We can, and do, work with Macromedia Flash if our customers desire it.
Do we recommend it? Only under certain conditions. Consider the following:
- The content of Flash files can not be spidered by search engines;
- Not all visitors to your site have Flash installed, nor do some of them want to install Flash;
- Many users still use a dial-up connection to access the internet, and don’t want to wait for a large Flash file to download;
- Some visitors disable Flash because so many sites are using it for advertising now;
- Sites with Flash-based entry pages usually have a “Skip Intro” link, since most visitors do not want to sit through a “flashy” introduction–they just want to get to your site content.
As a site owner, you should never use anything on your site that will exclude a single one of your visitors. If your site relies on Flash for most of its content or navigation, your visitors, who may be potential clients or customers, may click away to your competitor if they find it too difficult to use or, not using Flash, they find no other way to navigate or read information from your site. The option is to create a separate non-Flash version of your site, but that is an added expense since it is essentially creating two sites.
Since we mentioned “expense”, consider that a Flash presentation is actually more like a movie or animation than it is a static image like a photograph or logo graphic. This requires a lot more time to create than static photos or graphics, and this is reflected in the cost.
Finally, if you still insist you want a totally Flash-driven site, consider this: there is no way for the site owner to update their own content, unless the site owner is fluent in using the Macromedia Flash authoring program to do their own updates. If you have a site where you need current, fresh information online, Flash is not going to do this for you.
There are some good uses for Flash, such as product demonstrations, short video clips, illustrated guides or walk-throughs, or even as an animated graphic in your site’s header just to add a little excitement. And if you do want that fancy entry page, by all means, feel free to use it…as long as you give visitors the option to skip it. Beyond that, do you really need it? Consider the negatives before deciding. Used wisely, Flash can be a nice enhancement to perk up an otherwise boring site. Using it as “eye candy” to power an entire site, however, will often send your visitors clicking elsewhere.