Friday, October 24, 2008

Flash Websites Kill Business

by Jill Cooper

Flash websites are slick. Most of them have pretty vibrant colors that can move, bounce, accompanied by music and a gorgeous intro movie.

This is all wrong.

Flash is the favorite toy of big designer studios and numerous amateur graphic artists alike. All the benefits of the nice outlook are overridden by the disadvantages in terms of SEO and usability.

There was a study done that the peek time of internet traffic is in the middle of the work day. So Jane Smith is looking to buy a car and finds a great car dealership website. She clicks on the link and the flash intro page starts to play. She's busy, she's at work, and now her co-workers can hear where she visited.

So what does she do? She closes the window quickly and looks for something else. Basically flash ignores the basics of what the user needs. A user is looking either for information or to buy a product. The trick of a web designer is to get this information to a person as fast as possible in as few clicks as possible.

Flash sites can be hard to navigate with menus that are cumbersome. If you hit the back button on a flash site, a lot of the time you are taken right back to the flash intro movie and you waste time trying to find where you were. This frustrates consumers and leads them to click the dreaded close button.

If you want to make a small change or add some information to your site, with HTML it's easy. You could easily modify the CSS file to change a color, or add a blurb about a new product. But, with Flash it becomes a gigantic project. You may as well be redesigning from scratch because that's the amount of work you will have to do to make a small adjustment.

Unless you do Flash yourself, you might face some serious troubles with developers. Some of them code their project to prevent them from editing, thus making you to hire them over and over again as you need to do even the smallest modifications.

Search engines do not like Flash SEO suffers tremendously when it comes to flash websites. There are reasons that the most frequently visited sites on the net are sites such as Amazon, eBay, and Google. Simple, and they bring the visitor right to where they need to be. On a search page.

If you must have some element to flash on your homepage, limit it to something small and don't let flash become part of your website navigation. When all possible use Title and Alt tags on your menu items and all images. These things will help your SEO rankings.

About the Author

Websites can be made that are pretty, vibrant, and call consumers to action without flash. Visit as an example, and if you're in the market for SEO or a website redesign, we can help you.