Flash as your whole site


Flash can be a wonderful addition to a website to help you with slideshows, animated information, maps, 360 degree room views, and even printable recipes (or other documents) on your hospitality website. Such content can be very valuable to your guests and as long as it is only used sparingly, there is no real problem. However, some website designers take this too far and actually produce entire websites in one big Flash file. They often look great and are fun to play with, but they are rarely found in a search engine as search engines are not effective at reading Flash. Google can sometimes read text inside the Flash, but all text is looked at as being the same, so there is no way to emphasise one phrase or another. The "cool factor" of Flash for a whole website can be great for advanced and/or cutting edge websites, but for a bed and breakfast website that needs to be able to be found in a search engine, there is just no good reason to have an all Flash site.
 
There are many reasons why an "all Flash" website should be avoided for hospitality sites:

  • Search engines can't read Flash correctly, if at all. This means you are restricting people from finding your website in all of the major and minor search engines.

  • The web address (URL) is the same for every page. So imagine trying to send an email to someone with a link specifically to your directions page. It can't be done.  They would have to start at the beginning of your website and find the directions themselves.

  • Sites that use all Flash are usually painful to sit through more than once. They are often cool the first time, but subsequent visits usually become annoying. You don't want to annoy people on their return visits to your website.

  • Updating information or adding pages becomes much more time consuming and expensive as a result. Flash programmers usually demand higher rates than HTML web designers.

  • Some visitors don't have the Flash player installed on their computers so they would be unable to see your site at all. Many businesses have removed the players from their computers.

  • If you decided to switch designers, you couldn't just take your website as with a normal (html) website. Any designer can edit any normal (html) website, but in Flash, you need the source file. The original designer may not be willing to transfer the source file free of charge.


Flash in small pieces can be a great addition to make your website engaging to visitors, but an all Flash hospitality website could prove to be a case of style over content and impede search functionality.


Advice

  • If you are having a new website built tell your designer you do not want an “all Flash” site under any circumstances.

  • If you have an existing website that is done in all Flash, ICT Total Solution strongly recommend that you have it redesigned. It was a mistake and should never have been done in Flash. Some images may be transferred to your new website but essentially you will need a website build from scratch. An all Flash website is guaranteed to greatly restrict the amount of traffic you get from search engines.

  • If you are looking for a new designer or website promotion specialist, examine the websites in their portfolio. If they are trying to impress you with an example of an all Flash site question why.
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