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Thread: Flash Websites

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    Flash Websites

    Im going to do a Kiwi and put up a question.

    Is the use of flash based websites for photography really necessary? Looking around at photographers websites it seems the majority have gone the way of flash and other bandwith hungry website designs (includes music, and other gimics). Does this reflect what is considered the cutting edge and that you are professional? Or is it just a waste when all the prospective client wants is an easy to use website showcasing your work (your primary selling point) that doesn't give a migrane due to the "clever" seamless transitions.

    Note: While I personally have a xhtml website, this is not the reason for the observation, it is more based on the number of photography websites I have seen and the opinions of some of those prospective clients (some people are puzzled by flash websites with uninspiring images).
    Last edited by Xebadir; 01-03-2011 at 5:54pm.
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    I did have a flash website which i didn't mind visually and it looked fairly "catchy", however reverted back to a standard site for 2 main reasons:

    Most flash sites rank very very poorly with SE's

    And as you stated, it was a very bandwidth intensive site, so had longer load times. (not the case with all flash sites though)

    When done correctly I enjoy them, and there are a lot of great ones out there, but I can see where you are coming from definitely...
    Cheers, Brad




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    Member TnT's Avatar
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    * removed. members with under 30 days membership and 50 posts cannot complain on Ausphotography. Please read the site rules *
    Last edited by ricktas; 01-03-2011 at 7:19pm.

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    I think one of the reasons that flash website was good was to protect your images from the old "right click" save - which has now also been superceded by the "snip tool"

    I've been thinking of changing as loading times can be slowere and therfore time on site can be lower (geez we are all so impatient these days...)
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    Jeff, there is a script you can use to stop "right clicks" on normal websites. have a look at my page, i can get you the code if you want it...

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    I hate flash websites. If you don't want your photos viewed, don't show them. If your photos need flashy transition effects to catch a client's eyes, improve your photos.

    otoh, laymen do see flashy = professional, so you may get clients that way
    those laymen will also probably be impressed by big 70-200 f2.8 lens (shaped coffee cup) and big reflectors/stands strewn around your (rented) studio

    I think it's a case of if your customers are looking for crap, then you gotta go sell crap to compete with other crap sellers...

    Or you can keep your dignity and use great images to get a different class of clients, even if it means less $

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I really don't care either way. If it is well presented, well laid out and shows the photos off well, it would not make me decide to not use a photographer just cause they had a website that was flash based. I have seen many more horrendous non-flash sites than flash ones (but maybe that is the power of numbers).
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    Member mistletoe's Avatar
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    Flash websites are not really 'bandwidth' heavy, infact I would have thought that even for a flash web site the major bandwidth would be taken up by downloading the photos. The .swf skins shouldn't weigh much at all. Transitions and so on are largely code generated at run time on the users computer, so again wouldn't contribute to bandwidth.

    There is a very good reason to consider flash for web design, and its this: a flash site looks pretty much the same on any browser you like. html on the other hand is rendered differently on firefox, IE and Netscape, so that you can't really guarantee a look and feel. Your site may look great on your set up, but elsewhere it might look a mess.
    Last edited by mistletoe; 02-03-2011 at 2:50pm.
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    a good resaon NOT to consider flash is the iPhone and iPad users
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    I don't really know about the bandwidth of flash, I suspect it has more to do with image size. I do find that a lot of my clients have slow internet (out in the country it is slow, we can't get broadband) and I have found quite a few flash websites are slow to load. My pet peeve is music on a website! I use java script.

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    Member mistletoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    a good resaon NOT to consider flash is the iPhone and iPad users
    A good reason not to buy an iPhone or iPod : Android.


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    In addition to Kiwi's very valid point point about iPads (15+M in the world now, and counting), etc. The main problem you highlighted doesn't alwys have a lot to do with having Flash involved, ie- too many gimmicks, audio, crappy navigation, etc. Flash can be great, when used properly, and more often than not, I'm not convinced it actually helps brings a useful dimension to some sites and categories.
    One of the best web image display tools I've seen is like on apug.org in their portfolios, where a screen overlay comes up once you've selected the image and scroll through from there.
    sample here- http://www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=28480
    (click on one of the pics)

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    even facebook has started using that same plugin. so it must be good.
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    Every website has different content, and is aimed at different people for a different goal. For some Flash is the best tool, others will be suited to basic HTML, or a combination of any other number of programming methods.

    As said, Flash isn't bandwidth heavy, photography is. All my Shockwave files are about 8-12 Kb - that's going to load almost instantly on any internet connection.

    I couldn't care less what a website was made with, I don't usually notice anyway.

    Bad design is annoying. Pet hate at the moment on a lot of photographers' sites, is when the navigation moves around as you go through a gallery, or the page jumps back up to the top of the browser with every new image = hassle = me closing the window.

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    A good alternative to flash sites would be javascript websites. Similar effect but more "Apple" friendly.
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    One of the best web image display tools I've seen is like on apug.org in their portfolios, where a screen overlay comes up once you've selected the image and scroll through from there.
    This is great as far as I am concerned....easy to use and looks slick.

    Most flash websites are ok....but a good html/java site is preferred as most people seem to go overboard with the flash and what is worse is those annoying flash demo pages before youe get to the home page......WHY!?!

    I use my ipod a lot to get information off the web without having to turn my pc on and the lack of flash support is really annoying as it usually pages like transport times that have flash!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xebadir View Post
    Is the use of flash based websites for photography really necessary? Looking around at photographers websites it seems the majority have gone the way of flash and other bandwith hungry website designs (includes music, and other gimics). Does this reflect what is considered the cutting edge and that you are professional? Or is it just a waste when all the prospective client wants is an easy to use website showcasing your work (your primary selling point) that doesn't give a migrane due to the "clever" seamless transitions.
    I've never been a fan of Flash-based sites, and the use of background music on any site is a chronic annoyance.

    If I visit a site and cannot find what I want quickly without going through gigabytes of techno-tossing, I'm likely not to bother.

    I simply want to get to the important stuff: the images, the profile and the contact details.

    IMO, the images should be the highlight. Substance over style. Less is more.
    Last edited by Xenedis; 03-03-2011 at 7:51pm.

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    I have never been that keen on Flash either. I have created flash animations for some self-guided learning materials I have created in former years but am not really in that line of work any more.

    As for Flash enabled websites, I don't care one way or the other at home but at work they are murder as for some strange reason, Flash has been blocked so it is a no go zone. I found it incredibly annoying recently when I had to look up address detials on a web site and it was done in Flash yet nowhere else in the website was there any Flash. I had to ring the head office to get the branch office phone number!

    If you don't need it, don't use it.

    BTW, I hate music on photo sites.
    Cheers

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    That effect on the apug site is lightbox, free and only about 3 lines of code.
    I use it and have had many complimentary comments on its proffesional look. Probably as its such a contrast to myself
    Togs are what my son wears to go swimming.

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    Member James T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndom View Post
    That effect on the apug site is lightbox, free and only about 3 lines of code...
    Only thing is, it is absolutely everywhere now.

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