As the Internet evolves, new technologies are becoming more often the #1 choice for web design. While the use of tools such as Flash can readily enhance an existing website, they should not be used for a design process from the ground up. Designing the main structure of a website in anything other than HTML will result in lost business and increased frustration level on the customer’s part. Fortunately, CSS can provide with everything you need for a good looking website keeping the basics of HTML.
For example, many websites will open a new window for a Flash website. As if this was not annoying enough, the web browser controls often disappear when the new window opens up. With or without the “Skip Intro” button, bookmarking your website has now been made impossible. To access your website the user has to type in the web address manually every time they wish to visit your page. Further it is very unlikely that a website designed with such structure will ever make it into a search engine. Without real content and only multimedia, search engines are unable to crawl the site for content or follow links for spidering & seo services you get performed on your site will be less effective.
If you’re site incorporates things like video then it’s even more important to follow strict CSS guidelines. Have a look at a big multimedia site for an example, try out Hulu, Netflix or the BBC which you can access via a proxy. Just examine the source to see how the page is composed, there will be lots of useful tips incorporated in it.
In comparison imagine reading a book and bookmarking the page you have reached. If a website can not be bookmarked, quick access to previously reached sections is made very difficult. You are forced to go through the pages one at a time. You may or may not find where you left off before and by now are probably very frustrated with the experience.
Once you are done with the book you will put it down again without the ability to include quick reference points to interesting sections, only to begin the whole process anew when you return. Keeping with the book scenario imagine now that the title of the book is written in some strange language and characters foreign to the A-Z alphabet. Such a book would be impossible to find in a library or bookstore because it would be impossible to catalog. This scenario represents a search engine trying to index a Flash website. If the website consists off multimedia only, the search engine will not know which category to put it into because it will be unable to examine it’s content. The end result is either no listing for your website or placement in some obscure place where few people visit.
Before you sit down and design a website keep one thing in mind for it is a formula that will help you please more visitors than any other: a user who finds what they are looking for fast is a happy user. The most technologically advanced website will not generate business if it can not answer questions and inform the customer. When we are looking for answers in printed media we do not go and purchase a children’s book with pretty pictures and pop-ups. Instead we purchase a magazine or book with the right balance of visual demonstration and typed instructions. The balanced approach is easier on the money purse up front and generates more income in the long run. It is a win-win situation. Remember this golden rule and you will have surpassed half of your competition long before your first ideas begin to materialize on screen.
Author of the Video Proxy