December 2, 2009
Flash Websites: Beautiful Outside, Ugly Inside
Flash websites are nice, they’re pretty and stimulating but still far from practical. In fact, in many cases, the prettier your site, the more complex message it sends to a potential or current client. Considering how far we’ve advanced in technology and with the Internet, you’d expect this primary focus would be clearer.
Unfortunately since we’re all wrapped up in these fancy improvements, we are focusing less on the potential/current client and more on our own wants and desires. Adobe Flash is one of these technological advancements which has utterly stunned everyone from the beginning, though it’s important to know the mechanics behind it and what effect it has on your pocket.
The first point I would like to make is that in my opinion you should never make your whole site entirely out of Flash, as this can be riddled with complications. In addition, I have provided other examples to why Flash isn’t ideal:
- Speed & Size – A full Flash site is simply too big in size. Majority of people do not have lighting fast fibre optic Internet, so they won’t be sticking around for long if they’re staring at a loading bar all day. Size has been reduced remarkably with further advancements, however catering for the majority is still essential.
- Dynamic Resolution Resizing – Catering for various resolutions isn’t possible with Flash, without spending countless hours and tens of thousands of extra dollars into creating multiple versions of one site. CSS (or Cascading Style Sheets) offers this option and is free and compatible with every browser!
- Mobile Web – Many unfortunately still don’t take mobile browsing into account, however this is critical in today, especially when mobile phones are replacing land lines (home phones) and some computers and laptops. Not to mention the revolutionary iPhone, enabling fast web browsing via 3G or Wi-Fi, many simply don’t see the need to carry around a 2kg laptop when they can carry a phone.
- Price – Flash takes longer and requires much more extensive knowledge, making a Flash designer worth their weight in gold. However with all these combined, comes one big hefty price tag. When you require a modification, you pay for it, and not lightly either.
- SEO – SEO is required for your website to achieve high ranking positions in the search engines and substantial traffic, which ultimately will be your potential/future clients. However, as Google can only read a very small part of Flash and other search engines aren’t unable to read it at all, you’re losing a great deal of potential clients.
This is not to say flash is bad, quite the contrary, as it engages users and creates a very dynamic feel, but it’s important to note with the combination of all these complications that creating a website in Flash is often only to impress or provide a “wow” factor to people, stimulating only their brains and not necessarily your pocket.