Flash vs HTML
What is Flash?
Flash is a programme that creates a file (called an swf file) containing graphics and text that can provide far more movement, interactivity and sound than a standard HTML page.
In order for a Flash (swf) file to be shown within a browser it must have the correct plug-in installed on the users computer. This plug-in is usually pre-installed with browser software (up to 90% of computers connected to the internet have the latest Flash plug-in according to Macromedia), but can also be downloaded from the Macromedia website.
The way Flash files are programmed has a negative impact on search engine rankings, making it more difficult to acheive the rankings that HTML sites are able to attain. This is due to the fact that all textual data (that is searched upon by the search engines) is not as easily available as it is with pure HTML because all the keywords are embedded within the swf file.
However, integrating Flash files into the layout of a HTML page means Flash movies can still play a vital part in a website, without having an adverse effect on search rankings. Providing a huge potential for different aesthetic and function orientated objectives, including simple animations, video clips and music players that a user can control.
Most sites that use Flash, adopt the principle above. However, some more creative sites (especially those that are well known anyway) are not so concerned about SEO will have entire sites built in Flash – and with download speeds geting quicker and quicker, the ‘Skip Intro’ button hardly has time to appear anyway.
What is HTML?
HTML is the base language used to write the files needed in order to show a web page in a browser. The browser ‘reads’ the HTML code from top to bottom – displaying content as it scans the file. This content includes images, text and other objects within the code that the programmer has asked to be displayed.