Flash is evil. Aaron Wall, SEO Book
Like Aaron, we don’t like Flash and we don’t think you should have it on your website!
I look at a lot of inn, B&B and hotel websites and many of them use Flash. There seem to be three main reasons (excuses?):
- Slide shows
- Fancy navigation bars & menus
- Splash pages (which are a complete waste of your visitors’ time and clicks!)
Why is this important to me or my visitors?
Flash has four big problems. The first is technical, but still impacts your site visitors. The other three impact your ability to reach as many people as possible.
- Flash has some technical problems that create headaches for your visitors. It consumes a lots of computer resources (memory, CPU) for your site visitors, which can slow down and destabilize their computers. And it’s probably the leading cause of browser crashes. You don’t want your customers cursing you because their browser crashed while they were viewing your website.
- Flash doesn’t work at all on some devices and platforms. Most importantly: Flash does not work on iPhones and iPads. Apple have picked a fight here and have made it clear that Flash doesn’t work on these devices and will never work on these devices.
- Flash can negatively impact your websites search engine results (SEO). Aaron Wall, one of the leading SEO authorities on the web, says the following in his SEO Book: “Search engines struggle to index, navigate, and classify flash. Flash typically offers little descriptive content, so even if engines could index it, most won’t care to.
- Because of #1, more and more people are using tools in their browsers to block Flash. Some of these tools include FlashBlock for FireFox and ClicktoFlash for Safari. I use these and this is what I see when I visit a site with a Flash “splash page”.
Here’s what I see on a couple of sites that rely on Flash (click to enlarge):
What does SiteValet do about this?
The only exception to this might be video. Embedding video from sites like YouTube and Vimeo still relies on Flash. But even these sites are beginning to offer ways to deliver web video without Flash.
- Smashing Magazine on The Gradual Disappearance Of Flash Websites