As a northern colorado web designer, I am often conflicted about one of the most popular and polarizing technologies on the internet: Flash. You probably know that Flash is what gives many websites the slick interactive animation and transitions and you may have read passionate internet rants in favor and against Flash. When done correctly, Flash can be a great way to add some visual zing to your site. If done wrong it can really hurt your site. If you are considering hiring a northern colorado web design company, keep the following list of pros and cons in mind.

Flash Pros
1. Visual Flair
While other technologies are emerging that mimic the visual pyrotechnics of Flash, it is still unmatched in its ability to animate almost anything you can imagine. If you need complex movement on your site chances are you need Flash.

2. Interactivity
Flash shines when it comes to interactivity. If your site has elements that need to respond to or interact with the movement of a mouse, you probably need Flash.

3. Fonts
Unlike typical websites, Flash has the ability to embed Fonts. If your company requires the use of specific fonts other than the default web fonts, you should consider Flash as an option.

4. Limitless possibilities
Games, video, maps, custom apps – the possibilities are endless. If you can dream it, chances are you can make it with Flash.

Flash Cons
1. Expensive
Because Flash is a specialized skill, it can be hard to find a Flash company to help you with your website project. Once you find a Flash designer in Northern Colorado you may have to get in line because they are busy. Add that to the fact that Flash development takes longer than traditional web design and your project will might be more expensive than you would expect.

2. Hard to Update
If your site has content in the Flash sections it will probably be hard to update. There aren’t any content management systems that would let you update Flash easily.

3. Less visible to search engines
While Google has improved its ability to index Flash based websites, it still falls behind traditional HTML in search engine visibility. If SEO is critical to your site be very intentional in your use of Flash and don’t “hide” important content in the Flash ares.

I left a couple cons off my list that you may have be wondering about. One is load time and the other is the requirement of the Flash plugin. I don’t consider these to be major drawbacks because a good designer should be able to keep file size under control. With Flash penetration in the 99% area it is safe to use Flash without loosing viewers in typical web browser situations.

This list hits the major pros and cons of using Flash, but every website is different.
Don’t let this list tip the scales if you really want to use Flash. In the hands of a great Flash Designer you should be able to avoid the Flash pitfalls that other sites suffer from.

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