Why Flash is bad

Why is flash bad for websites?

In fact, why are PDFs bad for websites?

Much the same reason.

  • Print page rarely works. And isn’t that what people always tend to want to do in the end.

  • You can select text and cut and paste. I’ve run into this, and it is very frustrating when you just want to copy information from a website. I end up retyping it. At least with PDFs, unless they are locked, I can grab the text.
  • You cannot email a user a link or send people to a specific page. This is also true with PDFs.
  • Broken back button.
  • Can be very slow on non broadband connections. Before I had DSL I used to dread going to a site with Flash, all Flash, and nothing but Flash. I don’t think the non-DSL world knows how hard it is to wait. At least with HTML you get bits and pieces along the way.
  • Invisible to search engines. This I will address below. There is away around this.
  • Can be difficult to update – only a flash programmer can make major changes. And if you don’t have the original file, even that is hard.

Advice on what to do: Make two sites, one HTML and one Flash. Or, make sure there is text on the Flash page so that search engines can find you. If you use good keywords and descriptions, the search engines can at least find you.

Sometimes, making two sites, is not a good idea, especially if you aren’t keeping up both sites. This site, Chronicle Books, may have fixed the problem by now, because they are doing a site redesign, but as of this writing their Flash site works quite well, and their HTML site is like a forgotten cousin. It works, but it doesn’t have the same elegance.

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