Flash Based Sites – Pros and Cons

For the past few years, flash-based sites have been all the rage, and as Macromedia compiles more and more great features into Flash, we can only forecast that there will be more and more flash sites showing up around the Internet. Nevertheless, Flash based sites have been very much disputed as too catchy and unnecessary. Here’s a simple idea of the pros and cons that will help you to draw the line.

The Pros:

Interactivity

The action script that goes along with Flash has the ability to open up a vast field of possibilities. Programmers and designers have made use of Flash in order to create interactive features ranging from very lively feedback forms to attractive Flash-based games. This entirely new interactivity level will always leave the visitors coming back for more.

A standardized site

With Flash, you won’t have to worry about cross-browser compatibility. There are no more worries over how a certain CSS code will display differently in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. And, when you position your site elements in Flash, they will always appear as they are as long as the user has Flash Player installed.

Animation for better expression

In Flash, people can make use of its animating features in order to convey a message more efficiently and effectively. Flash is a lightweight option for animation due to the fact that it is vector based (and hence smaller file sizes) as opposed to real “movie files” which are raster based and therefore much larger in size.

The Cons:

The Flash player

People will need to download the Flash player in advance before they can view Flash movies, therefore by using Flash your visitor’s range will go down considerably due to the fact that not everyone will want to download the Flash player just in order to view your site. You will also have to put in further work in redirecting the user to the Flash download page if he or she hasn’t installed the player.

Site optimization

If your content was presented in Flash form, it wouldn’t be possible for most search engines to index your content. Therefore, you will not be able to rank well in search engines which will make less traffic heading to your site.

Loading time

Users will have to wait longer than usual to load Flash content in comparison to regular text and images, and some visitors might just lose their patience and click the Back button. So the longer your Flash takes to load, the more you risk of losing visitors will be.

The best way forward is to use Flash only when you absolutely need the interactivity and motion that goes along with it. If not, you can use a mixture of Flash and HTML or use pure text if your site is purely to present information which is simply textual and graphical.


J. M. Stevens is contributing editor at WebDesignArticles.net. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.

Pros and Cons Of Unmanaged Hosting

Managed and unmanaged hosting services are intended for customers with various needs. Both services have their pros and cons, and should be chosen on the basis of the technical expertise and the needs of a particular website.

Managed hosting, as the name indicates, has several advantages. The most important advantage is that it provides end-to-end server management, and looks after all server-related troubleshooting requirements. This could be a big relief for a website owner who doesn’t need to worry about a server’s needs or its maintenance.

The website owner won’t also need to worry about the server side hardware and software requirements such as the choice of the operating system, network connectivity or administrative controls. All these come along with the managed hosting package. The site owner’s responsibility is only limited to the hosting of content. This can be achieved from the same city, another city or even another country.

Several managed hosting companies even provide easy to use control panels in order to enable inexperienced site administrators to set up and make their websites function. These control panels are programmed in order to execute complex commands at the click of a button. They also solve problems that might arise at the server end during the course of hosting.

Another important issue that is looked after by managed web hosting services is bandwidth. These monitor the sites to study the traffic density, and make arrangements for smooth data transfer. They also take care of load balancing, which is extremely important for sites that attract high traffic. Without this device, the traffic will get choked.

In contrast, unmanaged hosting services provide customers with the capability of a remote server administration. The customer will then take care of all server-related requirements. Nevertheless, to do so the customer should be well versed in server management or else hire a technically qualified and experienced server administrator.

Unfortunately, server administrators don’t come without any costs. These costs will be difficult to afford for small and medium websites. They will also leave a vacuum when they quit. The new server administrator will then have to spend several weeks to understand how the sites are configured.

Managed hosting then seems like the best solution. It saves websites the trouble of managing the server, and helps them to focus on their core area of activity – that is hosting content. They also save money in the process due to the fact that managed hosting is much cheaper than the cost of hiring a full-fledged server administrator.


Michael Beattie is contributing editor at WebDesignArticles.net. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.