Common Restaurant Website Mistakes #2 – Flash

Posted on Friday, June 20 2014 by Russ Huntington

In this series of common restaurant website mistakes, we’re discussing over-elaborate and ultimately ineffective digital marketing techniques that are often implemented by restaurants. In this part, we’ll discuss Flash.

First off, what are we even talking about here? Flash is a software platform that is mostly utilised by designers to create animations, games and rich internet applications. Very often, it is used to make websites as an alternative to the standard approach of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Let me be very clear here – this article is not intended to put down Flash in anyway. It’s a great tool for a specific job, it’s just that websites are not it.

So why should a restaurant owner care what Flash is? After all – what they want is a nice website with fancy graphics, surely it’s up to the web designer how they create it?

Flash is a problem, for three main reasons:

  1. Search Engines (Google, Bing, etc.) - The content of Flash-based website cannot be read by Search Engines when they index a website. This means that your website will be hard to find for potential customers, and you won’t get traffic from relevant search engine queries.
  2. Accessibilty - The text content of Flash files is not selectable in the same way it is on normal website. That means customers who need to enlarge the text for easier reading will be unable to do so, and customer who use “Screen Readers” to read the text aloud for them won’t always be able to get access.
  3. Mobiles - Flash requires a browser plugin to display the site. This is fine on desktop computers (although a little inconvenient if your visitor doesn’t already have it), but users who visit your website from a smartphone or tablet device will be locked out. Remember – mobile device users average up to 40% of your potential website audience.

Put more simply, Flash is not suitable for websites that rely on getting information across. It really is great for things like playing videos or animations – but should never be used to display the full website. White Menu websites are built to allow your customers to find you easily through online searches and on mobile devices - contact us to find out more.