What is a HTML frame?
In the context of applying a custom domain, a HTML frame refers to a method used at your domain provider (i.e. your domain registrar or web host) whereby your domain content is a single web page (i.e. a single HTML file) hosted by your domain provider that loads your Big Cartel shop pages within a frame inside that HTML file.
Never use HTML frames to apply a custom domain to your shop.
Because HTML frames display all of your domain content from a single web page, your URL remains unchanged (e.g. http://yourdomain.com) regardless of the page in your shop that is being displayed.
This method should never be used, for the following reasons:
- Poor SEO: Frame content is not considered part of the parent page, so your custom domain may be ignored by search engines. Frame content may not be indexed as thoroughly or may be penalised.
- Poor Usability: Frames create difficulties / issues with user navigation, scrolling and printing and will also cause blurring issues with zoom on mobile devices and prevent responsive layouts from working correctly.
- Poor Sharing: Visitors can not bookmark or share links to specific pages / products in your shop.
- Poor Compatibility: Frames can cause in-built shop dynamic functions to fault or fail. For example, product sharing tools like Facebook Like, Pinterest Pinit, etc.
- Poor Longevity: Frames are antithetical to world wide web standards and will be eventually phased out of future HTML.
The correct method for applying a custom domain
To correct the use of a HTML frame you do not need to change your Aarcade theme installation or settings.
The correct method for applying a custom domain to your shop is via your DNS records. You need to use the controls provided by your domain provider to create a CNAME domain record for your shop. This is explained in Big Cartel's custom domain support article.