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Thread: Site has Flash and html versions. Flash is default. Client wants HTML to be default

  1. #1

    Site has Flash and html versions. Flash is default. Client wants HTML to be default

    Bottom line: I don't do Flash. Client has a website with both a newer Flash version (on the site root) and the original html version (in its own directory off the root). Currently, the default home page is Flash, with a link on it to "Click here ... for html version." Clicking that takes you to the html version of the site. The client wants the html version to be the default with a "click here ... for Flash version" to get to the Flash site.

    What is the best way to do this? It's a windows server so htaccess redirecting won't work. I do not have control panel access to specify the site's default directory.

    My thought is to simply replace the Flash homepage with the html index page (after making sure all paths to other html pages from that index.html page are using absolute paths) and leaving all the other html pages in the html directory and the Flash pages on the root, but since many of the pages have the same filenames I can tell that this could be a disaster in intra-site navigation brewing somewhere. Yeah, like, where do I then place the Flash index.html page since I don't do Flash and therefore can't change navigation on the Flash pages?

    Any suggestions?

    I would post a link to the site except I don't want this WPW page showing up in Google when he goes in to search for his company (did that before and it was kind of embarrassing when the site owner called me to ask why my technical question was showing up in the #2 position when he searched for his website. Why do people insist on typing the address into Google even when they know the URL instead of just typing it in the browser address bar and going directly to the site?).

  2. #2
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    My two cents would be to take the Flash files that are at the root level and place then in a new directory and move all the HTML files out to the root level similar to how the current arrangement is only flip/flop it. If you do this you should not need to rework the navigation (other than the link to the Flash/HTML versions) as all the files would still be at the same directory level.

  3. The following user agrees with Alan@Genesis:
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  4. #3
    Senior Member NJ's Avatar
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    The old Flash sites are a real problem. The client has a lot of cost $$$ invested, but they are a block for SEO and accessibility. Many of them are very cool to view. Such a quandary!
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  5. #4
    WebProWorld MVP claybutler's Avatar
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    First thing is I'd get full cpanel access. You should have that. I would switch the directories. Move the HTML to the root. You can leave the Flash where it is (assuming it's one file). Put a hyperlink on the index page that launches the Flash file. Have it open in a new window. As for the "view html" link in the flash file, see if it's truly in the flash file or a text link on a static html page that holds the flash file. If it's embedded in the flash, then you'll need to edit that. If your client has the FLA file then either update that yourself or pay someone a couple of bucks to do it for you. If the client doesn't have the original FLA file then post your problem on a flash forum. There is a way to "crack" a swf file. You could probably find some young flash designer to crack it and change the link for $25.

  6. #5
    Actually if the html version is a link, that page will become your home page, then you have to work out the way the navigation works, normally flash content links only flash content and sometimes download an xml file with additional content ... What your client is asking is basically a restructuring if you have a program such as DreamWeaver actually is pretty easy to do, if you don't, you will have to check each internal link, and see where it goes, sometimes flash is only the presentation, and just by removing that page or moving it elsewhere, the whole html site works because the structure remains intact, if your .htaccess has index.html or index.php entries that's how you have to rename your first page.

    If the flash site has navigation then you can try by simply moving or just renaming the main page, first check if it was index.html or index.php, etc, then just name it indexold.html or .php ... so is no longer the first page, after that rename the link, that is the page it was linking to, with index.html or index.php ... that depends if the site is static or dynamic ... and test if all the old links work ... you havee to check your navigation home, because that might need to be altered, for instance if the link was name.html you will have to rename it in all the pages where the link was active.

    What i mean is if the link page was name.html, so the navigation bar will have name.html in all relevant pages, that needs to be substitued by index.html or .php, in all relevant pages ... otherwise if you click on the link you will get a 404 error page not found error, the way to do this is to either edit the source code or do it with Dreamweaver which automatically find the pages and replace the links for you ...
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    Screenshot

    A simple and effective way to take care of this is to simply take a screenshot .. increase the dpi .. resize, slice and code your website using html and css.

    then use a spash page to select html or flash.. or add the flash site as a subdirectory and toss a link on the website. if you dont have access to the cpanel you can add it into a folder
    Last edited by renthemighty; 11-08-2011 at 10:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigAllen View Post
    Why do people insist on typing the address into Google even when they know the URL instead of just typing it in the browser address bar and going directly to the site?).
    Ummmmm... because they can. A lot of folks don't even know what an address bar is.

  9. The Following 2 users agree with magic2147:
    LD, PPIS
  10. #8
    Thanks everyone. This is one of those MORE is BETTER clients. His site has been cobbled together from so many web designers with their individual naming conventions over the years, so the html portion is a mix of .htm and .html page extensions; its a very large site with well over a thousand content pages. When I inherited it several years ago I tried to keep the page names the same as they were to avoid losing any SEO juice and inbound links they may have accumulated over the years.

    Since I know nothing about Flash (this guy sold the client on the SEO benefits of having an all Flash site - the client never contacted me about any of this until after the Flash guy had usurped the entire website and some of his stat reports started showing lots of 404s and other errors and he asked me to look into it), I am hesitant to attack it, but here's my plan. I'm currently downloading the entire remote site into a fresh folder in my sites directory on my computer so I've got a full back up just in case, then I will create a /flash folder, move all the flash files into it to hopefully not break paths (I'll use Dreamweaver to take advantage of its auto path update ability which I hope will work with the Flash files) and move the html files from the current /html folder to the site root and reupload the site.

    Ergo, website/index.html (the current Flash home page) will become website/flash/index.html, and website/html/index.htm will become website/index.htm (yes, the Flash is .html and the html is .htm - if I had access for setting the order of precedence that would not be a problem to do either). I don't know how it is set up on his hosting account, but if index.htm has precedence over .html, that would make all this ever so much easier. Guess that's something I need to find out!

    Oh, and regarding the Flash content, there are three files for each page. For example: sample.html, sample_body.swf, and sample.pdf So if I presume correctly, the sample_body.swf is the Flash content, the sample.html is the page container, and the .pdf is, well, a .pdf file.
    Last edited by CraigAllen; 11-09-2011 at 01:33 AM.

  11. #9
    Administrator LD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigAllen View Post
    this guy sold the client on the SEO benefits of having an all Flash site...
    I find it hard to believe that someone who claims to be an SEO, would say this as a sales pitch. Unless they were just trying to convey that a flash site can rank in the SERPs. But I've never heard that there is a better SEO element to using an all Flash site over other types of development - anywhere.
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  13. #10
    Senior Member NetProwler's Avatar
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    There is a caveat. Flash files may have the target destination URLs hard coded inside them which would mean when you deploy them in a directory away from the root, they may still navigate you to the root. For example - if you place these flash files in a directory like this:
    document_root/flash/

    The flash files may try to point to /document_root/

    There is a way to find out if they contain relative path(rare) or absolute path in the swf file - use an utility called as swf2html which will read your shockwave file and tell you what actual URLs are embedded in your flash pages.

    If your flash files contain absolute URLs (chances are high that they will), you don't have much alternative in a Windows server other than redoing the flash navigation. In a *nix server running apache, you may get away with creating a look-up table and implementing redirection on a page by page basis.

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