Flash, Quicktime and Plug-ins
Adobe Flash is dead. Quicktime, RealPlayer and others are finally being relegated to their proper roles. This has come about because of CSS3 (Cascading Style Sheets Layer 3) which, when fully implemented by all the browsers will take your web surfing experience to the next level.
The World Wide Web has come a long way since its’ inception. We now have interactivity (blogs, forums, mutli-user games, etc.) The average user can now download pages ten times (or more) as fast compared to just a few years ago.
But with these technical changes the users have changed as well. They expect more faster. So, no matter what, you still need to make decisions regarding file sizes and how much cutting edge technology to use to get your message across.
Most sites don’t need whiz-bang-gee-aint-that-nice effects like Flash Animations or Quicktime Presentations. If you decide to use animation and video on your site, make sure the content is appropriate for your site. Keep them to a minimum or put each one on its own page. You still need to keep the file size as small as possible.
Thanks to YouTube, Flash has made great strides and is now a de-facto web standard. As such its’ use on the web has exploded and works extremely well on most bowsers and platforms. However, with the coming of CSS3, and the iPhone not adopting it, it has recently become a de- de-facto standard.
One of the problems with Adobe Flash is that search engines CAN’T index any text inside the video, so DON’T do a Flash website. If you feel the need for Flash keep to just presentations. Don’t use Flash website templates.
Be cautious of new or proprietary technology as it may limit your visitor base. An example would be that Microsoft decided many years to no longer develop a windows media player for platforms other than Windows.
Plug-ins enhance your web browser and can enhance your browsing experience. Don’t use them unless you need to. With all the security problems these days, people do not want to put more on their computers than they have to. If you feel you need to use them, see if you can use the more popular plug-ins like QuickTime or RealPlayer first.
Basically ask yourself – “Does my site need this?” If you answer no or maybe, don’t do it.
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