An iFrame, short for inline frame, is an HTML document embedded within another HTML document. Web developers frequently use iFrames to embed videos, audio players, and social media posts in a web page to make it more dynamic and engaging for visitors. Each iFrame tag contains a URL for the source document as well as specifications for the element’s height, width, behavior, and other parameters.

How does iFrame work?

To use an iFrame, a web developer starts with an opening <iframe> tag in a back-end text editor. Then they add a “src” attribute, which is the URL address for the HTML document to be embedded, along with optional parameters for how the document will be displayed. A closing <iframe> tag signals the end of the iFrame attributes and generates the embedded document on the front end.

An iFrame embeds everything contained in the source URL’s HTML document, so many publishers like YouTube, Spotify, and Twitter offer an embed feature that uses a dedicated source URL for an individual video, song, or tweet. This URL ensures the source assets display correctly. Otherwise, the iFrame would display the entire destination page for that particular piece of content, including the site’s header and navigation. For example, the iFrame for the video embedded below uses a different URL from the video’s main YouTube page:

Risks of using iFrame

Many security experts advise using iFrames sparingly because they have the potential to lead to code injection or clickjack attacks. With these attacks, a hacker manipulates the iFrame with malicious code to redirect a user to a nefarious site. The redirection can then trigger a ransomware or virus download that allows the hacker to steal sensitive data.

From a content perspective, iFrames also pose a risk to user experience. Unless content  comes from a dependable source, there’s a chance that content could be deleted or significantly altered down the road. Visitors to the site could lose faith in a site’s credibility if the site’s meaning is lost or changed without the functioning iFrame.


Related Links

Kaiti Norton
Kaiti Norton is a Nashville-based Content Writer for TechnologyAdvice, a full-service B2B media company. She is passionate about helping brands build genuine connections with their customers through relatable, research-based content. When she's not writing about technology, she's sharing her musings about fashion, cats, books, and skincare on her blog.

Top Articles

The Complete List of 1500+ Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

List of Windows Operating System Versions & History [In Order]

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

Generations of Computers (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...


  Eventbrite is an online event posting, event management, and ticketing website. Eventbrite can...


Docker is an open-source platform used for developing and running applications by allowing...


Blockchain is one of the core technologies behind cryptocurrency. Blockchain is a system...