There was a time when having a Flash intro on your website was really cool. Not anymore.
Having custom animated intros on your website homepage made you look cool and high-tech. It was widely believewd Flash animations would engage visitors. Those days have passed.
What has been found is that when you have a splash page with nothing but a Flash intro, not as many people as you'd think will actually click through to see the rest of your site. There are millions of websites and you have only a second to make a first impression on the visitor. If you're not engaging your visitor straight away, you risk losing them forever.
Flash animations and galleries are more expensive to create and even more expensive to edit. They require more time to developUnless you are using an xml image gallery, the Flash animation will be more time consuming to update/edit and of course, be more costly if you are outsourcing to someone who is doing the work for you. Maintenance or changes on a Flash animation are also costly. The process to make changes to a Flash animation (depending on the size and length of the animation) can take several times longer than changes made to an html site.
2. Mobile Devices
Of course, not all websites will be viewed on a mobile device, but even I have occasionally browsed the internet on my iPhone to find something “real quick” only to find that the site is built with Flash and I can't see a damn thing. Another missed opportunity.
Search engine optimization is a big part of today's website development process for many companies. When a site is created with text and images with alt tags, a search engine can crawl through the site and pick up on this content, delivering relevant results to folks that are searching sites like google.com. If there is text in your Flash animation, a search engine will not be able to pick up on that. Another missed opportunity.
3. Load Time
This is a hot topic for many people. Even with high-speed internet connections, Flash is a bandwidth hog. The larger the Flash animation, the longer it will take for the browser to fully load the element. Many times, visitors say “forget this” and they move on. According to cnet news,
“…19 million people in this country still lack broadband access…”
I know this seems like a staggering number, but we must work with the information we have at our disposal when we are planning our marketing strategies. Longer load times = Another missed opportunity.
For the most part, a website should communicate relevant information to the visitor. If you are an ecommerce website or even a painter, and you would like to feature and possibly sell your work on the website, then unless Flash is part of the work you are selling, it's a good idea to think about whether an animation is even relevant. Sure it may look cool and may even be an impressive piece of art. But if it is not relevant to the message you are sending out to your visitors, then it may not be appropriate.
If you have content on your website with which visitors will need to download, update/upgrade or activate a plugin, this could be seen as an irritant. When we visit websites, we want to see what is there. We do not want to have to spend extra time to download and install additional software or plugins just to see something we may not even like in the first place. Yep, you guessed it, another potential missed opportunity.
When a browser loads a Flash movie, it is not cached in the temporary files. Optimized web images are cached which makes future load times faster. So if you have a flash animation on your site and a visitor returns, he will most likely need to wait until the movie loads again. This can get a little annoying.