Home > Uncategorized > Flash websites – The Good & the Bad

Flash websites – The Good & the Bad

If you are planning on putting up a Flash website, or possibly doing a redesign with Flash, here’s some of the negatives that come along with it. Being educated about the type of web design you choose before you choose it is always a positive.

Bandwidth and Speed Limitations Unless the designer works very hard to optimize Flash most Flash applications and websites can be very large and slow to download. In many situations, the entire Flash site must be downloaded before it can be used. And while it is possible to add in graphical countdowns and other features to make the time pass more quickly, many people still won’t wait.

Usability is impaired One of the most important buttons on a Web browser is the back button. It is used all the time by most people browsing the Web. But a Flash site typically removes that functionality. When a customer hits the back button after delving deeply into a Flash site, s/he is taken back to the website they were on before they visited your site. Then if they return to your Flash site, they have to renavigate to where they were. Some people might be willing to do their work twice, but most won’t.

Accessibility is also impaired Because most Flash sites are based on images, and don’t generally have a lot of alternative text, they can be very difficult or impossible for a screen reader to read.

Search engines can’t read them either Search engine spiders are a lot like screen readers, they can’t parse images. Plus, many of them have trouble following links that are not standard HTML links – and most links in Flash are not in HTML – they are in Flash. Because of this, many Flash developers have a very difficult time getting their Flash sites to rank high in search engines. In fact, most Flash sites that do rank well, do so because they have two versions of the site – one Flash and one HTML. And then they have to maintain two copies of the same website.

Flash requires a plug-in While a large proportion of Web browsers have the plug-in pre-installed, the fact is that Flash does require a plug-in which some people and companies don’t allow.

Some people just don’t like Flash pages Similar to sound and animated graphics, Flash has developed a reputation among some customers as being more of an annoyance than a benefit to a Web page. This is especially true when the Flash serves no purpose other than to decorate a page – such as an animated banner or splash page. While these customers may be less common than those who don’t care, they are often more vocal and more likely to sway opinion away from your site if you use Flash gratuitously.

Jennifer Kyrnin – Web Design / HTML Guide
About.com

 

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Categories: Uncategorized
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