Should You Include Flash in Your Web Design?

There are millions of websites on the internet seeking user attention and visibility; therefore, you want to make sure yours look as modern and trendy as possible.

On the other hand, you want to make sure the site is not only eye-catching, but user and search engine friendly. The use of too much flash on a website can cause not only user problems but problems with its readability for search engines.

Flash or No Flash

Adobe created Flash in order for videos and recordings to be available for online view. It is a free application which is readable by many browsers and can be built into many website platforms. For the sake of flashy visibility, some think the use of flash is a must have for their websites. To a certain degree this is correct. But, just as in other cases, too much of it can be harmful to the user experience. A full flash website will, at some point, turn your online business on a slippery slope because search engine rankings are driven by content and if a site is fully built using flash, search engines will not be able to index that content; therefore, lessening the odds of users finding that website.

What are the Disadvantages of Flash?

In recent times, there are many people accessing the Internet through their mobile phones. Since Flash Player is not available for all mobile devices the contents of that site will not be visible to those users. Flash content can also be an issue for people with disabilities who use special software and hardware to access the internet.

Flash is mostly used for sharing and watching videos. The more videos embedded on a website, the longer it will take for the pages to load to be viewed by users. Sites that use only flash often experience frequent crashes and higher rates of visitors leaving the website and not returning because of such problems.

Alternatives to Flash

To avoid slow page loads and the frequency of crashes I recommend using third party websites like YouTube or Vimeo to host your video files. There are many flash based plugins that can be used to deliver the video in a flashy way without the hassles and inconvenience to you and your users. For search engine friendly pages and easy search ability, I recommend adding your web content in standard html pages, blog pages or posts. With these simple fine tune options, your website will be visible for all types of users, from those who use desktops to those using mobile phones, iPads and tablets, and handicap accessibility.