CAH Productions graphic, web design and small business discussions

Flash vs DHTML

As the World Wide Web matures, and its users become more internet savvy; many businesses looking for a company to build their web site often demand certain features
that they have seen or heard about as being current and cutting edge. One such feature is the implementation of flash and/or flash-based web sites.

While flash sites certainly can offer some great eye-candy to the viewer; they are not necessarily for everyone.  Advantages to using flash include; cross-browser compatibility, eye-catching, moving pictures and interesting interactivity, as well as the ability to easily  use audio and movies on your site. Flash web sites or sites that use some flash interactivity are seen as exciting, modern and cutting-edge cool and will engage the viewer longer on the site, thereby enticing them to try our a product or contact the company for more information.

However; there are also disadvantages to using Flash, and cah productions feels it is important that our customers are aware and educated about their choices for their web pages.

Flash files require longer loading times than html with dynamic page features.  According to internet world stats dot com; of the top 20 countries that use the internet; less than 7% of users world-wide are on a broadband connection. This same statistic is less than 40% in the USA and around the 30% mark for Canadian users.  This means that the majority of your viewers will have extended wait times while your web pages load, if you have incorporated a flash generated home page or other flash features on your web site.  Think of it as if they walked into your store, and saw a line up of 10 or more people at the counter. Some may wait patiently in line, others may decide to go elsewhere.

Another huge disadvantage to flash-only or flash-heavy web sites is that flash is not optimized for search engine indexing, and as a result, the content of your Flash animation is not visible for search engine spiders.  Prospective customers who are searching for you via google or bing or another popular search engine will not be able to find your web site.  This is like having a store front with a beautiful animated banner; but the banner is obscured by the trees and bushes in front of your store.

Flash requires a plug-in. In addition to many users not having broadband connection, there are just as many who have not updated their browser or plug-ins and are using older computers. These users are unwilling or often unable to upgrade and will be unable to view your amazing flash pages without the plug-in application.

Viewers will lose accessibility and usability when viewing a flash site. Font size cannot be changed and screen readers cannot read the pages. Somewhat like not having a wheelchair accessible ramp to your storefront; these customers will be unable to access your store.

Flash is unavailable on most cell phones and mobile devices. This will undoubtedly keep your mobile users from viewing your site and again restrict your viewing audience.

Flash is also more expensive to create and maintain. Changes require extensive additional flash features to be created and clients cannot freely change content in flash pages on their own.

So what is the alternative?

Web pages can be built with many interactive features; forms, drop down menus, moving pictures/special effects, video and audio and more by using alternatives to flash. Cah Productions can show you what we can do to make your pages exciting, while keeping your costs down, your viewers engaged and your web site easily accessible and discoverable by your customers.

Peruse our pages on our web site to see some of these features in action, or call or email us now for more information.

www.cahproductionz.com

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