Should I use Flash on my Website?

When developing a site, there has to be a balance between design and functionality.  Often there are sites that should be dynamic that are flat and stale and other times there are sites that should be subtle that have animations and sounds going when there should be no distractions from the content the user wishes to read.

As a general rule of thumb it is a good idea to use Flash on a site sparingly for various reasons

  1. Often they are content rich and of high quality which means download times can be longer than they should which can frustrate end users
  2. By default, they are not searchable by Google and other search engines which means that even though the site might look fab, nobody will ever find it through a search engine
  3. The end user’s browser has to have flash installed on it (and the correct version of it)
  4. Often similar effects can be achieved through CSS, Javascript and HTML

As a result I would suggest that flash be used for dynamic areas of the site e.g. a slideshow on the home page, a dynamic menu, a snazzy gallery component and so on and so forth.  There are some great websites out there such as www.FlashDen.net, which have thousands of flash components that can be installed on any website.

A recent website we built at UTD Web Design was www.harveys.ie,  which has a flash slideshow component on the homepage and a flash gallery component in the photos sections also.

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