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Designing Flash Websites: Pros and Cons
By: Joe Eitel
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    2009-04-01

    Table of Contents:
  • Designing Flash Websites: Pros and Cons
  • Pros of Flash Websites
  • Cons of Flash Websites
  • When Should You Use Flash?

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    Designing Flash Websites: Pros and Cons


    (Page 1 of 4 )

    If you're considering using Flash on your web site, you'll want to read this article first. Whether you want to go all out with a totally Flash-based site or use it in a more limited way, Flash comes with certain advantages and serious disadvantages. You will want to be aware of the pros and cons to using Flash before you employ it on your web site. Keep reading to learn whether Flash can work for you.

    If you have spent any amount of time on the Internet, then you have undoubtedly come across those unique websites that really stand out and leave you awed and amazed. Text flashes by, liquid shapes morph across the screen, and every movement of the mouse elicits a different response from this web page. What you have been experiencing is the incredible innovation of Adobe Flash (see screen shot below).

     

    Flash has been around for quite some time now and has more than made its mark both on and off the Internet. Its usefulness extends far beyond eye-catching and interactive layouts. It can also be used to program web games (which you have probably had the opportunity to find during dull days at work) and even create full-fledged online applications that collect information for millions of users.

    In fact, the usefulness of Flash seems so obvious that it is not hard to wonder why all websites are not created with this modern phenomenon. Unfortunately, there are definite drawbacks to the usage of Flash when developing websites. The actuality is that Flash is only useful in very specific circumstances, and although these circumstances can be expanded by skillful and creative applications, many websites simply cannot benefit from Flash.

    Beyond the limitations of its application, there are many other reasons that relatively few websites feature Flash. In comparison with typical website design, Flash design requires significantly more experience, skill and training. As such, the developers who create Flash designs and applications charge a higher hourly rate and typically take longer. The cost can be highly prohibitive for small companies and organizations that do not have a large budget for their websites.

    Overall, it is difficult to say whether Flash is a good thing or a bad thing in and of itself. The relative merits of Flash are highly dependent upon the individual situation that the owner of a website finds him or herself in. To determine whether Flash is a good fit for a website or not, you must weight the pros and cons and then compare them based on the situation.

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