Thursday, March 8, 2007

Flash Versus HTML: What to use

It never fails to annoy me when I'm searching for, say tech news, click on the link, and up comes a full flash page complete with movies, animations here and there, and background music. I want information, nothing more, and as fast as possible. In this case, HTML wins.

Using the same argument, the same could be said about multimedia websites. When I'm looking to be entertained, I want to be hit hard. Give me all you got and make me interact. Flash usually wins me instantly.

If your website is a host for information, and you intend to relay that information to users, HTML is definitely the way to go. Same goes with e-commerce sites. Yes a few Flash could be used, maybe for your header or banner, but make it simple enough not to hinder the users for your site's intended purpose. Aside from distracting, it takes more time to load than plain HTML and I'm sure we all know how frustrating that is.

All-flash websites are also all but hated by search engine spiders. Spiders crawl the text of a website to gather information. Aside from the usual meta tags, these spiders won't see much on a flash website, thus brushing it away from the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). If your business thrives on search engine traffic, this will definitely hurt you. I know there are several ways to get a flash site ranked high, but wouldn't you rather save yourself the effort and do it right from the start?

If your reason for using Flash is design, then I would say that HTML can be as "flashy." With the right skills and tools, a well designed HTML website can out-perform a Flash website design-wise. CSS anyone?

Multimedia websites are a different story. You want the users to see, watch, hear, smile, laugh, and cry. Well, maybe not cry. But that is the goal of such a site. To let users interact. Now that won't be achieved by HTML alone.

These are just some of the factors to consider when designing a website. Before starting out, I would strongly suggest that you do your research and think hard. The success of a website may rely on the use of these elements. Myself, like all aspects of my life, I practice the two-too's; never too much, and never too little.

Article Source:

RJ Cruz, SEO Specialist for, a professional offshore outsourcing virtual staff provider offering services such as web design, search engine optimization,