There a number of things to consider when deciding to add flash to your site and this article aims to answer your questions about the dilemma of using Flash or not.

Some of you may be thinking, what is Flash? In its simplest form, Flash is what is used to add animation to your site and can be used as either a part of your site or to create your entire site.
What are the Advantages of Flash?

  • Eye Catching – Flash can be used to make your site come alive and so keeping visitors on your site for longer. The best way to describe this is by considering the difference between a magazine advert and a television advert. There is so much more you can do with the television advert to grab people’s attention then you can with a picture in a magazine.
  • Compatibility – Flash is compatible with over 99% of web browsers and so you do not have to worry about people being able to view your page. There is also only one source for a flash player making things more simple.
  • Memorable – You can make your site more memorable by adding fun and interactive elements. These can either be in the form of a video with sound or by having a game that people can play on your site.
  • Get your message across – if you have a presentation that you want people to see or something you want people to remember about your company, Flash is a very powerful tool for this.
    What are the Disadvantages of Flash?
  • Slow Loading Time – Accessing a site with Flash involves a user having to download a file, depending on the speed of the visitors connection this can take some time. This could cause people to leave your site before it has fully loaded up.
  • Search Engines – the biggest problem with Flash is that search engines cannot view it as it is a picture rather than text and search engines cannot see they can only read. This could significantly affect your placing in the search engine rankings which will reduce the number of visitors finding your site.
  • Reduces Usability – If your site is made completely in Flash then users will not be able to use the back button on your site which people can find annoying and may cause them to leave your site early.
  • Accessibility – to be able to view Flash your users will need to have a plug-in installed, many companies and people do not allow the installation of this plug-in and so some people may not be able to access the Flash elements of your site.

Flash should be used only when it is needed, for example a site made completely in Flash should be reserved for photography sites or those that are used for promotion. It is also not a bad thing to have some Flash on your site and the best way to utilise it is to have a small amount embedded throughout the site. Flash intros to a site should be avoided at all cost as most people and search engines will never get past this intro.

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