Whether business owners are building their own sites, or having them built by a web designer, they may think they are interested in having flash software incorporated into their site. While flashing screens, moving text and images can seem cool, the technology really causes more problems than benefits. In addition to distracting, and possibly annoying users, flash-based websites also aren’t search engine-friendly, which means a flash-based website will not get as much exposure as a well built site that focuses on quality content, inbound links, and strong HTML code.
Research shows that Internet users don’t like flash-based websites. The material is distracting, and the layout of the website can be cramped and hard to read.
Slow Load Time
Flash-based websites take a long time to load. This is detrimental to a website because Internet users can be impatient. If a site takes an incredibly long time to load, it’s possible that a user will simply move on to a site that is more user friendly. Users will also likely move on if they have to install a player in order to view the flash software.
Bad for SEO
Search engine spiders crawl websites looking for keywords when determining a page’s ranking. If your keywords and other content is located in flash software, the search engines won’t credit you for it, which means you will lose any boost in rankings that the information would have given you had it been accessible. Flash-based web software also doesn’t allow for inbound links or indexing as well, so sites that rely on flash-based web designs often won’t do as well as sites without this technology.
Not Compatible on All Machines
To be truly successful, a website should work in all browsers, and on all machines. However, with a flash-based design this is not true. First, this is true because not all users have flash on their computers. In addition, over 84 million iPads have been sold. If your site is built using flash, that’s 84+ million potential customers you’re alienating.
Secondly, if users do have flash, they might not have the right version, which means they will not be able to access your information. Some flash programs also won’t work on some machines. Since there are an abundance of compatibility issues associated with flash-based websites, business owners and web designers who choose this type of design are missing out on an opportunity to reach more customers.
Expensive to Maintain
With many websites, you can make changes to the site as you please. However, if you use a flash-based web design, you can’t make any changes without the master file. The master file is usually kept by the designer who designed the site. So, if you change designers, you may not be able to get your hands on the original file. This flaw with flash-based web design can end up costing business owners a great deal of money.
To get the most out of your website, just say no when it comes to flash-based web design, a well-built site that concentrates on users will always do better than a site that tries to impress, or even confuse, users.