A web site is built with a bunch of code that a browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox can translate into pictures and text to display on a computer. HTML and CSS are the basic languages that accomplish this. Other programming tools let you build slide shows, interactive forms, and so forth. One of the tools you can use to build an entire web site or parts of it is Adobe Flash. Flash is basically an animation program. Here are two examples of Flash built web sites:
Vegaone (notice all the clicks before you actually see content, and the wait time to see the content)
InfinitiColors (beautiful design, but, man, this is annoying to navigate)
A Flash based web site built by a creative and competent programmer is a thing of beauty. But it’s very time consuming to build and thus very expensive. If you’re an independent consultant, artist, or small business owner, think twice before you sign up for a Flash web site. The expense should deter you, but there are things to be aware of that are just as critical as the expense.
Flash files aren’t read by search programs so your content is not being indexed by Google, Yahoo, etc. This means people won’t find you when they search for you.
Hard to Update
You want your web site to inform your clients, customers, fans, etc. which means your web site must be as current as possible. To have a current web site you need to be able to update it quickly. Updating a Flash web site is much more complicated, time consuming, and expensive than editing a regular web site file. That’s enough for me to say forget about it. But there’s more.
Not User Friendly
People respond well when their needs are served and respond badly when they feel ill treated. I’ve heard so many complaints from people about Flash web sites. They dislike waiting passively while the animation runs. They don’t like the visual annoyance of distracting animation. Why isn’t the message getting back to the designers and builders?
Read Al Morel’s blog post The Future of Flash. He predicts Flash will be gone in five years, and explains why. Flash doesn’t translate well on mobile devices, it uses up computing resources and slows things down.
When it comes to Flash my advice is don’t do it! Smashing Magazine writes in depth about your options for creating a rich web site experience without Flash in its post The Gradual Disappearance of Flash.
Analysis by Smart Alice Web Design & Photography, smart web design for businesses who want a unique and effective presence on the internet.
Copyright 2011, Alice Gebura, All Rights Reserved.