4 February 2011

Why creating a Flash only website is a bad idea

Among the most terrible website designing mistakes, the most common one is creating a flash only website.  In the competitive world of internet marketing, websites should be made with your best interests kept in mind so that you stay an edge over others. Committing the most common website designing mistakes will lead you to serious financial trouble. For a website to grab the largest number of eyeballs, good website design is a pre-requisite.

1. The information in flash is mostly invisible in search engines:

Most famous search engines work by scanning all the websites that are on the web. They process the content of the websites and retrieve the best match after scrutinizing. The search engines are like gatekeepers who look through the content on the web and scan it to check whether it is worth keeping. If the information that is given on the websites is embedded in graphic formats like Flash, it is difficult and often impossible to find out, locate and then process by the search engines. The search engines interpret the flash website as a picture only.  What good is a nice looking website if your customers can’t find you? Yes. Google and other search engines can read the text you put in your flash, but the amount of content that is taken into consideration when ranking your site, against say, a competitors NON-Flash website is no where near what you can markup in HTML and text.

2. Navigating through flash objects is difficult:

The web analytics tells the marketers where there visitors are from, the number of pages visited etc. The web server based systems are only able to track when the Flash object is of swf file. Navigation through a flash object is cumbersome enough. If a particular website is made of one flash object, the web analytics will see a swf download but will not be able to track which particular part of the site was viewed by a visitor.

3. Flash websites breaks the usability of the web:

Flash websites often look very attractive but the techniques used in Flash often break the usability of the web. While navigating through a website, the ‘back’ button often remains disabled with the usage of Flash. Such problems could easily be avoided with the usage of html and css instead of using Flash.  Apple’s iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices do not display flash. So if your website is built entirely in flash, guess what. You’re missing out on potential business if customers are out and about and need to find directions to your business.  Also, if a visitor to your website doesn’t have flash viewer installed on their computer, they can’t view your website.

Therefore, if you’ve designing a website of your own, make sure that you do not make the mistake of using Flash in it. Take into account the above stated reasons that tell you why you should not use Flash while creating a website. Website design companies will teach you the actual tricks of website designing. Follow the tips to get the best results while marketing for your website.

4. What should Flash be used for then:

Back in the late 1990’s, Flash only websites became a big thing for a while. When Flash first came out everybody jumped on the bandwagon and decided to (over) use it. Similar to how frames and blinking text could be found on every site built in the mid 1990’s, Flash was huge soon thereafter. Then people realized that it was a bad idea, as people realized incompatability issues – your users had to download a Flash Player to display Flash on your site – and that the loading…loading…loading animation was a big no-no. Making your customers wait to access your information? Let’s get real, there are hundreds, no..THOUSANDS of businesses your customers can go to instead. Oh, and don’t give your customers an option to hear your music, just let it autoplay and give them a near heart attack when the site loads and the music kicks on. Way to attract those customers!

If you wanted to “go big” visually with a website, delivering complex interaction and a rich experience across a wide range of browsers, Flash is the only way to go. Right? Nope. Given the widespread adoption and advancements of modern browsers and JavaScript libraries, using Flash makes little sense today. The modern, user-friendly Web has returned to traditional HTML and CSS based web sites. Let’s not make the same mistake.

Flash should only be used for:

  1. Application development.
  2. Only in parts of your HTML web sites – to do things like play video, audio or some other multimedia use.

The above article has been edited by Farend but parts of the article were originally published at: http://skyje.com/2010/11/flash-website/

For professional and cost-effective website design and promotion, contact Farend, your reliable IT partner.