Flash Technology – Does it Help Your Website?
Flash technology has a lot to offer to every website. And because of this popularity, a lot of website owners want to include it on their website too. But what does Flash do? And do you really need it for your website?
The Purpose of Flash on Websites and its Advantages
Flash is an animation tool that allows the presentation of vector graphics, animation and audio on a website. Flash was originally created by Macromedia, and in 2005, the company was purchased by Adobe, which continued the development of this technology. Often when you visit a website, you may see ‘this site requires a Flash plugin. Download now.’ If your browser does not support flash, it is essential to download it to view the particular content on a website. While most browsers now have the plugin installed, its advanced versions require the plugin to be updated regularly.
The use of Flash on your website can enable you to greet your visitors with quirky graphics, advertising campaigns that are almost shouting out slogans, and animations that captivate their attention. Yes, it helps you stand out, it leaves a great impression, and it makes visitors stay longer. But what does it not do?
The Disadvantages of Using Flash on Websites
Flash is a great tool to incorporate on your website, but in the past, it has been largely misused to create extremely distracting flashy banners and advertisements that take attention away from the core content of the website.
- Flash websites take a long time to load. No matter how fast your internet connection, a website that is entirely built on Flash can take more than a few seconds to show itself. This means loss of impatient customers who end up visiting another website to find what they are looking for.
- Flash is no longer supported on mobile devices because it is believed to reduce battery life and is still buggy. In 2011, Adobe announced that it will discontinue the development of flash for mobiles, which means you lose out on the ever-increasing number of consumers whose primary device for Internet access is now their mobile phone.
- Smartphones do not support Flash.
- A website based on Flash does not gain search engine rankings even if the content is optimized for the right keywords. This means your marketing message will reach out to a relatively smaller audience that knows about your website through different advertising media and not a simple Google search.
- In case of users who don’t have an updated version of Flash player, the need to download one will divert them from your web page and it is likely that they will lose interest or attention and not come back at all.
- The functionality of the ‘back’ button on a browser is not enabled on a Flash-based website. This means if users want to view the previous slide on your website, it will probably take them back to a page they visited before they landed upon your site. Also, if they bookmark a particular section that appealed to them, they will have to view the entire presentation before they reach their favourite part because everything that is contained in a Flash player is not independent of it.
The best way to make the most of a Flash player is to use it in bits to attract attention but not distract the user. For instance, it could be used in a banner ad on the page, or on the top banner of the page. The key is to keep it simple so that it enables a fluid user experience.
Now, HTML5 is capable of providing most of the functionality of Flash player. Other plugins such as ‘jquery’ can be used to enable a similar Flash-like experience. HTML5 is compatible with all mobile devices and overcomes the inefficiencies of Flash optimally. This means you get greater reach, higher rankings, and a relatively fast loading website to provide the perfect user experience to every visitor on your website.
To learn what kind of a website is best-suited to your requirements, and how to achieve one that will incorporate all your goals, contact us at PearlQuest. All we need to do is have a little chat, and the way to a superior website will pave itself.