Avoiding Flash for important content on your web site

Adobe Flash is just about the coolest possible thing that you could see on a web site. It does so much more than HTML or CSS could ever dream of, and it is, well, very slick.

In spite of the controversy of the iPad not supporting Flash content, and even the fact that some people block Flash content on their browser, it is still very popular. And it is still very, very cool. So, please, don't get me wrong, I love Flash, even though it's a software program that I don't use any more. I am just advising you to be cautious where you use it on your web site.

The worst place to use Flash is on things like navigation buttons, or other things that may need to be updated. For those things, stick to HTML, or CSS. The reason for this is that it is easy and cheap to update something in HTML or CSS. You can find someone like me, or a million other people like me, who know this, and can update your web site in a few minutes using Adobe Dreamweaver. All we need is to get at the files on your site, get the HTML and CSS files and the images, and we can update.

You can do some pretty cool things in CSS. My post on customizing hyperlinks in CSS is here.

Updating something in Flash isn't so easy. First of all, you need someone who knows how to use Flash. They are much rarer than people who can do HTML and CSS. So, if you have a navigation button that needs to be changed from "Dog" to "Dogs", and it was originally created in Flash, you have some work to do. Your Flash expert is not going to be able to go onto your site and get the Flash file that they need from the uploaded files. That's because the uploaded file is not Flash (fla), it's Shockwave Flash (swf). So, if you can't get the original, editable Flash file from the original designer, the entire thing will need to have to be rebuilt.

So, this is what I recommend - don't build important content in Flash. Use Flash for animations, which is what it was originally designed for. Build your web site in HTML and CSS.


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