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Flash Issues

9:13 am on Jul 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hi guys,

we have recently spent a lot of time and money outsourcing a flash wesite to be made. we are novices, and did not realise the seo and visibilty consequences this would have until now. we need our website to go up the google rankings, and we need everyone to be able to see it.

I do not understand a lot of the technical stuff behind this website - its quite complex and would take me far too long to learn.

Is there a way of moving over the flash files into html? Or something similar?

Ive seen code that see whether the user has flash or not and directsthem to te flash or html site accordingly, but is there a quite way of copying what has been done in flash to html?

Thanks for any ideas!
4:41 pm on July 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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You mean the actual content? Not easily. At it's most basic form you'd have to open the original .FLA's, reconstruct it from scratch. There is an Export function that you can use to export the graphics on the stage as images which you can use as a framework, but it's still all manual. I've never pursued it, but there might be a way to export the current stage as HTML, but not sure.

There **are** some things that can be done in Flash to assist search engines, if you try Flash indexing site:webmasterworld.com in Google (or flash SEO site:webmasterworld.com) you'll see some threads around here. Some of the them allude to Google being able to index Flash, others indicate Adobe has made some changes to Flash that will actually help supply content information to Google. But I fear neither of these will be anywhere as beneficial as static html output.

Yes, you can create "alternate content" for search engines, although as to whether redirection/different versioning is a good idea has no definite answer. Normally supplying different content to SE's than "on the page" it a bad thing, but in the case of Flash it may be acceptable. The simplest thing, to avoid problems, is to replicate the Flash content on the page in a <noscript> container.

The real problem you face is not even all of this: it's your users. Take this as the constructive criticism it is: people don't come to your site to wow at graphics or how cool it looks, they come to solve a problem. They don't care how it looks, and many people will have Flash disabled or hit the X faster than your object can say "loading . . . ". Steve Jobs has declared that Flash will never even be possible on his new widget, the iPad.

Don't get me wrong, I love Flash, programming a project in it today, but it should be used to enhance the user experience, not be a requirement to access the content. So given the overall situation, if it were me, I'd "square one" the project just like you're planning to do and get your content out of the Flash.

Outsourcing . . . I guess as a freelancer I'm a party to this, but not in the way most people see "outsourcing," so I'll venture one more thought. This is a **personal** code of ethics and I'm in no way inferring this as a bash to "Flash web site" developers. What does your Flash developer have to say about this, why didn't he/she raise the point, what do they know about indexing Flash in S.E.s? (Search down those threads I mentioned before you ask.) IMO when you take on a client's business site, you also take on responsibility for answers to these questions, even if they are not good ones.
10:57 am on July 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hi, thanks for your reply.

We decided to outsource again, we have someone converting the site to HTML (i dont know how!) so hopefully we are going to have code in the site which determines whether the user has flash or not, and directs them to the correct version they need.

As for the outsourcing part, i dont think my freelancer can really be blamed - true he said nothing, but the SEO wasnt part of his job, and had he said anything, we wouldnt have listened as we had our hearts so set on flash!

But we've learned our lesson - next website is all HTML! It'll still look good, just in a different way, and at least it'll get the job done for us in terms of SEO and of course all users will be able to see it!

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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