Is Flash the Solution?

FlashA very common question that gets asked during the development process of a web site is, "Should I use Flash for my site?" This is a very good question and you will find articles supporting both sides of the argument.

There is no doubt that Flash is everywhere these days and can often be an effective tool in helping you get your message across. However, as we've seen with other tools, not every interactive tool should be used in every application or website.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself when deciding if Flash should be added to your website:

  1. Can I accomplish the same thing in HTML?
  2. Will the use of Flash negatively impact my search engine optimization (SEO)?
  3. Will my audience have to download Flash to their computer?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions then Flash may not be the best solution.

Things to keep in mind:

Flash should be used in conjunction with HTML to supplement your site. A Flash element should never be placed alone on a page, to a web crawler this is a bare page and will not be ranked very high in a search.

In order to increase your visibility on search engines, you need to support your flash element with a headings and paragraphs.

An HTML alternative may be needed if the information is of high importance. Providing an alternative will increase usability for viewers who are unable to see Flash. It will also ensure that the information is getting across to both the viewer and web crawlers, therefore increasing your SEO ranking.

Examples of how Flash can help supplement your site:

  1. Flash Video
  2. Rotating Images/ Slide Shows
  3. Tasteful Interactive Banners