As artists, we like things to look good.  Not satisfied with boring run-of-the-mill websites, we often want more bells and whistles than many people.  There seem to be a lot of turn-key templates marketed to artists that are highly Flash dependent.

However, there are some definite drawbacks to having Flash – especially a lot of Flash – on your website.

One of the most important things to know about flash content is that search engines can’t read it.  They have no idea what is on the images and if you include text in your flash, they can’t read any of it.  If you want to come up on Google, Bing and Yahoo searches, the robots they send out to crawl your website needs to find words so they can analyze what is going on.  If you have all images or too much Flash, your site will rank poorly.

Additionally, Apple doesn’t Flash so it doesn’t work on iPhones, iPads or iPods.  Any Flash content will show a broken link or, if you are pretty savvy, you can have one still image replace the Flash content that is seen online.  But with more and more people using mobile devices to look at websites, you are shooting yourself in the foot by using a site that relies heavily on Flash.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a great looking website.  HTML5 allows for many cool features (but that’s getting technical so don’t ask me to explain it!) that create great sites.  Using WordPress as your platform gives you lots of plugin options that will work on mobile devices as well.

The thing is – technology is changing so quickly that it’s important to look at your website regularly and make sure it is keeping up.

I’ve used Flash in the past but don’t any longer.  When I add new things I ask my web savvy friends if it will work on mobile devices.  This is just some food for thought… if you are putting effort into your website, I want it to be seen and enjoyed by all – regardless of the device they use to get there!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed