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Using Flash with Today’s Search Engines and Mobile Devices

When you think of what makes a website attractive, you likely turn your thoughts to some sort of Flash animation. There are a few different technologies that can achieve similar affects, but Flash is the most widely known to make your site “jump off the screen.”

If Flash is the “WOW” factor of your site, why not design it entirely with animation? We at Compucast choose to avoid this style of design for a few vital reasons.

  1. Search engines can’t read Flash. More than any other argument, this is the main reason we do not build sites entirely in Flash. The site may look great, but search engines still primarily rely on the text of each page to determine the site’s relevance. Videos, Flash, and picture all help enhance the viewer’s experience, but the text-based content is still the heart of your website.
  2. Not all devices are Flash compliant. Apple’s iPad and iPhone are the most notorious devices for not supporting Flash, but there are other mobile browsers that made the same decision to eschew the animation software. When used as embellishment rather than a foundation, Flash helps your site to stand out from the competition. Sites designed with such embellishments can also have “fallbacks” to make the design still attractive to non-supported devices. For a great example of how sites look without these fail safes, try Google’s new Instant Preview feature.
  3. Flash can be resource-intensive. If your clients are trying to view your site from their cellphone, they may not be on a fast enough connection to access a site built entirely in Flash. With some mobile services providing a connection even slower and less reliable than dial-up, sites still have to focus on a streamline approach where possible without sacrificing overall quality.
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