elizabeth&jane blog

The No Flash Challenge

I’d like to touch on my feelings about Flash on websites, which are actually quite negative. I studied web development in university, so I feel I have a justified reasons for my strong feelings against Flash. I would almost go so far as to say I loathe it. It slows down my experience, I am impatient and I hate having to sit there while a site loads, and people use it incorrectly. There are certain minimal uses for Flash but even then I am not sold. It angers me when an entire website is created in Flash that has absolutely no reason why it had to be done using that platform instead of in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Having said that, I do have Flash on my website – and I want to get rid of it.

With the recent announcement of Apple’s newest creation, the iPad (stupid name, but I definitely want one), I got to thinking about how a visitor experiences my website on mobile devices. Hand held devices such as smartphones, the iPod Touch, and the new to be released iPad don’t have the ability to display Flash elements and I don’t see this as a bad thing. Currently, there is a Flash viewer on my main home page, as well as my gallery page. For a while now I have wanted to combine the two into one viewing experience that resides solely on the home page. It is simpler and I wanted to do it without Flash, but still have the same dynamic sliding photos and automatic playing.

Enter my awesome code-man husband. Thomas, is a web developer and has his own company. I challenged him to prove to the photography community that a dynamic website without Flash can be done. Everything that everyone seems to love about Flash, cool transitions and movement, could be done without Flash. One major benefit of this is the fact that the site will work and function the way it does on a computer, on a mobile device, as well as having better SEO and will load a heck of a lot faster.

And he did it! The demo site uses my photos (yay!) and looks great! We will be implementing a gallery similar to this on the home page of my website soon and I am so excited about it! View the demo here.

No Flash Photography Demo Site

Thomas also wrote a really informative article about the process and made a few great points. One in particular he touched on was music. I do not like music on websites, at all. When I am browsing, I am usually listening to my own music and don’t feel it necessary for the website I am looking at to be playing it as well. I find it almost obnoxious, especially when there is no way to turn it off. In cases like that, I leave the website almost immediately.

To quote from his article:

“If you are using music, make sure you have permission to use the music on your web site. You, as a photographer, worry about people stealing your photos, so why would you steal someone’s music?”

This point is bang on. Almost every photographer’s website that includes music, is playing a popular song by a well known musician. I doubt they have permission from them to have their song playing. As photographers we worry about our photographs being stolen and I am sure it’s happened many times – I know it has to me. So if you are using a musician’s song without consent, isn’t that the same thing?

A lot of people disagree with me on the music front, but studies have shown that on a whole, music is more detrimental to keeping people on your website than if you didn’t have music.

I’d love to see photographer’s rise to the challenge of creating a website that is viewable in all platforms, including mobile devices. A photographer’s website is crucial to their brand and if you would like to have yours be rid of Flash, contact Thomas – he’d love to work with you to achieve that goal!

Have a wonderful day,

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