29 Nov, 2010

Why Flash websites don't (always) work

First thing to say is that Flash websites can look really... well... flash. Animations and all sorts of special effects can make your website look expensive and professional. So are Flash websites desirable?

Before you commit to having a Flash website built there are a few things that you need to consider.

  • Flash websites aren't search engine friendly. In other words is your business so well known that people don't need to use a search engine to find it? Because if it is then it doesn't matter if your website isn't search engine friendly, people already know what you do and what you offer. If people know your URL (Uniform Resource Locator a.k.a domain name), coming top in search engine results isn't that important, you already have your market's attention.

    But, if you are out there in cyberspace competing against a lot of other businesses offering the same services or products as you, then you need your website to be search engine friendly. When a prospective customer searches for something you provide you want to be the top of the results list. There are so many non-Flash websites on the Internet that search engines don't need the hassle of trying to understand Flash sites, so they don't. Ergo Flash websites won't work for you.

  • Do your prospective customers have a fast internet connection? Or are they still stuck with a slow connection because of lack of high speed coverage in their area.

    Flash websites can be very slow because they are bandwidth hungry, even on a fast connection users can lose patience with a slow downloading Flash website. And remember, a prospective customer is just one click away from your competition.

  • Do you survive by your iPhone & iPad? Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, won't allow developers to use Flash for applications on the iPhone or iPad. He is quoted as saying that Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy and whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it's because of Flash.

    The website world is moving to HTML5 so Flash is going to be used even less, at some point it may crawl under a rock and quietly expire.

If you are still certain you want a Flash website and don't care that you won't be search engine friendly then it's obviously the right choice for you. However if you want your website to be displayed in search engine results then it makes sense to have the most optimized website that you can.

One of the first things your web developer will always consider is if you want your website to be visible to search engines. Your needs or your businesses needs come first, if you want to be found on the internet then Flash probably isn't for you.

We don't build Flash websites because we don't recommend them. If you do want some special effects then there are search engine friendly alternatives to Flash that we can use. At Blue Hut we want you to have a clean, fully optimized, quick, user friendly website to ensure you get maximum bang for your buck.