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SEO and flash sites - can anyone advise?

(25 Posts)
brokenrecord Thu 29-Oct-09 09:01:39

I'd like to have a flash website but I know that they are not as good in terms of SEO. If I get a blog (self-hosted?) will that be enough to bring up the site's rankings? I know it's what a lot of people in my business do, but I'm not sure of the mechanices of it. Have been reading up on SEO, but the more I find out, the more there is to know, IYSWIM?

Would love some help or advice.

Thanks

morningpaper Thu 29-Oct-09 09:02:37

Personally I think flash sucks

Look up 'flash accessibility' and read up on the topic on google

brokenrecord Thu 29-Oct-09 09:12:56

Hey - that was quick!

I know what you mean, and have read a lot of articles. I have also googled the keywords for my district and area of work and most of the top ranking sites are html, so I know where you are coming from.

I do think for my specialty the flash sites do have the edge somehow, and I did a mini survey of my friends and they too found the flash sites more impressive. (I'm a photographer, by the way.)

I can also buy a very servicable flash template and get it running quickly for an affordable price. My current website took ages to work on with the designer, had quite a few errors, and was expensive. (It's very outdated now, so whatever I go with I need a new one.)

If you have any suggestions where I could find an html template or reliable designer that would be great.

I was looking at html templates, then saw a comment on a forum which said that those particular ones were 'non-compliant' and had errors in the code, which made me wonder if I might be worse off with the wrong html site.

Sorry for the essay

morningpaper Thu 29-Oct-09 09:21:42

well obviously I'M a reliable designer wink

I guess it depends what sort of functionality you want - most things can be achieved with HTML

Give me some examples of 'good' flash sites

brokenrecord Thu 29-Oct-09 09:35:03

Not sure if I could afford you - at least not until my business gets going a bit more. Maybe will contact you to find out though.

For a flash site I am looking at a company called 'portfoliositez' who do a simple template called 'diego' - the second sample of that is very plain I think easy to navigate.

morningpaper Thu 29-Oct-09 09:41:55

Well the Diego site doesn't load on my computer - the top menu navigational is inaccessible because it goes over the top of my monitor!!! I can't find any way of using the menu. That IS a bit problem with flash - very hard to get it to work for everyone...

aaarghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

hang on I've tried again and removed my toolbars and now I can see it

What part of the flash do you like? The way the pictures change if you sit and stare at it?

morningpaper Thu 29-Oct-09 09:44:15

huh I've gone in again and it's all different

Does it flick through different user's sites or something?

AARGH now it's all MUSICAL

RustyBat Thu 29-Oct-09 09:47:23

Don't forget that more people are accessing the Internet via phones these days & not all of them can handle flash - I'm on an iPhone at the moment, and all I get on that site is a little blue box...

brokenrecord Thu 29-Oct-09 09:50:29

That's good to know for a start. I have read of people having a similar problem and getting them to set it to a fixed size which helped that, but i could have got that wrong.

I do like the slideshow effect, and I know you can get that in html. I think flash is somehow swisher all round - it's perhaps to do with the speed of navigation and responsiveness. Perhaps I will go back and ask my 'focus group' what exactly it was they thought was more impressive.

Do you think a blog can do anything to help SEO? Some people swear by theirs, though i don't see how that works exactly.

brokenrecord Thu 29-Oct-09 09:54:39

X-posted. The music is optional - I wouldn't have that. I don't think it changes sites so no idea why it's different this time.

It's a very popular template in the States, so I think soome of the problems must be resolvable. Most people use it with a spash page - I know shock - and give an option to choose dial up. They optimise the splash page only.

I do appreciate the iPhone comment though - that;'s going to be increasingly important...

morningpaper Thu 29-Oct-09 09:55:45

Personally as soon as I see the 'loading flash' logo I just close the site

blog won't make any difference no - if it's badly coded for SEO then it's badly coded for SEO

perhaps a useful exercise to do is to google the search terms that you think your clients might use, and look at your immediate competititors sites

brokenrecord Thu 29-Oct-09 10:02:12

Thanks - it's all good to know.

I have done that, and yes, considering that most photographer's sites are flash (seems to be the convention) the top listing ones are disproportionately html sites, so that's really why I'm asking. I was all set to pay the money for the flash template until I realised that.

Having said that, there are some flash sites on the first page, so I don't know how they did that.

Anyway, thanks again, I really appreciate the input.

Got to go out now to do some half-term things, but will check again later

MrAnchovy Fri 30-Oct-09 00:15:32

33 Most Beautiful Javascript and Flash Galleries

I wouldn't look past the first one - free, looks great out of the box, uses jQuery so has good semantic markup (great for SEO) and should be easy to customise and to fit in to a site with non-picture based content.

brokenrecord Fri 30-Oct-09 09:57:17

Thank you MrAnchovy. They do look like a good way to present your work.

My head is about to explode with all the options now... grin

MrAnchovy Fri 30-Oct-09 10:58:54

Unless you have some experience developing web sites, you need someone who does. They will use their favourite back-end system to enable you to upload the pictures you want, arrange them into galleries, add descriptions and some text pages etc. integrate the Galleria script into the front end, and work with you to produce an overall look and feel that presents your desired professional image.

I can vouch for morningpaper's work and she was here first... smile

MrAnchovy Fri 30-Oct-09 12:42:29

Ooo I think I am liking the full-screen gallery from the same people even better. Needs a bit of tweaking for iPhone goodness but that's fairly easy.

The images in that demo are hosted on Flickr which cuts out the need for backend integration, but does slow things down too much for a professional site IMHO.

TracyK Fri 30-Oct-09 15:57:00

Now MrA - that was totally uncalled for - how am I sposed to do work now looking at the pissing rain after looking at those lovely pictures!

brokenrecord Sat 31-Oct-09 08:21:18

Thanks again. Interestingly the full screen gallery you linked to has a kind of 'net curtain' effect over the images on my browser...

I remembered a crucial part of my requirements which was to be able to update and change the site at will, which is why I was looking at templates. I'm now leaning towards the flash templates in the short term while I do some more research, but I'm really grateful for all the advice I got here - it's helped me sort my thoughts out a lot....

May pop back up with more questions in a bit

MrAnchovy Sat 31-Oct-09 20:46:08

The 'net curtain' effect is being used to avoid the blocky effect of blowing up a the low resolution images downloaded from Flickr to full screen: I don't like it either, so I would turn it off and use higher resolution images. On reflection though, I think the first script would work better if you wanted some text on the page as well anyway.

You are absolutely right, you must be able to change the text and images on your site yourself: this is what I meant by 'back-end system', sorry I should have explained that better. Beware that what you mean by 'template' is not what many purchased flash sites are: often you can only put in your text and images once, if you want to make any changes you have to pay again. It looks like that is not the case with porfoliositez, but make sure you check if you are going somewhere else.

I see that that template generates an HTML version which Google will index if pushed in the right direction, but this means that anyone following the links will go to the HTML site instead of the Flash version (unless you use some server trickery). Google for 'portfoliositez denver metro colorado' and the first link will show you what I mean.

It sounds to me that you had a bed experience with getting your existing site together: whoever you use in the future I hope it works out better.

brokenrecord Sat 31-Oct-09 21:36:46

Thanks again. I am a little confused with how the html site and/or the blog brings visitors in to the site.

Re my previous site - to be fair, my friend did it at a big discount, and there were some minor errors which she fixed when she could. The not being able to amend it was a problem, but wasn't her fault, and it served me well for period I needed it for.

MrAnchovy Sat 31-Oct-09 21:53:22

Thanks again. I am a little confused with how the html site and/or the blog brings visitors in to the site.

Google is only interested in HTML, so if you haven't got any (and it doesn't have to be a separate site, it can be on the pages with the flash pictures) you won't appear in search results.

A blog can help because you keep adding content, and Google notices that (as long as it is well linked) and comes back more often.

But IME if you are offering photography based in Nottingham, say, you will get the best results by having the title of your home page as 'Broken Record - Professional Photography in Nottingham, Derby and Leicester' or whatever. Have another page 'Wedding photography in Nottingham...', and 'Corporate photography in ...'

brokenrecord Sat 31-Oct-09 21:59:18

That makes sense, and ties in with what I have read. I get the impression that photographers using a flash template optimise their splash page as best they can with as many keywords as possible. I think I am correct in saying that this helps a bit, but limits them because as you say, they could put more keywords on other pages if they had them.

I suppose what I don't understand is whether, if they put more keywords into a blog entry, does that bring visitors into that particular blog page, or to the splash page and then to the website?

MrAnchovy Sun 01-Nov-09 01:30:00

The blog page. If they are interested, there should be a Home link on the blog page to take them to the splash page (barf - this page is pretty much what I think about spash pages).

brokenrecord Sun 01-Nov-09 10:44:26

Thanks again

I agree 100% about splash pages, but for those with flash site it seems the only way to have anywhere to a) offer the link to the html mirror site, and b) add text that can be read by the search engines...

I think some of the points in that link were about the downside of a fancy flash with animation, etc, though I do think they are are horrible whichever way they are done.

brokenrecord Sun 01-Nov-09 10:45:30

Meant to say 'flash splash page with animation'...

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