James Royal-Lawson


10 reasons why all-Flash websites usually suck

Last week, Simon Sundén published a post in Swedish called 10 anledningar varför sajter helt byggda i Flash oftast suger (10 Reasons why sites completely built in Flash usually suck).

He’s right. They do. There are numerous reasons why all-flash sites fail to be a good choice. Simon had a problem getting down to as few as 10. In all my years I’ve still yet to be presented with a convincing argument for a site to be totally Flash-based.

Here is a brief translation of Simon’s 10 reasons. Some of the 10 points do have workarounds or solutions, but that’s like treating an illness you could have avoided catching in the first place.

  1. Long loading-times
  2. Accessibility
  3. Mobile compatibility
  4. Problems with visitor statistics
  5. Browser & mouse functions (CTRL-F, right-click, etc)
  6. No unique URLs – forget “caring is sharing”
  7. Back and Forward buttons don’t work
  8. Copy and Paste
  9. Indexing by search-engines
  10. Internal links and SEO

Flash objects have their use, but put quite simply, a wholly Flash-based site just doesn’t live up to the web standards we should be following to make the browsing experience more enjoyable and successful.

Ignoring web standards

Why do so many redesigned web sites still fail to follow web standards and best practice? A refresh or relaunch should be the ideal opportunity to right wrongs and make your site more accessible, usable & successful.

Here’s my best guess as to why web standards and best practice are so commonly ignored:

  • Poor project management
  • Lack of developer knowledge
  • Lack of early communication between client, design agencies and production agencies

Sure, there are plenty more out-of-the-box reasons as to why a project can fail or fail to pick up on things – but I’m starting to take the opinion that a web project manager should be sufficiently capable to pick up on a whole range of standard issues and best practices to make sure that they are included. If they aren’t, then i would hope they have the skill and the wherewithal to bring that skill on board.

An easy to read and easy to understand guide to web-standards

An easy to read and easy to understand guide to web-standards

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