Five Ways Using Flash Can Damage Your Site - When Flash Dominates
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Common Mistake One: A Flash Intro
Creating a flash intro is a way to make your site fairly snazzy and impress viewers. Just be aware that it can stop some search engines cold in their tracks. When they encounter flash code, they may stop indexing the site, so if your introduction is loading with flash you may end up with a site that is poorly indexed or not indexed at all.
Since that can put you at a serious SEO disadvantage when a site is new, you may want to use a less flashy opening. If, however, you feel that this is critical to your design, or your client insists on this opening, there is something that you can do to encourage a full and proper index of your site.
This step is even pretty simple and easy. Add a site map. The site map will help the engine to get to your site if it gets stuck on the flash code.
Common Mistake Two: Designing an All-Flash Site
Well, in reality a site that is mostly flash is an HTML or CSS skeleton. Most designers will not do this instinctively because of the extra labor involved in creating a site that way, but it is worth mentioning anyway. Some clients request the strangest things of their designers.
Designing an all-flash site is a great way to defy the fast-to-load rule. An all-flash site will load slowly on all but the newest of systems, which is going to be a problem with most groups of end users. It will also create a serious issue with people who for some reason do not have flash installed on the computer they are using; for this group, the site will be useless.
Who might be on one of these systems? Well, a person who is goofing off at work or who is on a public computer may encounter these issues. This is simply a better safe than sorry type of a situation.
Common Mistake Three: Using Flash Headers
Much like the flash intros that we discussed above, using a flash header for your site can cause problems with your indexing on sites. The biggest offender in this category is gaming sites and children's sites, both of which rely heavily upon visuals to appeal to their demographics.
Just be aware that if you use this type of header, you may want to consider using our good friend the site map in order to be sure that the site is seen the way that it should be by the engines. There is no point in losing the substance to the aesthetics. This is doubly true in a case when you can have both of them with a simple modification.
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