Peter Willert
Header image of 'Using iframes to integrate products? Think twice.'

Using iframes to integrate products? Think twice.

Author portrait

I've had my fair share of experiences with iframes over the years. Often introduced as the holy grail of product integrations. But frankly it's not that great. Why? Let's zoom in!

iframes (Inlineframe) have been introduced with HTMl 4.0 and are around since 1997. They are indeed an easy way to embed a website within another one. Which makes them appear as a quick and easy solution for integrating 3rd-party content or new products into an existing website or application, but they come with a number of limitations that make them less than ideal for this purpose.

1. The user experience

One of the biggest drawbacks of using iframes is that they can negatively impact the user experience. Since iframes are essentially miniature web pages embedded within a larger page, they can cause delays in loading time and may not be fully responsive or mobile-friendly.

2. An attack vector

If your content and the content within the iframe is not properly secured, it can leave your website or application vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS) and other attacks. If the 3rd-party is compromised the content delivered can be harmful for your users and your business. 😤

3. SEO might take a hit

Another issue with using iframes, and of course it depends on your individual use-case, is that they can create problems with SEO. Search engines may not be able to properly index the content within an iframe, making it less likely to show up in search results. This can make it harder for your users to find the new products or features you've integrated into your website or app.

4. Analytics can't look into it.

iframes can make it difficult to measure the performance of the integrated products or features. Without access to the data and analytics of the content inside the iframe, it becomes hard to optimize, troubleshoot and measure the success of the integration.

5. Maintenance and support headache

Lastly, iframes can also create maintenance and support issues. If the 3rd-party provider makes changes to the content or functionality within the iframe, it can break the integration on your website or application. This can lead to frustration for your users and extra work for your development team.


While iframes may seem like an easy solution for integrating new products or third-party content into your website or application, they come with a number of limitations that can negatively impact the user experience, SEO, performance, and maintenance. Alternative solutions like API integration, web components, and dynamic imports should be considered for a more robust and sustainable integration.

Use them for a quick and dirty showcases, or embed your own content on your own websites, but do not build out a feature based on iframes.

Thank you.