Based on review of our home-based photo business site and other reading on this and other forums the opinion seems fairly universal that use of frames is a bad idea, BUT ...
Seems to work...
- with 1024x768 or larger resolution there's no scrollbar on the sample galleries
- buttons, logo and menus stay where I want them (at the top on all pages)
- everything works in IE6/IE7/Mozilla/Safari
- general search-engine results are not very important to me at this stage
Cheap to assemble...
- integrates reasonably w/commission-based (free hosting) sales channel
Seems to me that the local and casual customer who is hunting for services like ours isn't that likely to say "eww, frames!!" and click away, so I still don't really get why frames are so bad.
One alternative I found in the design forums showed drop-down menus that stayed in place... does something like this make better sense? or if not what alternatives would take the smallest least $$ / time / learning-curve?
At some stage we'll probably spend the $$ and up-scale to a Flash-site but not just yet... and if we can't afford $$ for Flash we can't afford a site designer either...
Thanks in advance for any advice or constructive opinions.