Your website: build it or outsource it? part 3: The Flash Rant

Flash is pretty, it plays sounds, makes animation, lets you have a web site with spinning buttons and smileys that sing when your mouse runs over them. So you need to make your website in Flash, right? Right? RIGHT?

Well, not really. There are pros and cons to Flash, for sure so let’s see them here.

  • Looks the same on every browser.
  • Allows for mouse over effects and sounds.
  • Everything important in one handy file (can be sent over e-mail.)
  • Good to show off videos or animations.
  • Can make games and interactive experiences.


  • Content doesn’t show up in search engines.
  • Can’t be modified if you lose the source file (.fla)
  • Harder to scale to different screen sizes.
  • Can’t give anyone the url of a specificpart of the document_
  • Some people will hit the back button and leave the page when they just wanted to see the previous content inside the Flash document_
  • Visitors have to download everything at once even if they just want to see a small part.
  • Third party plug-in, some visitors will NOT see the file.
  • Harder to adapt for different accessibility needs than regular html.

Basically, my point of view is to use Flash for things that html can not do: show media, make portable portfolios, interactivity. If you want to have a Flash intro, let your visitors skip it, they will be especially upset if they hit the back button and have to watch your intro twice in a row when all they wanted was your contact info. Have a html navigation to your site as often as you can (or use the options Flash vs Html.) Even if you make Flash games. It’s better to let someone who can’t play Flash files see what they are missing when trying to play the game than it is to have them not see the site at all. If you have someone else build your site, ask to keep the fla file! It’s important and without it, you won’t even be able to fix a typo.


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