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Inline frame

(also iframe)

Inline frame definition

An inline frame, or iframe, is an HTML element that allows for embedding a separate HTML document within the body of another HTML document. This enables displaying content from one web page within another, creating a nested browsing context. Inline frames display advertisements, social media feeds, or multimedia content like videos and maps while maintaining the original page's structure and layout.

See also: vulnerability assessment, XSS, clickjacking

Inline frame examples

  • Embedded YouTube videos: Web developers often use iframes to embed YouTube videos on their websites without requiring visitors to leave the site.
  • Google Maps integration: Iframes can display a Google Map on a website, allowing users to interact with the map and obtain location information without navigating away from the site.
  • Social media widgets: Facebook and Twitter buttons or feeds can be integrated into a website using iframes, enabling users to interact with the content while remaining on the original page.

Inline frame vs. other embedding methods

While iframes provide a convenient way to embed content, other methods like object and embed tags also exist. However, iframes offer several advantages over these alternatives, such as better compatibility with modern web browsers, support for sandboxing (limiting the embedded content's access to the main document), and ease of use.

Pros and cons of using inline frames


  • Easy content embedding: Iframes simplify the process of embedding content from other sources on a web page.
  • Independent browsing context: Iframes create a separate browsing context, preventing conflicts between the embedded content and the main document.


  • Security concerns: Iframes can pose security risks when used to embed content from untrusted sources, potentially leading to clickjacking or cross-site scripting attacks.
  • Performance impact: Overuse of iframes can negatively impact a website's performance because each iframe requires additional resources to load and render.

Tips for using inline frames securely

  • Only embed content from trusted sources.
  • Use the sandbox attribute to limit the capabilities of embedded content.
  • Regularly update your browser to protect against iframe-related security vulnerabilities.