Mac vs Flash – The Myths and Facts of Flash Websites

We often receive calls from concerned clients who have heard from various sources that the Adobe Flash on their website is not visible or hurting their websites Search Engine Optimization.  The myths and facts surrounding Flash can be enough to overwhelm even experts, but let’s try an explore some of the more common confusion around Flash on websites.

Mac vs. Flash in Dental Website Design

Myth: Any Flash programs on a website will hurt its search engine optimization.

Fact: While the text and information within Flash is not as easily indexed by search engines as text entered directly on the page, it is possible to build Flash programs that do have visible text.   At PBHS, our websites are currently built to be as search engine friendly as possible so search engines can view the information on your page.

Search engines use the page navigation of your website to ‘crawl’ from page to page and index each page and the site as a whole.  If your page navigation is encoded fully in Flash, search engines do have a more difficult time navigating your website.

However, Flash can also be built so that these items ARE easily visible for the search engines. PBHS has been designing search-engine-ready navigations in Flash for over seven years.   If your website is older you can contact us  to reprogram your website so that your web navigation is not hidden from search engines. You may also want to explore a new website that can take advantage of all the most modern features now available in our new website designs.

Myth: Flash will not display on Apple computers.

Reality: Flash DOES run on Mac laptops and desktop in Safari and all browsers that run on Apple Mac computers running Mac OsX including Firefox and Chrome.    Flash does not run on Mobile Safari or any browser than runs on Apple IOS – which includes iPhones, iPads and iPods.  Adobe has announced that it will concentrate its development efforts for mobile devices on newer technology such as html5.

Myth: A website with Flash is not visible for iPhone and iPad visitors

Fact: At PBHS, our new sites are built to be visible on devices that cannot view Flash so your website IS visible on all Apple devices.

We also have Mobile Microsites available, which are specifically designed to be used on mobile devices.  If you have an older PBHS site that is not visible on Apple mobile devices, you may want to consider a Mobile Microsite site or contacting us to do a conversion on your existing site to allow it to be viewed on a mobile phone.

Mobile-Only websites that are designed specifically for mobile devices, including:

  • text and content for smaller screens
  • menus optimized for mobile users
  • support for mobile touch interfaces, such as swipe page navigation
  • highly optimized to allow mobile users to get directions, call or contact your office easily.

These Mobile  websites are similar to smartphone apps – they are designed to take advantage of all the features of smartphones without replacing your standard website  for computer-based visitors.

Myth: Flash slows down your website.

Fact:  Page load speed is becoming a more important criteria for search engines in how they rank websites for keyword searches.  In other words, Google does not want to refer you to sites that take very long to display.

That said, there is nothing inherent in Flash that would slow down your website page load time.   PBHS programs its Flash animations using well optimized animation algorithms and images.

If you have any questions about your page load speed please contact PBHS and we can evaluate your website.

Myth: Your website should be replaced immediately if it contains Flash

Fact:  Adobe Flash still provides more animation and graphical control over webpages than any other technique available to web developers.   For website owners who invested in custom-programmed Flash displays that were programmed correctly for SEO, there is inherently no reason to remove Flash immediately as long as the website has a way of displaying the information on all devices.

Conclusion:

In February 2012, approximately 12.5% of visitors to dental websites were on a mobile device and approximately 8.5% of visitors were using a device that does not support Flash.

The Flash animation on your PBHS website is still just as effective as ever in providing a professional and highly aesthetic first impression to visitors to your website. Consider a mobile-specific “micro-site” to optimize the experience for smartphone and tablet visitors.

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