Should I Make a Flash Site? Flash Website Flowchart.

One of the most common questions that I get asked by web designers and web site owners is whether or not they should create all flash websites. The process of making the decision about flash web sites for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes is actually quite difficult, so I took the time to create a flow chart on whether or not you should create an all flash web site.

Flash Website Flowchart

As you can see, it gets pretty complicated, but hopefully you can apply this flash website flowchart the next time you are trying to decide whether or not you should create a flash web site.

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  1. Evan
    Sep 13, 2006

    hahaha. thats freakin awesome.

  2. Stevil
    Sep 13, 2006

    That really clears things up for me. Thanks!

    But flash is so . . . flashy . . .

  3. mjorge
    Sep 13, 2006

    Many thanks, i was really in need of the chart. Wow…

  4. danae
    Sep 13, 2006

    Thanks for the chuckle – i might use that at work!

  5. Clay C
    Sep 26, 2006

    hilarious! Thanks

  6. Nate K
    Oct 6, 2006

    That is…incredible.

  7. web
    Oct 6, 2006

    Making a flash website SEO friendly is not all that difficult, but it does require effort.

    Flash has it’s time and place and it is often abused.

  8. btraut
    Oct 6, 2006

    You should’ve made the flowchart in flash, so I could blow it up and hang it in my cube without it getting all pixelated.

  9. dave
    Oct 6, 2006

    beautiful. I’m working on a project right now that calls for a flash app on the homepage. I’m working my a*s off to implement what my client wants with a javascript/ajax framework. If they ask, I’ll probably still tell them it’s flash.

  10. That is the correct answer for people who do not know how to develop and SEO Flash web sites. I do understand that this is just for humour purposes, but this is really is a common misconception by all SEOs. Seeing as it is possible to have a super duper SEO’d web site that has a complete Flash presentation layer, this joke really only applies to the people who have no idea what they are doing. That to me is more funny.

  11. Geoff
    Oct 6, 2006

    Flash websites can be made 100% search engine friendly, it just takes a little attitude adjustment (and some Javascript):

  12. Rowan Lewis
    Oct 6, 2006

    You, need to make that into a poster :)

  13. masqueraider
    Oct 7, 2006

    …or a t-shirt :)

  14. Rami
    Oct 7, 2006

    Sorry, I don’t get it. Can you clarify the flow chart please?

  15. Haha, great :) The ultimate joke would be to make a special flash only site with that image on. Perhaps even add som special effects?

  16. boris
    Oct 8, 2006

    flash content can be made searchable and linkable by google. It’s pretty easy. you’re just not quite there yet. maybe you never even tried.

  17. Jens Meiert
    Oct 8, 2006

    +1 for a poster.

    Thank you very much :)

  18. Luke
    Oct 8, 2006

    This is the most awesome thing I have seen this week! Thank you! :)

  19. Sebhelyesfarku
    Oct 9, 2006

    Flash is crap for retards.

  20. El Guapo
    Oct 9, 2006

    Flash people are hilarious. Funny how so many of us used to be Flash people, but then grew up to know better, huh? 😉

  21. Chris
    Oct 10, 2006

    I like flash very much and disagree with the above diagram which I think ignores the importance of making the internet exciting with lots o visuals and music, not to mention the possibliity of video and animation!?

    so i think everyone should make flash websites then as with everything, you get used to a new experience.

    what do you think…
    i think you should all wake up to its possibilities


  22. Michael Thompson
    Oct 10, 2006

    I’m being told I have to download some sort of pluging just to view this…


  23. Chuck
    Oct 10, 2006

    We just published a post with some tips on how AJAX and SEO can work together. It’s a great way to compact a good amount of content on a page without having to refresh or clutter the page.

  24. Birgit
    Oct 11, 2006

    Ha ha, pretty funny :)

    I will show this to customers when they ask about an all-Flash website next time.

  25. Renato Carvalho
    Oct 11, 2006


    Very Good!

  26. peter
    Oct 12, 2006

    Bugger – the secret is out – I thought I was the ONLY one telling potential clients that for several years.


  27. Alexx
    Oct 12, 2006

    .. and like the Clash said..

    ” should I Flash or should I Go..”


  28. Erwin Heiser
    Oct 12, 2006

    Man, you just made my day :)

  29. Tom
    Oct 13, 2006

    I absolutely agree with you :)

  30. charles
    Oct 13, 2006

    It depends on the site. The medium is the message. The misconception that (in my experience) most clients have is that flash is a “cooler” and therefore “better” version of other web languages. It’s not – it’s just meant for different things. If you’re making a site, for example, that needs to communicate something cinematic, animated, artsy, or weird then flash might be something to consider. There is no “Yes,” and “No,” it depends on your message.

    Also, Geoff at deconcept has indeed done some amazing work with the SEO thing, :

  31. Curtis Morley
    Oct 17, 2006

    Made me laugh. That is a great chart. I had a teacher that would draw flow charts like that.

    Should you build an all Flash site? Absolutely not. Take a look at all the crazy company’s that I found that are doing it. These are crazy people like Disney, Nike, BMW, Pizza hut, Oprah, computer maker – Gateway, ESPN, etc.. Why would you ever want to be like them?

    I don’t think that an all Flash site is a good idea at all. I do think that an all Flash site with SEO is a good idea.

  32. CAJ
    Oct 27, 2006

    Jim and Geoff hit it on the nose. It can be and is being done. Flash is currently under utilized and misunderstood. Its uses extend far beyond irritating marketing hype. If you listen to people who say you can’t… you won’t. Find out for yourself. It is well worth the effort. It is time to set html along side Latin and Greek, dead languages. As for the rest of you, laugh while you can, we will gladly leave you behind.

  33. Twiho
    Nov 7, 2006

    Jeez, just nice. Flash is nice and neat but as for web, I prefer pure usefulness (if that’s a word)…

  34. Lawrence
    Feb 16, 2007

    Uber chart, totally Zuper!

    Remember multimedia, they promised us the world, all we got was sound and visuals.

    Remember when Bill gates famously said that the “internet was a flash in the pan and wouldn’t amount to much”, now he owns it, and it’sa much worse place for his attentions?

    Remember when America believed in democrocy, now it’s just an excuse to improve market share for their body bag manufacturers.

    All illustions end in the bottom line and that line is “can they screw you for an extra dollar”.

    Flash is great for what it is, that’s a bare ass animator with a reasonable retard proof scripting language!

    Your poster rocks!

  35. Rob
    Mar 8, 2007

    Well, I have to leave my 2 cents here. I understand the chart for what it is and it gave me a good chuckle, and even though I’m a flash developer, I’m not going to get all bent out of shape about it. I tend to agree with Curtis on this one. There are many big companies using flash well on their sites, and they still get ranked.

    I think those that blast flash are those that have never worked with it before, so it’s a little scary. It’s definitely easier to blast something than to learn how to use it correctly and add another tool to your toolbelt. I think if you don’t learn how to use it, you will definitely get left behind as similar tools pick up steam and popularity (flex and laszlo), but the world will always need managers that don’t understand newer technology.

  36. Josh
    Apr 2, 2007

    I don’t see a link to to see the flow chart.

  37. The Legend
    Apr 21, 2007

    Building a “Full Flash Site” with good Search Engine Compatibility is no different than building a full html site, or php or anything else. It’s the submit method to the search engines that import. Remember that. I think you should base the design type of your sites off whats important to the site end user. For example you would want nice and fun flash sites for technology based sites, gamers sites and maybe even developement sites but for say realistate, religion, or alike not so much on the flash. Search Engine Spidering changes everyday, don’t limit yourself for such as power platform and resource as Flash Design due to the lack of knowledge. Do a bit of research, ask the right questions, goodle it up. You’ll be fine.

    Need help? Need a Web Site Built or a Telephony application for your home office or business?
    Call us!
    Based in Alabama, Serving The World!

  38. charles robissi
    Apr 22, 2007

    that was a waste of time for someone looking for a serious answer

  39. Dan
    Apr 23, 2007

    I agree with all those who have tried it. Flash is a great design tool when used well. Its vector engine and absolute placement let you do things quickly that are very difficult by other means.

    It’s very easy to create a searchable Web site using all Flash. You can even create an understated, elegant site that’s expandable to full browser page.

    Just use a little intelligence and some CSS. You can put HTML text as, say, black-on-black. Then have the Flash layer on top of it. The seach engines pick it up normally.

  40. Mike Hofer
    Apr 24, 2007

    Blogged!! :)

  41. Travis
    Apr 26, 2007

    you’re a retard

  42. basak
    May 2, 2007

    its a pure brand call on what the website is serving. If the “driving traffic mechanism” is not cracked before a website is made, then whats the point?

    web and the technology around it is speeding through the eco-system (or thats what i would love to call it) before a poor lay man designer or even a project manager can even grasp and apply it. who is to blame?

    For me, seo is just a very big money game. Why would i come to google and search if it is showing me results that it wants to show me? and not what i want to see?


    But yes, html took a big advantage over flash when indexing is concerned. But is it the work of search engine folks or adobe? I wouldnt know.

    Flash at the end of the day is still considered as a presentation tool rather than a web tool. What we need to do is clear that confusion rather fighting over seo and flash. – what the future of interactivity could be with flash. kudos to yugo nakamura.

  43. Shell Harris
    May 11, 2007

    Hilarious. Thanks for the laugh. I put a link to this blog from my post about SEO and Flash. I’ll put a html site against a Flash site any day when it concerns SEO.

  44. Lucas
    Jun 9, 2007

    That flow chart is for narrow-minded web developers who can’t evolve their tecniques.

    Take a look to this Full-Flash website and it’s Google info:


    Response by Russ Jones:

    Using User-Agent Cloaking is not an appropriate way to optimize a page. By showing different content depending on whether or not the UA is a bot, you are endangering the long-term ranking of these pages.

  45. Dan
    Jun 12, 2007

    Wow that was really super. Thanks.

  46. itispals
    Jul 5, 2007

    The question of using Flash or Not to Use Flash, has to be considered from different angles. It is absolutely wrong to say that Flash based sites cannot be Indexed, also it is wrong to say flash sites would not rank well, it is just that the kind of effort required to do it is enormously high and the number of success stories is a bit limited. Infact Adobe does give a “kit”, which it informs can help in optimization. I have seen certain sites that has flash content indexed and being successful, but due to time limitations i have not been able to try for any of my clients. As some one had mentioned earlier in the post, whom are you building the website for is a very important question that every website owner should ask? If you are planing to build a site dedicated to games/entertainment/models or where ever creativity can play a good role, using flash elements would actually enhance the presentation and this can even bring in lot of traffic. Alternatively, use flash elements and also give the HTML version of it too.

    So for those who would like to know that Pier has done, here is their link:

    LUCAS, it is a great work…
    Keep it up and you are just showing the way to others…

    **i am in no way associated with Pier or LUCAS.

    With Warm Regards,

  47. Tony
    Jul 5, 2007

    Unfortunately a FLOWCHART needs a DIAMOND for a Question Box……

  48. Futureboy
    Jul 12, 2007

    LOL! I think it’s hilarious that Pier, Inc. puts their website out as a model for how to handle Flash gracefully. I’m running this from one of my browsers in which Flash refuses to install itself properly, for whatever reason, (this is true on at least 3 out of 4 computers that I own) and not only do they not degrade gracefully, all I see from Pier a page that says “one moment please”, and no links to other content, it never moves on to anything else. Utter, utter failure, Pier. You’re a joke.

  49. Jacek Cms
    Aug 20, 2007

    I made 1 site in flash, and some flash elemets on my sites….
    but that was 2 years ago and i don’t make this mistake again :)

    for me – flash is sux for web… only html/css 😀

    greetings, Jacek Cms

  50. Designer
    Aug 26, 2007

    I think this flowchart is for people who simply don’t know how to use Flash. Most likely CSS snobs whose web design knowledge is limited to dime-a-dozen blog-style CSS sites (like this one). Leave the Flash for the professionals.


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