No doubts Flash made designer's work more creatable. SOme years ago I could only dream about video like element of general design. If Your site should be conservative you don't have to use flash. But I want to say definitely Flash is for me!
I think it comes down to approaching the whole matter with a holistic view of what your client needs are and what they ultimately are hoping to achieve.
Sure you might advocate Flash with your last dying breath, but what if it doesnt suit your client's objectives ie to become the worlds leading, highest ranked content portal?
And likewise, what if you detest Flash, but thats exactly what they need ie funky ad agency looking to put themselves on the industry map?
Every company's needs are different and it is for this reason that every solution should be tackled with a fresh unbiased stance.
For companies with a huge userbase and brand loyalty, SEO might not be a consideration and all they care about is "user experience" and the "wow" factor. They can afford to alienate a certain user group/s by going 100% flash, because they have critical mass and dont really care.
Alternatively, if your client is just starting out and their business relies on getting as many people to their site as possible, then Flash is probably not the way to go, for the simple reason that as a general rule, Flash sites are less suitable for SEO.
Personally, I dont think it should be a "do or die" decision and ultimately your clients/or your own needs need to dictate the route to market.
Well, after running my video site for quite awhile, I decide to change the header to add flash by hiring someone to do the design that is yet to complete. I do not know if that is a good idea but after giving a deep thought, I decide to go ahead with it since this is a video site and showing a bit of flash will make it presentable.
I have seen many flash sites, some are really doing very well while others are not. I do believe that as long as we can balance the amount of flash showing and not taking up too much of the bandwidth or slowing up for display, it should be fine using flash.
I wonder if there is a way to detect a browser having flash or not to decide showing flash or just plain html.
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Also, on another note, does Google and the other search engines capture file names, links, alt tags, etc. in Flash? Are there any differences in how to optimize Flash vs. HTML?
Thanks so much!
it is a thing to debate on these days. I think companies should focus and be audience oriented.