Flash, Frames and Templates

Flash, Frames and Templates

On the 28th of November we conducted seminar titled ‘Marketing on a Shoestring Budget’ for CEOs of small businesses. Visiting the website of the attendees was a revealing experience. Quite a few of the websites frankly need to be redone. Some of them were vanilla websites while others were expensive and well designed ones. Common denominator in most of the websites is either the contents leave much to be desired or the design was made with no understanding about the search engines, or both.

While content is subjective and industry specific, sins about designing a website can well be avoided. As a follow up to our seminar, I thought a few things should be brought to the notice of CEOs of SMEs.

Three sins about website designs that have to be totally avoided are flash, frame and template.

Flash driven templates are not search engine friendly and the search engines are not likely to read at least ninety percent of what is written in the website. Just try this out. Google site: website name (for example site: icai.org). The result will show every single link that is pointing to the website. Now try the same thing with a flash driven site. The chances are the flash driven site will not even figure in the first page of Google, even with a name search. Now, if you remove ‘site:’ within the search tag, the site will be the first one to be listed. Google is perhaps not linking a flash driven site with rest of the Blue Nowhere. I do not know the technology behind it, but I know for sure flash websites do not work.

Flash websites are quiet expensive and attractive, without doubt. Whenever we visit a flash intro page, the first thing that we search for is the ‘Skip Intro’ button. Why then waste money on it, is totally beyond me.

Frames have the same objections as that of flash. The advantage of frames is, if you can call it one, is to dump lot of materials within a single frame which no one is going to read and google is not going to index. Frames hold lot of materials and scrolling within the frame requires effort. It requires thinking. Visitor should think only on the content and not on website navigability.

Templates place altogether another set of problem. Complacency and Shortcuts on the part of the web designer! Finer points like ‘H1’ tag etc (Don’t ask me more. I am not a web designer!) are given a go by.

We are getting an expert to write on Search Engine Optimization basics that an SMB’s CEO should know. Stay tuned.

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