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I have a xml flash menu, it looks fantastic and I would love to keep it, but am worried about the effects of having this. Im not long into web development and am worried about the side affects of some without flash not getting any menu.
Im also wondering if spiders see the links to the rest of my site that are within the menu, as this is the only way to the rest of the site.
I know you can re-direct users who dont have flash, but am unsure how to do this. If I do re-direct and make an exact page but with normal menu, do I have to do this for all my pages.
Please let me know your views and help me decide.
cheers from UK
So many designers go for form over function, and end up with empty glitzy sites. Also I have seen many business sites with flash and other technologies where they paid $000's for a site no one knows exists.
That said, you'll do better if you have non-flash alternate content for people without flash (including spiders). Given that 95+% of users have flash it doesn't need to be all that pretty, but you'll do better if it's there.
Sometimes I feel like a broken record since I keep recommending SWFObject (aka FlashObject), but it works and will do exactly what you need - it first presents the non-flash alternative, then switches to flash if the user has the correct version of flash - and does so in a way that avoids the recent problems with IE.
Jay5r....where did you read/hear that se's can read into flash? I have never heard such.
until i read/hear otherwise, i agree with netchicken1 - stay away from flash as much as you can - ajax is a great alternative
the only time i use flash for clients are:
- when the peice of flash will contain no important content and only provide an enhanced user experience (unless the content is dupped on another page as html)
- if the client is not largely depending on traffic from se's (they have alternate methods for driving traffic)
there are a few others, but the key is, if you want to get indexed (and have a decent rank) - stick to html and css for core content and ALWAYS have a sub navigation structure on the page consisting of text links to your other pages and a sitempa that links to all pages.
thanks for your help in making my mind up to get rid. Not sure if you have heard of the menu im using but its a product from frunder. It does look ace and is supposed to get round many problems faced with flash but am sure its not good idea when using for a menu....suppose i was just hoping i could keep it and still retain my page rank 4 and page 1 search for uk and non uk aswell.
But now, like you I feel I may get dropped from rankings and SE's if I produce this updated website with the flash menu.
Many thanks all,
There's over 95% penetration for version 7 in "mature markets", a little better for earlier versions.
How do I know Google crawls flash? 'Cause I see swf files in their index for my site. (Mind you I also have non-flash nav on my site just in case). But there has been conversation going back years that search engines can crawl flash - here's an example...
It even quotes Matt Cutts saying that they do in fact do it successfully - in fact they do it better than the other search engines did at the time.
also, ya, i see [swf] in google results sometimes, but i never see the text in the flash file as the description underneath the link listed in google.....i'd need to see an example to decrease my skepticism.....
the article being written in 2003 AND the fact that common notion is to stay away from flash if you want to rank well in the serps, keeps me in the same position prior to reading that article.....if you ask me, that conversation is dead...but, then again, who am i to say whats what...
hope i havent started something here.
am still 90% sure I will remove the flash menu....BUT
could I not retain my great SEO and rank 4 by placing an invisable menu under the flash, so the likns get picked out and menu keywords get seen by code? but not by the web user?
also, not sure how to get any flash users picked out and sent to a NON flash menu site, would I need to re-create every page with the non flash menu...
seems like hastle
opinions still welcome....BUT no fighting
Whilst search engines can access some Flash content, the usefullness of a Flash menu will be extremely limited, especially if there is no plain HTML alternative. You should at the very least try to incorporate plain HTML links via a universal footer, combined by a site map page where you list all the pages of your site via plain text anchors.
You should also consider the overall usability of a Flash menu. Virtually no major sites outside of Adobe/Macromedia's own sites use Flash for site navigation, and even then never without a text alternative. Flash menus often dramatically reduce the efficiency of a site, especially if they are dynamic - see Mouseover Menus - or DHTML indigestion [webmasterworld.com] for one viewpoint.
I have just placed a flash slideshow next to the main menu and now the sub menu's are not visible ontop of the new flash slideshow.
Some of the sub menu's under the flash are still appearing fine.
How can i get the sub menu's to be visable ontop of the slideshow.
i have played around with the z-index but to no effect.