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Flash On Websites: Good and Bad Flash Implementation - So, When Should Flash Be Used?

Article Index
Flash On Websites: Good and Bad Flash Implementation
Flash Splash Pages And Flash Intro Pages
NEVER, And I Mean EVER, Create An Entire Website Using Flash
So, When Should Flash Be Used?
Final Summary About Flash
All Pages

If you're still reading, you're probably thinking that I am 100% anti-flash.  This is simply not true.  There are instances when flash works really well.  So, when should flash be used?

Use flash if it is going to help you communicate with your website audience to increase sales or generate a lead.

When deciding if you need flash, you should take into consideration if it is going to increase sales or generate a lead.  If the answer is no, then don't use it.  This is a fundamental reason that Banner Ads primarily use flash.  They help get your attention to generate leads.  The bottom line is that you need to always keep your website visitors needs and perspective in mind at all times.  If you are using flash, and the only thing you get out of the flash element is "wow, that's cool", then don't use it.  Because something that looks cool but doesn't do anything to generate a lead or a sale simply distracts the visitor from the main purpose of your website.

Am I trying to do something that I cannot do in an HTML website?

If you have content that absolutely needs to 'come to life' and what you are trying to accomplish cannot be done in HTML, then use flash. However, note that there are a lot of technologies out there that allow you to use JavaScript to make your HTML POP!.  Take a look at the Just In Time Design homepage. The slide show on our homepage looks like flash, but is simple HTML with some JavaScript and CSS for display.  This is a much better, easy and quick to update way of bringing 'the wow factor' to your website.  What's even better? The Frontpage Slideshow is EXTREMELY search engine friendly.  We have clients that have told us that once they updated their slide shows, they have noticed that the keywords they used in the slide shows were what was being picked up by Google.  The payoff is much better for using this type of code than using flash based slide shows.

Will my site will be able to be found in search engines?

As mentioned previously, sites that use a lot of flash do not do well in search engines.  So, if you cannot be found in search engines, you need to be spending a great deal of money in online AND offline advertising.  If you're not spending a great deal of money in advertising, then search engines need to be an important consideration.