When I began designing websites in the late nineties, Flash was a big deal. I used it to animate text, create website intro pages and even menus. After a few years, word got out that search engines were king, and that meant Flash wasn’t as great as we first thought. There are many reasons why Flash is no longer desired by those who need a website, and we’ll explain to you why below.
The first reason is that learning Flash takes time. That means you will need to hire someone to create gorgeous Flash animations for you. That isn’t cheap. You are paying for their vast knowledge, and they will be creating a complicated Flash file for you, which takes time. Consider the return on investment when you think about using Flash. If you plan to create a website which absolutely requires Flash, you can go ahead with it. If you just want Flash to create something pretty on your site, it likely isn’t worth the cost.
If you have Flash on your website, it will have to be downloaded. Not only does this eat up your bandwidth allotment every month, leading to fees for overages, but it also takes time. The larger the video, the longer it takes. There are methods which allow you to load only part of the Flash movie before it begins to play, continuing to download in the background, but even the initial segment’s download will be lengthy. Only in situations where the user is willing to wait, such as loading a game, will it be worthwhile.
If your Flash movie is just intended to look pretty, why bother? You can create an animated gif which offers something fun to look at without sucking up your bandwidth, slowing down the page’s load time and costing you an arm and a leg. There are many graphic designers who can make your whole site look amazing without the use of Flash anywhere on it. Resorting to flashy animations just cheapens the page and leaves it looking like you are trying too hard.
As I said in the introduction, search engines are king. The fact is that the only thing a search engine spider sees when they crawl a site with Flash on it is the content you provide in the tags. “Basketball game” as a description is not going to add to your search engine optimization strategy. That said, transcribing the entire movie will be time consuming and will take up a large chunk of space in the code as well.
Not everyone can see Flash on their device. For example, Apple devices like the iPad or iPhone don’t have Flash installed. Those who use computers will need to download Flash to see what you have to offer, and not everyone is willing to do that. Unless the content absolutely requires it, such as a game, many people will just skip your site instead of installing the software.
In some situations, Flash is a must, such as creating interactive games. On most websites, it is just expensive and unnecessary. Consider whether Flash will truly help you on your website or not before you invest in using it. You may end up saving a ton while still creating an amazing website.