22 February 2010

The Problems with Flash

4 comments

Flash development definitely has a place in the world of the web.  While Flash has several beneifts including practically no browser issues, great interactivity and easily handling complex animations, there are many disadvantages to using Flash.  These disadvantages are the reason that we discourage the use of Flash except in cases where it is absolutely the best tool.  Given the advancements that have been made with web standards and javascript libraries, including Jquery and Prototype, there are more alternatives methods to Flash at this time. 

Our recommendation has always been to use Flash where it makes sense and stay away from developing main functionality, such as site navigation, and entire sites within Flash.  The main reason for this is that Flash is not search engine friendly.  Businesses want their sites to be found and Flash requires many additional steps to configure Flash movies for search indexing while text is still not picked up by search engines.  With the increasing move to mobile web, another major disadvantage to Flash is that it is not supported on many mobile platforms, including the iPhone and the upcoming iPad.  While Flash development does have its uses, there are several issues with buildiing sites in Flash.

4 Responses to "The Problems with Flash"

Tamika Bain

Mar 2, 2010 1:56pm

Thanks for this information, very useful.

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Dave Peele

Mar 2, 2010 2:10pm

Thanks for your comment, Tamika!  We are glad that you found this information useful!

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Brent Alexander

Mar 9, 2010 3:19pm

I’m a freelance front-end web developer and I have been saying this for years. I don’t know much Flash, but I don’t think that is a bad thing. I try at all costs to stay away from it. You can produce just as much dynamic, interactive content using jQuery and Ajax. That way it is still SEO-friendly. Nice post!

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John Peele

Mar 9, 2010 3:48pm

There are definitely sound cases for the use of Flash, such as in the entertainment and music industries. Those sites benefit greatly from motion graphics, sound and animation. And these, along with others, are great reasons to use Flash.

We don’t totally knock it…. we just really love jQuery!!

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About the Author
Dave Peele

Dave is the resident developer, accountant, daily operations manager and Chief Common-Sense Officer here at Rockbeatspaper. When he is not implementing John’s wonderful designs into highly functional web sites and managing his Sudoku addiction, Dave enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter & son, attending church, working out and watching Carolina basketball. GO HEELS!

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