, its useless. All one has to do is VIEW PAGE SOURCE or download your site via a browser for offline viewing. They will know where your page is.
    Wwizywyg, it's not about deceiving anyone or trying to take away functionality (at least not on purpose).

    There are several perfectly legitimate reasons for wanting to do this.

    A fair number of website today are hosted on the free webspace that comes with an internet connection account with an ISP.

    'Proper' domain name requests are auto-forwarded by the registrar to the actual webspace url of the site.
    The actual url of a site may be something like www&#46;monkeytree123&#46;ispdomain&#46;co&#46;uk

    Many website owners who either do not or cannot use payed hosting deals would, quite understandably, prefer to have the user staring at a simple, easy to remember url than at www&#46;monkeytree123&#46;ispdomain...

    This can also be confusing to the visitor who may have arrived at the site by using the domain name that was bought/registered.
    Without the frameset set-up (or without a 'proper/payed' hosting deal) if a user clicks on a link to another section within the site then the url may change from www&#46;mydomain&#46;com to www&#46;monkeytree123&#46;ipdomain&#46;co&#46;uk/aboutme.html.
    This can easily confuse the user and also make the site appear less professional (when in fact nothing has changed about the site other than the url of the pages within it)
    (There are of course other benefits to using a proper hosting deal, but these are mostly for the site owner and have little or no impact on the 'face' and structure of the site)

    This is not about tricking the user or taking away functionality. It's just about making the experience of using your domain name as unconfusing as possible.

    ---

    Sanc, one problem that it can raise from a usability point of view is with bookmarking pages.
    If the page is within a frameset and a user bookmarks the page using the usual methods (menu/keyboard shortcut) then they will bookmark the frameset url and not the page they are viewing.

    If your site structure is not particularly complex (small agency/company/personal sites are often only a few pages in total) then even if the visitor was to be taken to the frameset url (i.e. the start of the site) then whatever info they were attempting to bookmark will not be hard to find again.

    Another issue is with search engines.

    If a page within your site is spidered by the search engines and is listed in a search return, the user will be taken directly to the *actual* url for that page.
    This page will possibly have a www&#46;monkeytree123&#46;ispdomain&#46;co&#46;uk address and this may confuse the user.
    If you have a force frameset javascript set up, then the user's browser will be sent to the frameset page.
    With a basic force frameset redirect script (which simply swaps the top url for that of the frameset page) the user will be sent back to whatever page your site has within the frameset by default (myrealindex&#46;html) and possibly away from whatever piece of information brought them to the site in the first place.

    What is needed is a variation on the force frameset script that commits the url of the page that the visitor arrived at (page-x.html) to memory (javascript variable?) and takes the user to the frameset page but places page-x.html as the page within the 'main' frame.

    Although I personally don't know how to do this (yet), I'm sure it can be done quite easily by someone who knows more about javascript.
    You may even find an example of the more 'usable' version of the force frameset script on one of the many javascript download depots.

    Of course, if you are not concerned about being listed on a search engine then this is not even an issue.

    If you find one, post it here. I wouldn't mind using it myself on one or two small sites I have on my free isp webspace.
    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

    Mate went to NY and all he got me was this lousy signature

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast WizyWyg's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bill Posters


    Wwizywyg, it's not about deceiving anyone or trying to take away functionality (at least not on purpose).
    Then is to annoy people. Try bookmarking a site that is in frames or forced frames? What happens if the person doesnt link right?

    There are several perfectly legitimate reasons for wanting to do this.

    A fair number of website today are hosted on the free webspace that comes with an internet connection account with an ISP.
    Many free webspace providers prohibit this kind of "linking". Having a domain name is one thing, but using a free webspace (ie tripod, geo, etc) to "frame" the site for your domain name is against many TOS. If you're using your domain name to run a business, then you are also violating your free webspace TOS (since 99% of them prevent you from doing so) to run commercial pages on their servers. Even my ISP explicitly states that any commercial content is strictly prohibited.

    'Proper' domain name requests are auto-forwarded by the registrar to the actual webspace url of the site.
    The actual url of a site may be something like www&#46;monkeytree123&#46;ispdomain&#46;co&#46;uk
    I know how they work. Never said I didn't.

    Many website owners who either do not or cannot use payed hosting deals would, quite understandably, prefer to have the user staring at a simple, easy to remember url than at www&#46;monkeytree123&#46;ispdomain...
    And using "free webspace" could be in violation of their TOS.

    There is also the neat thing of GOOGLE and search engines as well as Bookmarks and Favorites.


    This can also be confusing to the visitor who may have arrived at the site by using the domain name that was bought/registered.
    Without the frameset set-up (or without a 'proper/payed' hosting deal) if a user clicks on a link to another section within the site then the url may change from www&#46;mydomain&#46;com to www&#46;monkeytree123&#46;ipdomain&#46;co&#46;uk/aboutme.html.
    If they bought a domain name then they should buy webspace. You can get webhost for as little as $3 a month.


    This can easily confuse the user and also make the site appear less professional (when in fact nothing has changed about the site other than the url of the pages within it)
    (There are of course other benefits to using a proper hosting deal, but these are mostly for the site owner and have little or no impact on the 'face' and structure of the site)
    Its more confusing if the person doesn't set up their frames correctly.

    This is not about tricking the user or taking away functionality. It's just about making the experience of using your domain name as unconfusing as possible.
    I didn't say it was for tricking. Just that when I visit one of those redirectors (like cjb.net), I just get hte actual page instead of the redirection. Its easier. Again, trying disguise if of no use, its annoying and many people hate it.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Originally posted by WizyWyg
    Then is to annoy people. Try bookmarking a site that is in frames or forced frames? What happens if the person doesnt link right?
    Did you read my post properly?

    Many free webspace providers prohibit this kind of "linking". Having a domain name is one thing, but using a free webspace (ie tripod, geo, etc) to "frame" the site for your domain name is against many TOS. If you're using your domain name to run a business, then you are also violating your free webspace TOS (since 99% of them prevent you from doing so) to run commercial pages on their servers. Even my ISP explicitly states that any commercial content is strictly prohibited.
    That's right- if.
    Url-masking (via a frameset) is a service most often offered by the registrar themself.
    I don't think that the registrar is going to object about someone forcing a domain name they have registered into a frameset when the registrar is the one providing the frameset service.
    Besides which, such url redirection/masking services function by placing the actual url within the frameset of your registered domain name.
    The registered domain name is the 'top' url and is not being buried within a third-party frameset and would therefore not being in conflict with the specific TOS that you refer to.

    I know how they work. Never said I didn't.
    You never said you did either.
    That being said, given your reference to a TOS clause that doesn't relate to frameset-based url-masking (as provided by the domain name registrar) then, with all respect, I'm not so convinced that you do actually understand how they work.
    I added my original comments on that subject as much for Sanc's benefit as yours, given that nothing you said in your first post had any bearing on how much you may or may not have known about it.

    And using "free webspace" could be in violation of their TOS.
    That's right- could be, *if* the site is a commercial site.
    So far Sanc has not mentioned or even intimated the nature of the content of his/her site.
    I could probably go on for pages about many aspect of web-design, web-hosting, customer service, etc... to give Sanc a fairly decent 'heads up' about the various issues relating to the web, but for now I'll stick to those issues he/she raises and save myself the trouble.

    There is also the neat thing of GOOGLE and search engines as well as Bookmarks and Favorites.
    Again, did you read my post properly?

    If they bought a domain name then they should buy webspace. You can get webhost for as little as $3 a month.
    Surely it's up to the individual how much money they want to spend on the running of their site.
    As cheap as it may be, it's neither your place or mine to *expect* others to pay for hosting deals when for millions of people the free webspace that comes with an isp connection is perfectly adequate for their wants and needs.

    Its more confusing if the person doesn't set up their frames correctly.
    That's right- if

    I didn't say it was for tricking. Just that when I visit one of those redirectors (like cjb.net), I just get hte actual page instead of the redirection. Its easier. Again, trying disguise if of no use, its annoying and many people hate it.
    And many people don't care either way as long as the site functions as they expect it to.
    For the most part redirection can be done well enough that the user remains totally unaware that they have actually been placed into the site's own frameset and they will still be presented with the page containing the info that brought them to the site in the first place.
    Many registrars providing url-masking via frameset do not add adverts or ad frames, so the uniformity of the site will not be affected.

    The typical user will not question the structure of a site unless something appears wrong or functionality that they use is hampered in some way.
    I strongly doubt that knowing the actual, complete url of a certain page is high on the list of a typical user's priorities.

    As with any site that uses frames there are going to certain issues that may restrict the typical functions that are often expected of a site.
    Some of these can be compensated for with a little thought, others cannot be overcome so easily.

    As with most things where one benefit causes problems elsewhere it is a matter of understanding the pros and cons of each option and presenting a balance that the owner is happiest with.

    The way I prioritise things in the few sites I build may not match yours.
    They may not even match Sanc's.

    I think I gave a fairly well-balanced mention of the various issues (pros and cons and) relating specifically to Sanc's request.
    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

    Mate went to NY and all he got me was this lousy signature


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