Flash websites are interactive, impressive and people like them. So, what’s the problem? Well, there are a few issues with Flash that can obstruct business from your website. Fortunately, there’s a way to integrate Flash into your website and avoid most of the disadvantages.
Here are the facts you should know about Flash before committing to a website project:
- An entire Flash website is on only one page. This comes with many consequences. First, being that it could take a while to load. Because the whole website is on a single page, you can’t view it until it has fully loaded. Most people don’t have a fast computer with quick connection speed. This means that while your site is loading…loading…loading, chances are most people will lose interest and leave before your site appears. E-commerce websites should avoid using 100% Flash.
- The second consequence of Flash on a single page is this. There is only one URL. If a user wants to go directly to your contact page, they can’t. The user will have to go through extra steps to get there and they can’t bookmark that page. Ideally, for a business, you’ll want your site to be completely user friendly. It allows your customer to find exactly what he’s looking for quickly and easily.
- Here’s another drawback about the fact that Flash sites are on a single page. Google doesn’t care for single page websites. Unless you have thousands of backlinks, Google will not consider your site for organic search results. It’s called “sandboxed” which brings us to the next problem with purely Flash website.
- Search engine robots can’t see Flash content. Google, Yahoo and other search engine bots crawl website content and determine relevancy to specific search terms. If robots can’t see your content, they can’t index your site. Your website won’t appear in any search results. Again, your website is “sandboxed.”
- People can’t copy content or right-click on it. This might seem like a good thing since no one can rip off your content, but it’s not. Clients like to be able to copy pieces of information like business hours, phone numbers and brief sentences for address books or reminders. People like to use the right click function. It’s user-friendly to have the option to “open link in new tab”.
- Flash websites don’t work on iPhone, iPad and iPod, to name a few. How many people today browse the internet from their mobile device? I can tell you it’s a large market of people. If they can’t see your website, they’ll move on to a competitor’s site.
- Flash needs to be updated. For naïve web surfers with outdated flash plugins, your site may or may not appear. If your website does appear, it might not look and function the way it’s intended.
As a website designer, when I use Flash, I do so sparingly. I add “alternate content” to every page with Flash content. Alternate content serves two advantages. First, your visitors do not need to have a Flash plugin to see your web page. Second, search engines can see alternate content and will bring up your website in search results.
This is one of many tips to flaunt an impressive website while allowing your e-business to thrive.
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