November 29, 2010

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Flash: What it is and When to Avoid it

If you’ve ever come across a website with moving ad banners or animated headers, chances are you’ve seen Flash in action. While Flash animation can add colour and interest, there are a few issues you should consider before adding it to your real estate website.

The first thing to note is that not everyone has the software necessary to play Flash animations. If your website visitors don’t have a Flash player installed, they could easily choose to ignore your site instead of following the prompts to download the software.

At the same time, there are plenty of people who have a Flash “blocker” running on their computer, which means they will only see your animation if they deliberately click on it and wait for it to load.

Load time is another important issue when considering Flash, as you can easily lose impatient visitors. This is particularly true for any website that requires users sit through Flash before they can do anything else on the site. At the very least, give your visitors the option to skip the animation if they want to.

Finally, Flash can be a problem from an SEO point of view. As points out, too much Flash on a website can make it harder for search engines to find it, and all-Flash websites are definitely going to suffer in search engine rankings. So if SEO is your main concern, your website shouldn’t rely on Flash alone.


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