To be or not to be Flash
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Should your website be in Flash or in HTML? The answer can make a
difference to your business.
There are many compelling reasons for getting your website designed in
Adobe/Macromedia Flash. Flash presentations are cool, have pizzazz and are great
Flash websites are ideal for such businesses as real estate that need to
show moving panoramic views, virtual tours of a property, or stages of
development from the plans morphing to a finished apartment building. Real
estate presentations are often for a short period, the time it's expected to
take to sell the property. The real estate agent sends the visitors to the
website and doesn't depend on casual searchers finding it on Google.
Flash animations are good for demonstrations of moving parts, or of tutorials.
In fact anything requiring animation is often best produced using Flash.
Videos display on websites better if converted to Flash. Visitors are not
asked to download a pluggin for thier browser.
Flash files usually take some time to load, but this is not a problem if a
visitor has been directed to look at the Flash website for a reason. Maybe the
visitor has already expressed an interest in the subject of the presentation,
e.g. a real estate property, and wants more detail. Maybe the visitor wants to
see a tutorial, or a demonstration. Such visitors are captive audiences so
they do anticipate the wait.
- Slow loading:
Visitors who are not captive audiences, are often not prepared to wait for
Flash files to load, or are frustrated by the wait. Some websites are totally
in Flash, even moving from one web page to another taking much time. Some
visitors may make the choice to not wait and are then lost to the website.
- Search engine listing:
Search engines index websites on the words in the website's text. If the
words are in graphic format (such as a Flash SWF file) instead of text format,
then search engines cannot see them. If you can't copy and paste the words
from the browser into Notepad or Word, then the text can't be read by search
- Search engine ranking:
Search engines rank websites on their order of relevance to a visitor's
search query. If a website has little or no text then it is not as relevant as
websites with a lot of text. Such websites need a great number of other
websites linking to them, often hundreds, in order to be ranked as relevant to
We know of a business owner who insisted, against his designer's advice, on
his website being totally in Flash. He was jubilant when it did appear on Google
as a new site for three weeks. His jubilance turned to despair when the website
then disappeared out of sight.
to animate something which needs animation and which won't delay loading the
home page. We never replace text with Flash.
- If the website needs animation, but is aimed at visitors who are directed
there by specific marketing, a real estate display, a technical demonstration,
or tutorial, then there are good technical reasons for the website to be built
- If the website needs animation, but is aimed at visitors searching the
web, then only the animation should be in Flash. The home page especially
should not be in Flash, but should have all the text required for a search
- Who are the targets of the website? Captive audiences don't mind waiting.
Casual searchers may quit waiting and go look for other 'user friendly'
About the Author
Ken McKay is an Australian website designer for small businesses. More
information on web design is available at platypus websites -
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-10-24 01:32:09 in Computer Articles