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Flash based websites Good or Bad?

   Posted by :  Cyber Web Service  |  Views : 2480

We all love special effects, video games, and Sci-Fi movies. But we cannot withstand a slow-loading animated website. If we are trying to get some information or buy a product, we want to browse through the details at the shortest time. This is why Flash websites can sometimes do more damage than good.

Flash gives the viewer a "high-tech" impression of your organization that is very impressive. Unfortunately, Flash technology is a poor choice for most commercial web sites. Flash breaks most web standards and conventions. While Flash sites are generally beautiful to look at, they fail to meet a number of minimum criteria for business-oriented websites.

These are the disadvantages of having a whole website in flash.


Slow Loading
When we visit a normal website, content is instantly viewable as each page or image downloads to the web browser. On a Flash website, however, the complete website has to download before any part of it is viewable. This is the reason why 99% of Flash websites start with a loading screen. Compare this to the old days of web video when you had to wait for the entire video to download before it would start playing. Nowadays, streaming video is the standard, because it allows the video to play instantly while it downloads. Flash is incapable of streaming, however, so Flash websites will always behave like the old, non-streaming videos that no one likes.


Does not work with small devices
Many device does not support flash and people widely use those devices to browse internet. As the iPhone, Blackberry, and other smartphones are popularly in use, more and more websites are being accessed on the go from mobile web browsers. Most mobile web browsers have no Flash support, so they can't display Flash websites at all.


Website Maintenance
Website maintenance is very important for a good website. By updating the content periodically, you keep your customers engaged. When they see new information, they will make an effort to visit your page often to see the latest information. With as flash based website, it is more difficult to modify or make even a small change to the website. In order to update any information on a flash website, you need the same designer you designed your website. If your web designer is not reacheable, you need to search for another designer who knows flash. So it is highly impossible for regular updates of a flash website, hence it is harder to manage a flash website.


No Bookmarking or Linking
Every page of a Flash website has the exact same web address, or URL. In other words, no matter which page you're viewing on a Flash website, the URL is exactly the same. On normal websites, you can bookmark and link directly to specific pages using unique URLs. This makes it easy to find your way back or to share these pages with others. Without unique URLs, it's impossible to bookmark pages, and you'd have to include click-by-click instructions to help someone else find their way to a specific page after sending them a link to your website.


Bad for SEO
If you want your website to appear in search engines, do not use Flash. Flash pages don't get indexed properly by search engines due to the fact that search bots simply can't read Flash content. Google, Yahoo, MSN, bing etc., doesn’t recognize anything inside Flash. With HTML pages, Google will recognize all the jpegs and text, and index it that way. If a site is all Flash, Google simply indexes it as one great big Flash object. As far as the search engines are concerned, your website is treated as it consists of a title, some meta tags, and no other content. It doesn't matter how pretty your website is or how fluid the animations are if no one will ever find it.

Worst thing is search engines have begun blacklisting websites that have meta data but no actual content, because such websites are regarded as being deceptive in their attempts to gain web traffic. As far as the search engines are concerned, Flash websites have keywords, but no content, which commonly results in blacklisting due to the perceived discrepancy.


No copy paste
On Flash websites, it's impossible to make use of basic text functions like copy-and-paste, finding text, or changing text size to improve readability. There's no right-click menu to facilitate these tasks, and keyboard shorcuts don't work with Flash. If you want to copy the contact address or email from the page, you cannot do. You cannot increase the font size and make it more readable.


Conclusion
It is not that you should abandon or avoid Flash in your website designs, but you need to use it sparingly. Use Flash to add additional graphics or media content to your site, such as animations, advertisements, Rich Internet Applications, and other multimedia type presentations. But use Flash sparingly as a multimedia tool to enhance your website and web content. Flash should not be used to build an entire website, that is what HTML and CSS were designed for, and that is what search engines and users are expecting.