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Why All Flash Sites Lose Customers

Flash is a type of animation software that can be used to create animated features on your website. Flash can look really impressive and lots of people ask if they can have site that are built completely in Flash with animated menus and features.
However pretty these sites look, they loose customers. Why?
Software issues. To view an all Flash site, the customer has to have Flash installed on their computer. If they don’t they won’t be able to view the site correctly, or in the worst case scenario, view the site at all! This can also happen if they customer is using an older version of Flash to the one that was used to create your site. If a visitor can’t use your site, you’re turning potential customers away! You can avoid this by using Flash sparingly in your site such as only having one animated header. If your customers don’t have Flash installed they’d still be able to view the rest of the site, even if the banner didn’t work.
Search Engine Optimisation.
Search engines can’t see images, they can only read text. The same goes for Flash. Any text, content, navigation or headings that are embedded in the Flash are going to be invisible to the search engines and won’t help towards your search engine rankings. Again you’d be loosing customers before they ever see your site.
Ease of Use.
Flash means you can have unusual and interesting navigation on your site with items appearing and disappearing as you wish. However websites perform best when the navigation matches what people expect to find on websites. That means menus across the top of the page or down the left side, and a consistent layout on every page. If the navigation is too complicated, people will just give up and look at another site. The same goes for if they have to site through Flash introductions, other wise known as Splash pages.
Load Time.
Flash takes longer to load than HTML. If you have an all Flash site, your customers are going to be waiting for longer to view your site. Just like with easy to use navigation, if your site takes too long to load, people will just go to another, quicker to load website.

Flash is best when used sparingly like icing on a cake. You wouldn’t want to eat a cake made completely from icing no matter how pretty it looked. Animated headers and banners are good because they provide an emotive introduction to your business giving information up front, and some Flash elements like buttons can add a nice touch to a site. Just don’t go over board!