Flash-based websites have started a major craze in the website designing industry. As the years progress, Macromedia Flash only improves and allows even more great features be packed into a small website. The improvement of Flash only leads us to think that there will be even more flash sites. And yet, there is a dispute about how bloated/bloating Flash websites can be- as well as unnecessary. A decision for or against Flash can only be made thru careful analysis of its pros and cons.
Flash’s Action script opens up an enormous number of options and possibilities. Programmers and designers have used Flash to create interactive features ranging from very lively feedback forms (which are easy to as well as entertaining to fill out) to great-looking Flash-based games. This whole new level of interactivity will always leave visitors coming back for more everyday.
A standardized site
With Flash, you do not have to worry about cross-browser compatibility, as long as the user has Flash Player installed. In fact, Flash has become so common that it is almost a requirement to visit/use the majority of the sites that exist. There will be no more woes over how CSS codes display differently in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. When you position your site elements in Flash, they will always appear, again as they are as long as the user has Flash Player installed.
Better expression through animation
In Flash, one can make use of its animating features to convey a message in a much more efficient and effective way- much more effective than through almost any other coding format. Flash is a lightweight option for animation because it is vector based (and hence smaller file sizes) as opposed to real “movie files” that are raster based and thus much larger in size.
The bad and the ugly:
The Flash player
People have to download the Flash player in advance before they can view Flash movies, so by using Flash your visitor statistics will decrease somewhat notably because not everyone will be willing to download the Flash player just to view your site. You’ll also have to put in additional work in redirecting the user to the Flash download page if he or she doesn’t have the player installed, and is willing to get it installed.
If your content was presented in Flash, most search engines cannot index your content. Search engines needs words to be able to index. Hence, you will not be able to rank well in search engines and there will be less traffic heading to your site.
Visitors don’t have much patience, and they have to wait longer than usual to load Flash content compared to regular text and images- and some visitors might just lose their patience and click the Back button. The longer your Flash takes to load, the higher risk of losing visitors is involved.
The best way is to use Flash only when you absolutely need interactivity and motion. Otherwise, use a mixture of Flash as well as HTML or simply use pure text if your site presents simple textual and graphic information.