I am frequently approached by business owners looking to build an updated (2nd or 3rd generation) version of their website. What surprises me are that the ones who have an old website entirely built in Adobe Flash are looking to build their next site entirely in Flash.

Should I Use Flash?

Sure some Flash sites can be cool, while others extremely tedious. But my professional recommendation is that you absolutely do not want your entire website to be built in Flash.

Why Not?

Think of a website entirely built in Flash as a self-contained movie file. Everything is stored inside. The search engine can’t crawl inside this movie file to see what keywords and amazing content you have. Therefore the search engines don’t know what to do with your listing. The outcome is you probably wont show up in the search results that you want your business to be found in.

Reasons Why Flash Websites Are A Bad Choice For Your Business

  1. Flash is not search engine friendly. Although Adobe has made some strides to improve, it’s not there yet. It also is highly dependent on Flash designers having the proper skills/experience. There are some who simply do not care about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because it limits the creativity and “coolness” of what they can produce in Flash.
  2. Fewer pages for search engines to index.
  3. Flash is not viewable on hugely popular devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
  4. Flash is not easy for you or your non-technical staff to update. Therefore you’ll be paying for every minor edit you want to make.

You Can’t Ignore The Importance Of Search Engines

Unless you have a massive marketing budget to promote your URL wherever your target audience spends their time, you really need to do everything you can to encourage the search engines to find and index your website. If you hinder the ability for the search engines to index you, you’ll definitely suffer from low visitor traffic, and likely spend more in the long term to compensate or fix it.

Using Flash The Right Way

You need a healthy number of web pages, built with a keyword strategy and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices in mind. Then use Flash sparingly as an aid, not a replacement for your primary content.

Don’t Forget The User Experience

Do you think your visitors using the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch will be impressed when they see a big blank space where your Flash content should appear? These devices have growing market share and should not be discounted.

Check out the numbers: Data Supporting Why To Avoid Flash On Your Website

While Flash can be a terrific a visual aid to demonstrate your product or service, you need to carefully consider the trade-offs. Don’t build your entire website within Flash. And never use it for your primary navigation.

Hope you find this information useful.