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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113 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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)…

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. Josh
    Apr 2, 2007

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

  6. 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!
    http://www.AlabamaTechSupport.com
    Based in Alabama, Serving The World!

  7. charles robissi
    Apr 22, 2007

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

  8. 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.

  9. Mike Hofer
    Apr 24, 2007

    Blogged!! 🙂

  10. Travis
    Apr 26, 2007

    you’re a retard

  11. 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?

    Point?

    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.

    http://www.yugop.com – what the future of interactivity could be with flash. kudos to yugo nakamura.

  12. 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.

  13. 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:

    http://www.pierinc.com

    http://www.google.com/search?q=site:www.pierinc.com

    ==========

    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.

  14. Dan
    Jun 12, 2007

    Wow that was really super. Thanks.

  15. 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:
    http://www.pierinc.com/article_13B7CED5-F1F6-97FC-22987CCDFC2E7E40.cfm

    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,
    itispals
    http://www.buckleupnow.com

  16. Tony
    Jul 5, 2007

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

  17. 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.

  18. Jacek Cms
    Aug 20, 2007

    Hey
    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. yza
    Sep 3, 2007

    Not bad.

  22. 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!!!

  23. 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. : )

  24. Carlo
    Sep 27, 2007

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

  25. 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$?)

  26. moneer
    Nov 11, 2007

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

  30. Jerm
    Feb 15, 2008

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

  31. 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. : )

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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?

  35. Deon Gordon
    Mar 24, 2008

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

  36. 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”!

  37. 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

  38. Kelvin
    Apr 14, 2008

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

  39. 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!!!

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