Most Flash based image galleries are terrible – especially the free ones. Here’s why.
Your website crawls like a 6 month old. Google recently made a major update to their search algorithm. That update, called Caffeine, takes into account your website’s load time as one factor in your site’s rankings in the search results. Flash, as it’s normally used, is slow. On top of the search engines disliking it, how many times have you wanted to kill companies whose websites have load times measured in minutes?
Your landing page is more like a trampoline. If you are tracking your websites statistics, there’s a really important statistic called Bounce Rate. If your site has a Flash landing page, your bounce rate is probably really high. Flash landing pages were cool in the 90’s when they were novel, but now they just make web surfers annoyed and they click off to another site to find what they want.
Flash is like a file cabinet organized by Amelia Badelia. Most pages built on Flash are built as one solid website without individual pages. This is horrible organization for several reasons. Chief among these reasons is that each of your images will end up being on the same page as your home, contact, and artist bio pages. How will the search engines find your stuff if it’s so disorganized?
What does your page say? Ideally, you’ll have a short paragraph describing each piece of art on your website. After all, you’ll want each customer to know how big the piece is, what it was made on, and any other relevant information, yes? Unless you know how to work in Flash, you won’t be able to do this easily, and quite often, the search engines won’t be able to read it (note, with newer versions of Flash, the search engines can read text, but it’s still not easy to work in).
Flash is going out of style like your grandpa’s blue ruffle prom suit. It’s been building for some years, but Flash is quickly becoming a dated technology, and Adobe’s stranglehold on the market is being broken. Microsoft spent millions developing Silverlight, an alternative product that many companies are using. In addition, the iPhone doesn’t support Flash. With over 20% of the smart phone market share, that’s a lot of devices that don’t use Flash. Apple’s new iPad will also not support Flash. Using web standards like html and php will ensure our site plays well with newer technologies.
Shopping Carts. If you want to sell your work on your site, you’ll need to have it presented in an organized way with an easy button that allows someone to purchase your work right there on the same page as the art. Flash only makes this harder.