Rain, Thunder, Flash!
Okay, so this post really isn’t to talk about the weather. It’s to answer the question:
Should you use Flash in your web design?
If you are one of the many businesspeople who have decided to develop your own website, there are a few things to keep in mind. You may want your web design to be modern looking. Try to do so without being trendy because it will soon look outdated and neglected. If you’re looking for a “vintage” or “retro” feel, use the most modern tools to achieve the look–otherwise, your site will just look like it was done as an elementary school project in 1998. Above all, be careful with the amount of Flash you use in your web design. Early on, sites were Flash heavy, but that has created some problems. Here are some pointers …
To Flash or not to Flash
Flash is an Adobe system for viewing video and receiving audio files. It is available for free and is integrated into Google Chrome. People who know anything about Flash usually think that they simply MUST have it on their website. Adobe Flash Player is also available on other browsers and on selected platforms as well. This means that it can be used for desktop computers, laptops, MacOS, Android users, and iOS.
You can build your entire website in Flash and have a truly “flashy” site. However, you’ll start running into trouble, and your business will suffer for your overindulgence.
What is bad about Flash?
Flash is great, but like all great things (dark chocolate and margaritas), in excess, it’s devastating. For one thing, the very definition of Flash Player involves the term “selected platforms.” Yes, there is a version of it designed for mobile computing, but Flash doesn’t work on all mobile platforms. So, if your website is built using only Flash, you’re out of luck with much of the mobile surfers.
People with disabilities will often have trouble with Flash. They have particular software and hardware on their computing systems that can’t process Flash correctly.
There are also several areas in which Flash Player is vulnerable. Flash can be corrupted by scammers, creating memory corruption. Just recently, Adobe announced that it was removing Flash from mobile devices such as PDAs and iTouch because of performance problems.
Scammers also can work in bypass bugs to get around your site security. This enables them to collect name, contact, and even account information on your customers. The systems are also prone to integer overload which can release information you need to keep private.
Flash is useful for videos. So, if you embed an autoplay video on your home page, you’ll probably use Flash. Just be aware that it will take longer for your website to download because of the Flash Player, and the more Flash you use, the longer it will take. Websites built entirely on Flash, like the old MTV.com, experience slow loading times, crashed sites, and lost navigation. In addition, if you have the constant autoplay video on your page, it will constantly place a drain on your speed and overload the system as more people use it.
What is good about Flash?
The good thing about Flash is that it enables you to put some of your most important videos or music on your site. But you don’t have to do the entire website with Flash. Build it in HTML and have an add-on with animation, advertisement, or Rich Internet Apps using Flash. Your site will load much more quickly and be available to many more clients than a pure Flash web design does.