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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.

Should I Make a Flash Site? Flash Website Flowchart. by No tags for this post.

112 Comments

  1. Barry A. Smith
    Aug 26, 2007

    I love how crappy the design is. Not sure it would have been as funny with a finnesed design look. Brilliant. Thanks.

  2. yza
    Sep 3, 2007

    Not bad.

  3. CLos
    Sep 11, 2007

    Total Flash sites are completely user friendly and with the new age of faster processors and download times flash is becoming way more feasible. I can see if you for some reason still have dial up service, but if you don’t why not use Flash. There are always ways around slow download times, you just need to use Flash correctly. I have seen HTML pages load much slower than full Flash sites. Plus, Flash looks much cleaner and engages the user to interact with the site rather than mundainly pointing and clicking around. It keeps the viewer attention rather than looking a basic text and stationary images. So do it. USE FLASH!!!

  4. CLos
    Sep 11, 2007

    In addition…
    I just read another one of these comments and agree with the guy who had a debate with useing Javascript vs. Flash elements. Flash is much smoother in transition of “pages” in which Javascript can not touch. As well as not needing or causing the page to refresh, which happens with all HTML based pages. Plus with javascript animation, it is limited and many things look very cheesy and unprofessional and manytimes very jittery. Plus JS gets blocked by a lot of popular browsers.
    I have seen arguements about search engines not finding Flash Sites.
    Granted flash movie needs to be placed in an HTML code or PHP code. Searchability of search engines is completely feasible by use of the Meta tags and title tag in the HTML or PHP code as well as knowing how to put the text in the body of the HTML it self so search engines can find it..
    Not that hard to figure that out.
    Good luck on the Flash site building. Do research, there are infinite amounts of info out there and it just keeps getting better. Clean, crisp, viewer friendly, keeps viewers attention and interest and is much more vesitile. Just a few reasons to use Flash. : )

  5. Carlo
    Sep 27, 2007

    To date, I have not touched flash for anything, and have not regretted it.

  6. Ken
    Oct 9, 2007

    Hello,
    Do any of you guys know a good website that’ll show me how to make flash-based websites for free? (or a video I can buy no more then 50$?)

  7. moneer
    Nov 11, 2007

    It rocks man, that’s is the future of websites with no questions

  8. jmack
    Jan 17, 2008

    The shortcoming is in the ability of the search engine to evaluate flash content, which is being overcome. Flash can obviously improve sites by introducing dynamic content.

  9. Attila
    Feb 10, 2008

    Flash can easily be made search engine friendly! And making an all flash website isn’t a bad idea, I’ve made a few all flash websites and I’ve even checked and they DO appear on Google search (but I used Dreamweaver to add meta tags, but still Flash is awesome).

    And the flow chart is funny!

  10. Tyler Kraupp
    Feb 11, 2008

    I am an avid user of Adobe Flash, making multiple websites for companies, businesses, and people. You must not know how to use Flash, I feel sorry for you. You have your opinion, I have mine.

  11. Jerm
    Feb 15, 2008

    I’ll just say that the chart has me LOL. Flash has it’s place on the internet.

  12. Jerm
    Feb 15, 2008

    I agree w/ CLos in that transition is important the the experience.

    #
    CLos, on September 11th, 2007 at 1:32 pm Said:

    In addition…
    I just read another one of these comments and agree with the guy who had a debate with useing Javascript vs. Flash elements. Flash is much smoother in transition of “pages” in which Javascript can not touch. As well as not needing or causing the page to refresh, which happens with all HTML based pages. Plus with javascript animation, it is limited and many things look very cheesy and unprofessional and manytimes very jittery. Plus JS gets blocked by a lot of popular browsers.
    I have seen arguements about search engines not finding Flash Sites.
    Granted flash movie needs to be placed in an HTML code or PHP code. Searchability of search engines is completely feasible by use of the Meta tags and title tag in the HTML or PHP code as well as knowing how to put the text in the body of the HTML it self so search engines can find it..
    Not that hard to figure that out.
    Good luck on the Flash site building. Do research, there are infinite amounts of info out there and it just keeps getting better. Clean, crisp, viewer friendly, keeps viewers attention and interest and is much more vesitile. Just a few reasons to use Flash. : )

  13. Simon James
    Feb 29, 2008

    Designing websites comes down knowing your target market and client needs. Some clients require absolutely NO SEO and require a high end flashy website with a wow factor and let’s face it there is a lot a wow with flash sites. So I reckon it each case is different. I least that’s how I see it!

  14. ashutosh ratre
    Mar 21, 2008

    I compiled a top five list on why you should think twice when you want to add Flash to your web site.
    The back and forward buttons do not work in 100% Flash designs. You simply cannot navigate between individual pages by using these buttons because the whole design is a single Flash object. One of the reasons why web became so popular is the easy-to-use back and forward navigation scheme. So preventing the use of it highly reduces usability.

    You must wait to see a Flash object or in some cases a whole web page until that Flash object is completely downloaded. This is usually not true with HTML pages. Individual page elements start to show up after they are downloaded, and you can usually start reading the text part of a web page while the images are loading.

    Some Flash designs make you wait for several seconds to watch a redundant animation every time you click a link. This behavior is not only boring, but also reduces motivation to see sub pages.

    Some Flash intros take a lot of time to download and most of them provide little more than a bunch of flying logos. There is usually “a skip intro” button included with Flash intros but the requirement of clicking that button everytime you visit the site might get tedious.

    You can neither copy nor save text sitting inside a Flash object (with a few exceptions). So you have no choice but to retype it. Also you cannot use the Find feature of your browser (Ctrl+F) that allows you to search a specific piece of text on a web page.

  15. ashutosh ratre
    Mar 21, 2008

    hammmm…well i checked all full flash embedded websites and really it takes a lot of time and i am unable to save these sites also……navigation problems are also there…….even u have a confussion to make a decision?

  16. Deon Gordon
    Mar 24, 2008

    Haha… terrific! It would have been hilariously ironic if you had designed the flowchart in Flash.

  17. andy
    Mar 28, 2008

    THE ONLY SUITABLE USE OF FLASH IS FOR GAMES!!!! No other time, period, is it suitable for ANYTHING else.
    There is not a single person, besides the website designer that likes flash.
    Flash doesnt ‘add flash’ as we hear from these people, instead it adds ‘complication’, and stewarts “LOOK WHAT I CAN DO”!

  18. rooney
    Apr 4, 2008

    Ok..flash is bit unusable for couple of purposes..but there are instances where it is the best solution. Check out the Autodesk site…would anything else give such a smooth and engaging experience as their flash slideshow would ?
    http://www.autodesk.in/adsk/servlet/home?siteID=7277662&id=7277691

  19. Kelvin
    Apr 14, 2008

    My client would love to keep full flash on front(index) page. What should I do for SEO? Any suggestion?

  20. Anton
    May 3, 2008

    I personally love flash, but would I use it to build a complete website…..No!!!!
    Yes it’s done but no one has shown that one of the flash sites ranks great in SE, except if they are already a known brand name or are an authority like autodesk.
    But as with anything else, if used like for presentation purposes http://www.finaltouchinteriors.com/flash/slideshow.html it is a great tool and helps the web developer make the site more interesting so the end user will have more interaction and fun.
    Use Flash like Herbs in Cooking – it will enhance the Flavor!!!

  21. Brian Garzia
    May 5, 2008

    What I do is if I really have to make a website in flash, I *always* make a quick HTML version to improve accessability. If you make changes to your flash file often I suggest using something like the Flash Probe http:///www.flashprobe.com

    which spits out the text from your flash file in seconds and you can quickly update your HTML version to keep it coherent

  22. Chris Howard
    May 10, 2008

    I thought like Andy (28-March-08) until recently. I hated anything to do with Flash on websites. I’d never seen a website use Flash well. They are all either fancy (and often annoying) animations, or Flash for the sake of it. To use a tacky buzzword, none of them value-added to the website experience

    But last week I saw http://www.seymourpowell.com and I was evangelized instantly.

    Although there are a couple of interface issues, in designing a website wholly in Flash, Seymour-Powell is Flash done right.

  23. Chris Howard
    May 11, 2008

    I used to think like Andy (March 28th). I’d never seen a Flash-based site that made me want to make one. Instead, they all turned me off Flash. They all seem to be about showing off fancy animations.

    Come on! Studies as long ago as the mid ’80s found people don’t like things flashing about on their screens, unless they ask for it. If people did like that sort of thing, the HTML blink command would be everyone’s favourite.

    But I did say “I used to…”

    That’s because last week I found a website that totally changed my view on Flash-based websites.

    That site is http://www.seymourpowell.com

    This is a site that is Flash done right. There are almost no automatic animations. Almost everything is static until you activate it. The exception is the “The Company” page, were images gracefully drift onto the right of the page. And the way it is done provides the least distraction and aggravation from an animation.

    In fact, that is another secret of the Seymour-Powell site. All the animations, when you do activate them, are elegant, graceful and understated.

    This is a site that makes me want to learn how to build Flash-based sites. And I never thought I’d say that!

    Flash doesn’t have to be flashy. In fact it shouldn’t. It shouldn’t assault the senses.

    Go have a look at Seymour-Powell to see how Flash should be done.

  24. Chris Howard
    May 11, 2008

    oops! Excuse the double-up. The first didn’t show up, so tried again. Turned out to be in moderation. :)

  25. Chinese SEO Expert
    May 20, 2008

    Flash does add some value for the website. As web desginer or SEO person, you just need to work a little bit hard to make your flash website to become search engine friendly.

  26. Demo
    May 27, 2008

    It sucks……..

  27. evideus
    Jun 20, 2008

    i have a sense of humor, but this is not funny, it’s stupid

  28. mike
    Jul 3, 2008

    Soooooooo out of date, and this was closed

    http://www.straightupsearch.com/archives/2008/07/google_gets_fri_1.html

    Editor’s Note: Just because Google can spider Flash better now does not mean you should build a website it it. Google can spider PDF’s as well. Would you ever consider creating an entire website in PDF?

  29. ajax
    Jul 8, 2008

    This joke is out of date and perpetuates a myth peddled by know nothings… Any decent flash website should have alternative html content which is spiderable.

    humourless flash designer

    Author Note: “All Flash Website”. I believe if your website has both Flash and alternative HTML, that it is not an “All Flash Website”

  30. ParadigmSoul
    Jul 27, 2008

    You guys are all retarded. If your client doesn’t give a shit about SEO and wants a kickass looking website then by all means go all the way with flash…If it is imperative that they reach the top ranking in the major search engines then use the tools to make that happen. But this argument is as stupid as “What’s better PC or Mac” or “Film or Digital.”. If everyone would stop being purests and understand there is a reason for each of these tools then we can just work towards making all the tools better. You have a screw driver and I have a wrench, how are we going to attach these 2 pieces of wood together, with a bolt or a screw? WHO FUCKING CARES!!! Just attach the pieces together while adhering to the specifications of your client. Programmers and Designers are the same, you’re all a bunch of fucking losers that think that your way is the only way. Grow up. And by the way the best looking, and most entertaining websites out there are in flash and you don’t see any of the big boys like car manufacturers, photographers, fashion designers, film companies, soda pop companies, the military, shoe companies, etc. bitching about their awesome “flash only” websites. In fact they pay mucho dolars for them. Just check out the FWA (www.thefwa.com) to see some of the best sites on line. Once again that doesn’t mean that Flash is better, just different…DEAL WITH IT!

    Author Note: Wow, someone has a chip on their shoulder. Look, I have been around flash a lot longer than you have. I was working with “flash” when it was just shockwave and lingo (when it camed bundled with X-Res, etc.). There is nothing wrong with websites that primarily have a flash-driven interface, however every one of those sites ought to have a text/html verions – whether that be for accesibility purposes or for Search Engines.

  31. rybaxs
    Aug 14, 2008

    flashxml

  32. Adam Khan
    Aug 20, 2008

    Not everyone has the time or bandwidth to waste loading flash, and people online are generally looking for content, rather than entertainment. They want something USEFUL.

    Editor Note Then spend a little extra time and find a site that provides you that information for free. You might as well say, “Not everyone has the time to stop and pay at the cashier.”

  33. Rob Oresteen
    Aug 23, 2008

    I give you points for humor but none for common sense.

    A quick SEO review: web pages get ranked by either on-page or off-factors.

    1. On Page: text content, titles, some Meta tags.

    2. Off-Page: links in general pointing to a page or home page, links with targeted anchor text, social media site’s links, video imbeded description links hosted at sites like YouTube, Google, Meta Cafe, etc.

    On page html ranks for about 5% to 10% of any given SEO ranking. Off page links account for 90% to 95% of any SEO. The more competitive the keyword term, the more or better quality links are needed to rank for page one on Google of any given search term(s).

    A quick example is to search the term “click here” in Google. http://www.adobe comes up #1. Yet, there is no html on that page that says “click here”. Yet there are 1,000′s of links that point to Adobe with the anchor text, “click here”.

    Html can be copied, links are another thing. Any on-page factor can be changed, improved, & manipulated by the web master. Links, need the approval and effort of many web masters.

    So it is possible and common to have Flash based web sites/pages rank #1 in Google. Many photography based flash web sites enjoy either #1 or page 1 rankings for their respective terms.

    Hybrid: make your home page or splash page html complete with H1 keywords, keyword text, etc. Have a big button pointing to the rest of your site – or – embed your Flash template on top of html (encased in a div or table). You can add all the on-page SEO you need and still have a Flash based site if that’s what you want.

  34. Intfocus
    Oct 10, 2008

    I agree that flash has a time and place and should be used sparingly at best.

    In response to some of the comments above; I believe that it is the responsibility of all web designers to educate their clients on the right platform to use for their website. If I went to a builder and said, I want to build a house without a roof so that I can see the stars at night, I would be told that it would be against building regulations, not to mention open for anyone to scale the walls or birds to fly in and shit everywhere.

    It is your responsibility as a designer to provide the regulations and guide your clients to the best possible solution. How can you call yourself a professional if all you do is follow the instructions of someone who doesn’t have a clue? That’s idiocy!

    My feeling is this:

    Flash websites are like brand marketing; great for large national or multinational corporations that are recognized in the broader community, but terrible for a small/medium business trying to increase their exposure.

    You may disagree with me, but we’ll see who is still in business in 5 years won’t we?

  35. Product Design
    Oct 20, 2008

    I kinda agree with intfocus because at the moment it is difficult to optimise for search engines. Lack on textual content make it difficult to emphasis to search engine to context of the page and focus it towards specific areas.

    That being said search engine are becoming more clever by the day and we are already seeing search engines being to index and list flash content.

    It is only a matter of time before search engines can crawl and list Flash based sites as easy as conventional sites. It will happen on day!

    Also check out Microsofts Silverlight. Apparently is easier to optimise that Flash.

  36. kevinseo
    Nov 14, 2008

    google have difficult to index the text in a flash, I guess it’s a bad idea to use flash as your whole website.

  37. Purple Widget
    Nov 21, 2008

    The headline “Google now read Flash” has been a huge step backwards for the SEO’s fighting the good fight and finally starting to win lately….

  38. matt
    Dec 12, 2008

    hahaha. Thats why companies like Disney have full flash sites and have absolutely no problem with SEO

    Editor Note: You mean like how they rank #6 for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Google. Looks to me like they have an SEO problem.
  39. Search Engine Ranking
    Jan 8, 2009

    Too funny, I was looking for a good reference for my on going argument about flash Know I have a nice chart to refer some one too…

  40. jas
    Feb 1, 2009

    flash is intrusive and ugly, even though it has it’s place on the web at times.

    that place however is not everywhere and everytime.

  41. jacob
    Feb 19, 2009

    Beautiful. Simply beatiful.

  42. Malcolm Reding
    Jul 5, 2009

    That’s too complicated for my overeducated mind.

  43. David
    Jul 31, 2009

    Using flash is good for some applications but not all. The bad thing about flash is that cross platforming between file types is not very easy like say using dreamweaver. The best way to build a website is to build it in dreamweaver. Then if you want flash throw it on a table or make a whole new page. Then you have the best of both worlds. Don’t ever box yourself up by deciding to build something with one tool.

  44. Computersade
    Sep 24, 2009

    Laugh! This is excellent and still true today.

    I like Flash. Don’t get me wrong but 100% Flash just doesn’t cut it.

    There have been two people in this ‘conversation’ who tried to increase the hit count by posting their websites and I must admit I did take a peak.

    Both very nice sites – the flash animations are very impressive and slick.

    Shame they don’t look so good on my iPhone.

    Worst still, one of them didn’t display at all but just told me to get Flash! (Naming no names but in this case ‘Seymour’ was ‘See less’)

    Great Blog. Keep up the good work.

  45. Nicholas
    Nov 27, 2009

    Wow. Settle down guys. Anything goes. SEO is really important, but there’s no problem with all-Flash if the project warrants it and you know how to use it.

    100% Flash sites work great as micro sites to advertise products by companies who already have search friendly websites.

    Even if this is NOT the case, make an HTML version of the site and use swfObect to replace your index page markup with your all-Flash website. The site becomes searchable and will work on iPhones and etc.

    Just a Note: If you create an HTML version and merely hide it with swfObject, it is no longer an “all flash site”. It is two sites.
  46. none
    Dec 10, 2009

    My all-flash site gets better rankings.. being #1 over the other dudes for the words i want.

  47. Seo Optimization
    Dec 15, 2009

    in my point of view that flash content is fundamentally different from HTML on webpage URLs, and being able to parse links in the Flash code and text snippets does not make Flash search-engine friendly.

  48. Jan Bilek
    Jan 8, 2010

    WOW – this is great:-)
    Please can I translate that flowchart to Czech and use it on my blog? Of course that I will link back to your blog and give you the credit.

  49. the birdie
    Feb 4, 2010

    Awesome! Even better if you would have made the flow chart in flash. lol.

  50. Bahahahah
    Feb 17, 2010

    Flash, it’s like the animated GIFs of the late 90s.

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