Is a Flash website better than a non-flash website?
by Michael Kramer, Site-Ninja.com
What is a Flash website?
"Flash" is a technology owned by Adobe. Many websites use Flash to show animation on their webpages. Flash is most commonly used to display photos in a slideshow. What most don't know is text in a Flash website cannot be read by Search Engines. If your website was developed with Flash, Google only sees a 1-page website with no content, just an embedded Flash file.
Below are 3 websites that use Flash. Please click on each website. You will notice the following:
- You must wait for the websites to load the Flash file. Often times there is a pre-loaded image to let you know how much longer you must wait. Who wants to wait for a website to load? Not me!
- Music starts to play, without you requesting it. This is a BIG no no! Visitors are often doing personal browsing during work hours. They don't want their co-workers or boss to know they are browsing for non-business use.
- Often times spouses are browsing late at night, in the bedroom, while their spouse is trying to sleep. It's not cool to wake your spouse because some website starts playing music.
- As you go to the different pages of the flash website, look at the web address "URL". You will notice the web address never changes. For good Search Engine Optimization, you want as many unique URLs as possible. Google only sees a 1-page website.
- You can test each of these website to see what a Search Engine spider sees when they try to index the site. Use this tool to Spider the website URLs. You will find almost no text is indexed.
Sample Flash Websites
- Websites made 100% of Flash cannot be read by Search Engines
- Flash websites generally have little or no Google PageRank
- Flash websites cannot be viewed by cell phones or PDAs. With more people using their phones to reference information, this is becoming a big problem for Flash websites.
- Flash websites tend to be very artistically creative. The downside of this creativity is navigation is non-standard and therefore difficult for the average person to use. Because there is so much room to be creative, Flash Web Designers can easily over design a site so the design or movement within the site get in the way of the visitor getting to content quickly.
- There are very few Flash Web Developers. Due to supply and demand, this means a Flash website is very expensive to develop, and maintain. I'm guessing 5 out of every 100 Web developers know how to develop using Flash, so if you need to find another, local, flash developer, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
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