web design

Adding Flash Can Be a Site for Sore Eyes

Flash technology has really enhanced the way websites can be designed. Not only can you build entire websites in Flash, but you can also use Flash objects within a regular web page. We’re going to discuss how adding a Flash animation to your site can change the entire look and feel of a site.

First off, here’s a little information about Flash, taken from Wikipedia:

  • Flash is a set of multimedia technologies developed and distributed by Adobe Systems
  • It has also been known as Adobe Flash or Shockwave Flash or Macromedia Flash
  • It was introduced in 1996, and it has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages
  • It is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, web page components, video features and other rich Internet applications.
  • Most web browsers support the Flash Player plug-in that is freely available to those that want it.

Now that you know a little of the history of Flash, let’s talk about how you can gain from this piece of technology.

If you have your own website, chances are, you or your web designer has added images and graphics to spice it up. You might have the organization logo, or an image of people or a building in the header of your site. Nice, right?

Now what if you wanted something else — something that would catch a visitor’s eye — something that says, “Look at me!” Why not add a little motion to your site?

Now, some of you would go out and shop around for that cute little animated GIF file that would loop over and over again. Like a dove in flight, or a heart beating. Or maybe something like this:

Well, maybe not something like that, but you get the picture. Animated GIFs certainly do give a sense of motion and do catch people’s attention, but they can also be poor in quality or out-dated. Also, depending on the details of the file, the size can be a bit large as well.

Let’s compare two website headers from our sample Custom CMS Express website. The first site has a static header (a graphic with no animation). Click the screenshot below to view it.

The second example is the same site with a Flash header. Click the screenshot below to view it, and focus on the header above the brown menu rather than the “Current Series” (which is also a Flash animation, by the way) below the menu.

Did the Flash header grab your attention? Did you see how it was able to deliver a message? Did you notice that the Flash header stopped rather than annoyingly repeating over and over?

There are an endless amount of possibilities when using Flash and it is usually well worth finding a terrific web designer (wink, wink) to create a Flash object for you.

I’m seeing a growing number of organizations requesting Flash headers for the Custom CMS Express websites I develop. And we designed our new NE1 Website Builder with the ability to accommodate custom Flash headers as well.

In fact, you can win an Extreme Website Makeover as we’re giving away a free custom NE1 template with Flash header at the end of this month.

What do you think of using Flash on a website? Do you have any Flash on your site? Do you plan to add any? Post your comments below.

If you enjoyed this article or found it interesting, vote for it on Blogs4God so that others will see it.

About the author

Mike Cotton

Mike joined OurChurch.com as Web Designer/Developer in September, 2006. Born and raised in Houston, TX, he is now married and has 3 adorable children. In his spare time he enjoys playing piano/keys and singing throughout the local area as well as at church. You may also see him acting in church dramas as well as a local Improv Comedy Troupe!


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