This article on Photofocus.com is a good one for photographers utilizing a website designed in Flash. It also touches up on a lot on how I feel about Flash based websites from a search marketing perspective. In his list of why Photographers should choose a blog over a Flash site, he touches on how search engine friendly blogs are. Yes, search engines love blogs, but the key thing he doesn’t mention is that from a search engine perspective, (for example Google’s bots) read Flash based websites as ONE page. That’s one single page of content. If you have a website for you business and you paid a bunch of money to have it developed in Flash, guess what? No one is going to find it. Unless they are looking really, really hard.
Since sites completely designed in Flash are often embedded into a single webpage, (often the index.html page) this means they register to search engines as ONE page. You’ve effectively built a website that comes up as one page result, and rendered your business almost completely invisible to search engines, other than that one page. I hope you didn’t have a lot of content on that Flash site. As mentioned, blogs, even photoblogs, are filled with key word heavy content. Because of the way PHP based sites pull up content, all of your articles and writings get spidered. This is a very good thing.
I don’t blog that much on this site, but on my E-zine Ihatebikes, I regularly write articles on mountain biking that feature heavily into search engine results. In fact, 54.60% of the traffic from the site came from search engines alone last month. If it was Flash based, I can tell you I certainly wouldn’t be updating it with content that much either.
When I design a website for a client these days, my first recommendation is to go with a WordPress based blog. Recent releases of WordPress, combined with the multitude of plugins and ready made themes make it really simple to get something up and running, and choosing a premium theme such as Thesis can make customizing it even easier.
While I’ve worked on a number of different CMS (content management systems) WordPress is not only my favorite to develop and publish content with, is also the easiest to teach people. Unlike building a static website, when I build you a WordPress based site, I also include a FAQ and show you how to get rolling. Instead of paying me or a web admin every month to update if for you, you’re free to update and change content anytime you want or need to, and your site will do that much more for you.
And now, a really cool picture of my cat. On the moon.
Call me a cat lady, but I love this shot so much I’m going to have to reshoot it until I nail the focus on his cute little face. Unfortunately, Neo (kitty’s name) was getting tired of flying through the air, and the shoot had to be cut a bit short, due to an irritated model.