What Is an iFrame: The Ultimate Guide

It is easier than you think to surf the web and embed the useful content you find on your website. You just need to understand iframes. 

What is an iframe?

An iframe (short for inline frame), is a webpage element that enables cross-site content sharing. It lets website owners add visually appealing content to their websites and give context to their posts.

When you see embedded YouTube videos and other content on websites, the web designer most likely inserted an iframe element within that webpage. An HTML iframe makes it easy to share useful media and other resources from external websites to yours. With iframes, you can add content which further explains a topic to your audience.

This guide will help you understand:

  • What an iframe is
  • How to use HTML iframes on your WordPress website 
  • Why and how you should secure your iframe website

What Is an iFrame?

An HTML iframe is an embedded HTML document within a webpage. It is like having another browser window inside of your webpage. The document may contain CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) or JavaScript, which loads when the iframe tag is parsed successfully by the user’s browser. 

Several third-party websites, such as YouTube and Google, use iframes in their embed code. You can put their iframe codes into an iframe element on your website.

Here’s what an iframe is as HTML code:

The src attribute specifies the source URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for the content that will be in the iframe element.

Pro Tip: Visitors will read the iframe’s content, so always include a title attribute for the iframe. 

3. Include the source URL of the content to be embedded where it says “URL goes here.” 

You can include additional attributes to the iframe tag. Use standard height and width sizes (300p high, 600p wide) to confine the iframe to a small space:

How to Make an iFrame Responsive

As more visitors are scrolling through your website, you should ensure that all your browsing interfaces are responsive. They need to function properly on different devices and screen sizes.

How do you ensure an HTML iframe embedded on your webpage is responsive?

Here are the steps:

1. Paste the iframe embed code into your HTML page.

2. Set the height and width attributes of

Possible Security Threats From iFrame Use

iFrames can raise security concerns from website owners. But, the iframe element itself does not pose security risks for websites. 

However, the nature of what an iframe is makes it possible for computer viruses to infiltrate through the code that embeds it on your website. These viruses can hack your site, install a virus to your audience’s computer, or steal delicate information. 

To avoid security issues, it is crucial that you only embed iframe code into your website if it is from a reliable, secure source.

HTML iframes can also affect your website’s performance if embedded content takes a long time to fetch from its source URL. The speed problems are worse when you use multiple iframes on a single webpage. 

If you must add several iframes (maybe on an informative post), utilize the load attribute. Lazy loading allows the iframe to load after the visitor reaches the page, which reduces load time.

iFrames can also affect search engine optimization (SEO).  They are harder to index than plain HTML texts, so Google recommends avoiding iframes on your website. 

But, if you add text-based links to the iframe, Googlebot can read them better, improving your search engine ranking.

It’s safer to develop your website without iframes, so you shouldn’t make them an integral part of your website. However, if you’re cautious, you can use iframes to get excellent results.

An iframe is one of the best ways to embed content on a website. As long as that content is from trustworthy websites, responsive, and used sparingly, HTML iframes can boost your marketing efforts with increased traffic and engaging content. Ready to optimize your WordPress website for improved speed, security, and marketing performance? Check out our managed hosting solutions today.

Desiree Johnson
Desiree Johnson | Content Specialist
Desiree Johnson is a Content Specialist at Bluehost where she writes helpful guides and articles, teaches webinars and assists with other marketing and WordPress community work.

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