This article is contributed by Robert Fisher.
Have you decided to use Flash to build your website? If yes, you should rethink and change your decision. It is true that Flash based websites are really attractive and cute. See the examples to the right and below of what is possible. if you are planning to build a heavily animated website or one that offers many online games, then it is OK to use Flash. But, if you are building a website to improve your business by increasing traffic to your site, then Flash is not the right choice.
Flash is bad for Search Engines
If you wish to increase traffic to your website by making use of search engine optimization techniques, then Flash is not an option for you. Search engines cannot index Flash pages correctly as obviously they cannot read the content. The look and feel of your website is not a factor for search engines while indexing. As Flash pages do not have any content that contains specific keywords, those pages fail in reaching top spots in search engine results. In fact, Flash can sometimes decrease your search engine rankings. Many search engine algorithms have been redesigned in such a way that websites which have no direct relation between meta data and actual content are getting blacklisted as search engines assume that such websites are trying to gain traffic by using deceiving techniques. In case of Flash websites, as there is no content, and only a few keywords, search engines could potentially consider the websites as being deceptive.
Flash takes too long to load
Viewers of your website will not be patient enough to wait for your website to load. Flash websites can take longer to load, which could increase your visitors bounce rate. Since loading time is a critical factor, it is key to opt for a fast loading technology such as HTML 5.
Flash consumes more bandwidth
People who use slow Internet connections will feel a noticeable difference in browsing Flash based websites; other processes or applications become drastically slow as Flash based websites consume more bandwidth. This will make them stop browsing your website. Though high speed Internet connections are widely available, you need to target all kinds of viewers while building a website.
Flash creates restrictions on Usability
Most people use the Back button frequently to go back to the previous page they were surfing. But in Flash, the Back button is disabled by default. In such cases, there are more chances for viewers to click Close and end the browsing session on your website. Moreover, if Flash is not already installed on the computer of the viewer, they will have issues in viewing a Flash based website. They will be provided a link to download Flash, but many people will not bother to do so. Thus you might lose many of your potential visitors.
Author Bio: Richard Fisher is an online business consultant specialising in Magento based solutions. Over the last 4 years, Richard has been an active blog and forum contributor.