Alternatives to Flash: Flash is Overrated

What’s up with the Flash?

I’m not talking about the flash on your cameras, although I admit, photographers are the worst violators of overusing Flash.  Don’t get me wrong, Flash has its purpose.  Heck, I use it on my own website.  But, people do need to know that Flash does have its disadvantages, namely:

  • Not all computers have the latest Flash reader, and your website may not work properly
  • Many new computers, fresh out of the box, do not have any Flash reader installed
  • Vista, Microsoft’s new operating system, often makes it difficult to install new programs
  • Flash is often heavy and slow to load, which encourages website abandonment
  • Google will often penalize websites which are heavy and slow to load
  • Google often has difficulty reading the words embedded within a Flash program
  • Flash is expensive to build and expensive to maintain
  • If you don’t have the original, pre-compiled source code, you cannot modify your Flash
  • Flash developers can hold you hostage and force you to use them to maintenance
  • Flash often hinders your organic, natural, search engine optimization efforts
  • Flash can be annoying, if not done well
  • As of this writing, because a dispute between Apple and Adobe, the iPhone cannot view Flash

Other than that, I love Flash.

In my opinion, Flash should be used when it has a distinct purpose.  You should not use Flash for the sake of Flash.  Unless you are a Flash designer, you won’t impress anybody with cool Flash.  You need to impress people with your work, your products, your accomplishments, and your potential – not your Flash.

Flash should be small nuggets of hard-working code strategically embedded throughout the website to achieve special effects – key words: special effects!  Flash should not be used as the rule or as the platform.