So you have decided that you want a website and you are ready to roll -- now what? The next step is for NetWareSquad to really assess who you are and what your company brings. If your target audience consists of younger adults or you want to really present an interactive experience then you may want a Flash/Flex website.
What is Flash / Flex? Flash and Flex are technologies founded and produced by Adobe corporation and even though you may not know them by name it is almost definite that you have witnessed and experienced one of the two on the web. Flash is most known for game development and those websites that have the music playing, things flying in from left to right / up and down. Flex is a newer technology that also allows you to create effects using FlashPlayer to create a user experience with things happening on the screen in real time as the user experiences the web site.
As with anything, these new tools have advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages are (like we touched on above) that it truly does create a more unique experience for the user and a lot of times if the site presents an application or is delivering some sort of files/info etc. these things are best accomplished w/ Flash and or Flex. For example - With these two you can make asynchronous calls to the server (much like with AJAX) -- WTF does that mean.. well it means that you can click a button and have the answer/result delivered to you instantly no Web 1.0 whole page refresh while you wait for the server to process your request. You never have to leave the page, instead everything is delivered to you on the same page or same url and this really helps transcend the experience.
Disadvantages? Of course, the main reason NWS (that be us) used to discourage the use of Flash/Flex for websites has become non-existent. That reason was that some users (mostly older / non savvy users) may not have the latest version of FlashPlayer which runs Flash and Flex. In fact, some may not have it at all and may not know how to install it. If that was the case and there was Flash/Flex running on the site it would prompt the user to download the plugin if the user did not want to or was unaware of how to do this then boom - there goes the customer on to the next site. Instead, however, this is now 2011 and the latest estimates show that 98% of users have FlashPlayer 7 or greater. This is not the most current player; however, it shows that more users have it and are aware of how to install/upgrade it. Long story short... 9/10 users now have the ability to play Flash or Flex on their browser. --Oh and also we can script something up that says -- hey this user doesn't have the latest player installed so lets just take them to an HTML site instead. Another disadvantage that has somewhat diminished as well is that search engines like Google,Yahoo, etc. can not index content found on a Flash or Flex application. That is to say if your website is talking about Selling Cars throughout the entire site Google/Yahoo have no way to distinguish and evaluate how reputable your site is because they can not read the text held within the application like they can in HTML (more info see the SEO 101 blog entry!) HOWEVER, once again this too is beginning to get dealt with! Google announced last year that they can now access TEXT objects in Flash and subsequently Flex as well. Still though, in terms of Search Engine Optimization if you are high on SEO and this is a priority for you we recommend sticking to HTML because even though they can index text objects that doesn't cover alt text, labels, h1, bold, etc.
In conclusion -- it will be all up to you and if you are concerned about users not being able to access it we can always create you two sites one for Flash folks who have the player installed and another for those who don't.
Talk to us today to figure out what fits you best!