Flash website and SEO?

Flash website has been around for years

Websites which are built using Flash-based application have been very popular since many many years ago. In fact, I was very interested with webmaster stuff because I learn flash-programming, starting with Flash MX 2004, actionscript 2.

At that time, I was really amazed with how beautiful those websites are, especially because of its interactivity.

I didn’t intend to learn anything about PHP, HTML or CSS programming language, because I only wanted to know deeper about actionscript 2. (then also actionscript 3 was out).

I started to created these websites with my private domain, and the result was very nice, animated, and not a boring site at all.

Then I started to learn about WordPress or blogging in general, along with its Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) to get more traffic. (related: SEO Tips 2011)

Sooner I learn, when you get more traffic, the chances to get more visitors (or money) are higher.

Is a Flash website good for SEO?

There are so much factors that influence SEO of a website or a blog, rather than seeing if it has animations and swf files or not.

The very easy explanation of SEO is, does a website give benefit for the visitors? if it does, then surely, there is nothing to worry as when times goes, people will come to our sites, with or with no flash-based contents.

However, there are some advantages and disadvantages if we have flash-based websites.

Let’s see the advantages.

1. First of all, is the non-static content, interactivity, not making their visitors bored.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, flash-based sites are animated because they work with actionscript. There are so many things, you can do with actionscript, from animating a button to click, changing color, cartoon, and the list will go on and on..

Interactivity is really great and required especially when you have a game website. The “not boring” principal is really good to invite new visitors or the old visitors to come back to our sites.

Even in wordpress, there is a plugin to make rotating tag cloud to make your tag cloud more interesting.

2. You don’t need much files to store in webserver.

I really like the simplicity of files storage if you have this kind of website, because to you will not need database files or complicated php files stored in your webserver.

Before publishing a flash website, usually we just need a swf file, and index.html as well as some images if required (or XML file, depends on how it is built.) (related: add swf to wordpress)

It really needs less space in your webserver, different if you have a wordpress blog, or sites that are built with other software.

flash website

Now we will see the disadvantages

1. Not everyone has a flash player enabled in their browsers.

We are browsing internet everyday, but there are actually people who don’t use internet everyday, most of them are older people in my opinion, however they don’t even have the player enabled in their browsers.

This mean, it is very possible, they can’t even see the content of your site. And this can damage your marketing if you have a product site.

Especially, in the case where the developer doesn’t put a notification like, when they don’t have it enabled, they should give a link to download the player from adobe website, some developers don’t do this important part before publishing their sites.

2. Slower loading speed.

Actually, it has been years I haven’t touched any flash-based applications, until several months ago, I bought a flash-based theme for my neighbour’s website.

When I tried it in my browser, I really noticed a huge difference on loading speed between normal html site, or even a wordpress blog with this flash website.

It is so much slower that nowadays, you might want to avoid slower sites because of the accessibility of search engines bots crawls or normal visitors, they hate slow sites!

Conclusion, can I not create a SEO friendly flash website?

In my opinion, the answer is simply, yes, you can. But there are so many techniques to achieve it, and I don’t think impatient person like myself would do it.

Of course, you can always hire a freelancer, but nowadays, when you can install wordpress blog plus it’s search engines friendly, why would we bother to create it ourselves, unless it is a project for a client?

The key of building SEO friendly flash website is putting text (and images) as the content if your reader can’t load or see your flash-based contents.

Those texts will replace the missing content and your flash website will be able to provide useful information to everyone.

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