Thursday, February 4, 2010

Flash Web Sites are Beautiful – But - Are They For You?

I often have people asking me can you do a flash site for my business ? They love the flow, modern look and elegance that can be obtained.

I will ask them "are you sure?" You will pay much more to develop the website and it may not be profitable.

They don’t always want to listen to that – but I owe them the truth! I could say oh yes (because I would make a lot more money) that is exactly what you need. But that is not what 99% of online businesses need.

As a young designer, I thought the only type of website to have was a flash site – in total! I loved the look and the artistic feel. I loved the animation, and movement of all the elements on a page. Their just wasn’t anything I didn’t like about flash.

Then – I came down to the real world – and realized it wasn’t just the dazzling effects in a website that caused it to be successful, in fact just as important as having a cutting edge website (or more important) was having a website that a search engine could index (list). A website that could be marketed with keywords and a website where search engine spiders could come through and pick out all the information they needed to get the word out about your website.

This cost-free marketing is invaluable and if you can not really Search Engine Optimize, then how will you get listed? Pay per click – or banner ads – all options but not the best options when it comes to marketing on a small budget.

When you have a totally flash website – you are on your own. Figure it out, how are you going to reach a broad audience? TV ads, bill boards, magazine spreads, and internet marketing – sound expensive because it is. You can have flash element – that is great, but the flash site its self only works if you have a big marketing budget like Coke or Pepsi.

Another disadvantage, surveys show that people don’t always click on paid ads as often as they do the more organic listings.

Most of us are not rolling in dough – most of us are small businesses that need to just get out there and do our own marketing, on a shoe string – We as business owners realize we do need to invest in our business, we also need the advantage of having a website that can be marketed through all means possible – especially search engines.

Another disadvantage is when you have a flash site developed it is complex you will be dealing with action scripting – there are different versions of this programming language – what happens if you web developer disappears or decides to charge you – an arm and a leg? I will tell you – it will not be easy to just pick up the phone and call your local web developer because action scripting is a highly specialized programming language – and it will cost you a pretty penny if you can find someone who can actually go in and re-code what needs to be done.

but I have been doing websites before Macromedia had even put flash on the market. So for me it was such fun eye candy and as an artist I was drawn to the really spectacular images and movement.

But before you get talked into spending that extra money on a “beautiful Splash page”, or full flash site, think about it – realize that in the long run you may run into trouble and if you cannot get your website out in front of a lot of hungry clients – what is the purpose of building one at all??

Well there it, my opinion based on a decade of working in the industry.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call (801-910-4825), or drop me a note! pamela@artistadesign.com

Pamela Jacob – Artista Design

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