Nowadays when building a website you want it to captivate and engage the customer from first glance. Your homepage needs to be an attention getter, and you want it to usually stand out and “sell” more than all of your other pages. So what can you do to spice up a simple page that has nothing but text and an image sitting on it? Add some Flash!
Flash has been around since 1996 and the technology has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages. Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, various web page components, put video into web pages, and more recently, to create powerful internet applications.
Flash has gone through a lot of phases throughout the different versions that have been released. With each version it has improved, getting better and more user friendly. I feel flash started to shine when AdobeMX was released in 2002. Flash wasn’t really popular more then 6-7 years ago, if you saw it on a site you were typically kind of surprised. In the last 5 years flash has been pushed to its limits in what it can do, by communicating with other programming/html languages, animation and movie advancement, and its own build in language, Action Script. Entire sites can actually be created in flash and still function just as well if not better then other formatted and coded sites.
If you take a look at some of the major brand name companies websites, you will notice a lot of flash intros, slideshows and navigations. These alone can keep a visitor’s attention focused on your site. Sometimes just the feel of a page can keep you there. Flash also makes the page feel futuristic, more advanced, and just cooler, because things are typically always moving, glowing, animating, etc.
Flash on a site tends to clue the user in on the site being modern and updated and is a great addition to your already spectacular content, just keep in mind – we do NOT recommend full-flash websites.
How can you use flash to help spice up your page?
How much flash do you need?
As great as Flash is, you never want to overdo it on your site. Too much movement on a page can distract the user from making buying decisions or from finding the “booking” or “buying” buttons. That being said, having a flash slideshow added to the header of your page can really “class it up.” It’s important to appeal to the eye, but still maintain a minimum of 150 words on that page to make it rank for your best and most competitive keywords. If you add more than an accent, it’s going to cost way more than its worth, scare your viewer away, or make the site too animated by taking away the focus of your sites original goal with the visitor. Making a site in complete flash with no actual links to other pages and having all links internal in the .swf file will tank your search engine rankings. Google has admitted that they are starting to index flash, but there is some controversy around how much, and exactly how they do it.
How do you know if you really need flash on your site?
- If you feel like your page doesn’t have that extra touch, feel, or presence that your competition delivers.
- If you feel like your ready to leave your site the moment you arrive.
- Your page feels stale and needs some motion, action or more images to it.
- Your homepage hasn’t changed in months/years.
- You don’t have any flash on your site!
What it really boils down to, is that most up to speed, newer generation sites have and use flash on a regular basis on their website in some form or another. You’re really putting yourself above the competition and maintaining and increasing your visitor rate with this new technology. So what are you waiting for?