iFrames are definitely here to stay – for the time being anyway! Although they are not as readily available for the ‘non-coder’ Fan Page owner to access like fbml code was, iFrames certainly offers a lot more than fbml could ever do – and hence the reason Facebook switched.
In order to use iFrames the code/images etc needs to be stored off of Facebook now – which means you have to pay to have it placed (or hosted) elsewhere or know something about html code and how to direct it to display in your Fan Page. As we know html code is the basis of a website – which means you can now create a virtual website to display in your Fan Page. Here is a link to samples we created of just that in Facebook. Just click on the iFrame Sample Tabs on the left. This means virtually ANYTHING displayed on your website, including multiple pages, video, links etc can now be shown in a single iFrame on your Fan Page. We think is a great solution to those who preferred displaying information tabs across the top rather than down the left side of your Fan Page.
One of the good results from the change to iFrames is it has filtered the genuine B2B providers of this service and made it more difficult or expensive for developers to just cash in on an opportunity to create you a custom Fan Page. When using fbml code the developer would create the fan page using the B2B service, be given the code to copy and paste into Facebook, then change the links to point to his service as the code provider (and not the B2B’s service as the provider). Because iFrames code is required to be hosted outside of Facebook the B2B providers are hosting the code and directing it to your Fan Page. This means the middle guys who were making money by changing the code links cannot access the code to do so anymore – UNLESS they purchase a developer license. Which has made it fairer to the B2B business and the client wanting a custom Fan Page.
It is also important to note, as a client looking to find a developer to create you a custom iFrame fan page, I would be wary of anyone selling you a fan page who cannot place the html code in the back of your OWN website which you would be already paying to be hosted because it means 1 of two things:
1.They are trying to make more money out of you by hosting it themselves. This is completely okay as a solution if you don’t have a website, because at least you as the business owner can acquire the code via the developer if you ever need your iFrame page changed.
2. They are paying for a developer license from a B2B 3rd party builder like Fan Page Engine or PageModo – which means even they as the developer cannot access the code without always staying with this service provider. This is also okay if are a business who is always happy to outsource the job and they are upfront with this clause because you will be unable to shift to another developer any current iFrame pages that have been created for you.
My favorite B2B I tell people to use if they want to build their own custom iFrame page themselves and have no experience in html coding is to use Shortstackapp.com. At the moment it is free, but scroll to the bottom to be aware of the pricing. The number of templates and features to build your own fan page is the best I have seen by any of the providers. It also beats the quality of graphics other providers out there deliver because you can upload your own graphics and backgrounds. But remember the catch is – they control the hosting of your iFrame page for free so you are hooked into using their service for the use of that iFrame page.
When we have already built our clients websites we host their custom iFrame page with their website and charge no extra. We are also happy to add the iFrame html code to any current website, if the client has access for us to do so, in order to not incur any further hosting costs. If you require your iFrame page to be hosted because you don’t have a website – well you can be assured the monthly $5 fee we charge to host it – is for any number of iFrames you want to create and be assured our developers are building the html code – not using another 3rd party to build it for us! Email us for further details or check out our other services at CustomFanPages.com.au.