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View Full Version : designer's new website - to flash or not to flash?!



Bexford
5th June 2009, 09:48 AM
Hi all

so...in a nutshell, it has got to the point where as a graphic designer, I am now bored with the look of my OWN website - so an overhaul and new branding needed!

at the moment - my site is predominantly HTML/CSS - with a couple of very small Flash elements to jazz things up a bit. but I am going for a completely different look altogether - and am now faced with the conundrum of it being a breeze to put together in Flash - will look GREAT - but what about the SEO aspect of things???? (although I know things are better now with Flash CS3 etc)

to be honest - I don't get a huge amount of commissions DIRECT from my site (prob about 25% of my total sales) as it's more my "window to the world" so am not overly concerned from that point of view...but would be great to find sme kind of middle ground.

as a designer, the way i market and present myself HAS to be good - so do I scarifice traffic for good looks???!

(as the saying goes, a designer who designs for himself has an idiot for a client!).......so any advice and thoughts would be very welcome......:)

cheers!
Bex

mac_man_luke
5th June 2009, 09:56 AM
Id stay away from complete flash site but use flash components where necessary.

Generally if i click onto a pure flash site, i pretty much click close straight away just because they are a pain to use eg no right clicks, no bookmarks, no forward/back buttons in the browser, no copy and paste (not a problem in your case other than say contact details)

banjo
5th June 2009, 10:11 AM
Generally if i click onto a pure flash site, i pretty much click close straight away just because they are a pain to use eg no right clicks, no bookmarks, no forward/back buttons in the browser, no copy and paste (not a problem in your case other than say contact details)

If you make sure that the text is selectable while building the site, then you can copy text no problems.

As for the other issues (back button, right-click, bookmarks) I don't think they are really important issues for a portfolio website. The main goal of a folio is to drive people to the contact area in a single sitting, not necessarily for repeat business from the same person to any specific area of the site.

Now, to SEO: it's not as much of an issue as it used to be. Google can grab text from your SWF, and it can follow URLs embedded in your scripts. Of course it cannot jump to specific sections of your site, but it can index it for search purposes.

Lutze
5th June 2009, 10:22 AM
As a Mac user and an iPhone user I'd say that avoiding Flash on a site is a good idea.

Apple make a nice looking site that avoids flash that has some nice functionality.

Brains
5th June 2009, 10:25 AM
With Flash becoming a bloated behemoth and challenged by Microsoft's Silverlight, coupled with many smartphones that cannot run Flash, an all-Flash site is not recommended.

In my view, the best way to use Flash (apart from delivering FLV content) is purely as an adjunct, and that the site should be designed so that its appearance and navigability are not hampered by a lack of Flash support -- it has to look as good without Flash as it would with Flash.

(Frankly, any web site designer -- or worse, one that teaches web design -- who advocates "rich media content" should be shot, hamstrung, and sentenced to three years in the Gulag :p)

robbinewman
5th June 2009, 11:27 AM
I build websites for some of my clients and we seldom use flash. I have always dislikes how slow and all consuming it is.

I think 'Brains' is correct to say you should use it as an adjunct. I often put little flash segments within a site....not upfront or in total.

There is no doubt people HATE waiting for a flash front end to load. I respect the fact that flash enables great visual delivery tho...so use it to embellish.
Most viewers want instant access or an instant hit...even with the greater speeds on the net, flash is still slow in my opinion.

pengu
5th June 2009, 11:51 AM
I've said it before, I'll say it again. There is very little real need for flash these days.

The combination of decent HTML/CSS and JavaScript can do most of what flash is used for, and it's infinitely more accessible.

Most of my work is UI Development, so its predominantly HTML/CSS and a lot of JS. I've not once in my time had to use flash.

decryption
5th June 2009, 02:05 PM
Avoid Flash at all costs - all it's good for is video and perhaps online games. Don't do anything UI-based in Flash, for the love of God, please don't!

NeoRicen
5th June 2009, 02:11 PM
+1 No Flash. Really unnecessary these days except for video and games/animations.

tazgtz
5th June 2009, 02:26 PM
Flash? What's Flash?

Seriously no Flash, or maybe just a bit to hi-light some elements...

niknewys
5th June 2009, 03:29 PM
i'd avoid flash all together if possible...