veryone agrees flash is cool. Flash is a very interesting and versatile technology that adds a new level of interactivity and dazzle to a website. As with all technology though, Flash has some drawbacks, and implementing a primarily flash website can be a liability rather than a benefit. If you are planning on having a Flash website, you should know the positive aspects as well as the negative. This, combined with your knowledge of your customers, should help you to decide if creating a site in Flash or using Flash for certain elements of your site is a good idea.The big downside to Flash sites is that search engines don't see them. Search engines have better support for Flash than they used to, but it still can be very difficult, if not impossible to get an all-Flash website to rank high in the search engines. This means fewer people will find flash sites through sources like Google™. Learning to create good animations and forms in Flash can also be difficult and time consuming, so some website designers who know Flash are motivated to use every time they get a chance.The fact is that using or not using Flash on a website can cause major problems for the site. If you are building a website that Flash is well-suited for, then not using Flash could drive away readers. But building a site in Flash simply because you can may affect how your customers interact with your site, whether they find the site in search engines, and how accessible and usable your site is. Flash is a powerful tool, but like every tool in the Web developer's toolbox, it shouldn't be used to solve every situation. Some problems are best solved with Flash, and others are not. If you know how to use Flash effectively, you can increase your page views, and ultimately your business.
Reasons to Use FlashCross-platform compatibilityAnimationsVideoGamesAdds visual appeal to a siteImage replacement for special fonts
Drawbacks to Using FlashBandwidth and Speed LimitationsImpaired Usabilityimpaired AccessibilitySearch engines visibilityFlash requires a plug-inSome people just don't like Flash pagesResolution
Should You Use Flash?Only the designer and site owner can make that decision. Flash is a wonderful tool for adding games, animation, and video to your Web site, and if those types of features are important, then you should use Flash.Use Flash Where It's EffectiveThere are very few sites that benefit from using only Flash. The drawbacks to SEO, accessibility, and customer satisfaction make it impossible for me to recommend using Flash for your entire site. In fact, even Google recommends only using Flash in select situations:Try to use Flash only where it is needed.Never Use Flash for NavigationIt can be very tempting to create Flash navigation because you can add exciting transitions, rollovers, and vector graphics using Flash. But the navigation is the most important part of your Web page. If your customers can't use your navigation for any reason, they will simply leave - bandwidth and accessibility issues can both contribute to a Flash navigation structure being unusable.