As a web developer, let me throw my two cents in here to hopefully help everyone thinking about their website and potential users.
STAY AWAY FROM FLASH!
Now that doesn't mean that you can't have a great site. You just need to find a great developer using the new standards and tech. Flash is an outdated, memory taking plugin that even Adobe (The maker of Flash) is moving away from to embrace new standards like HTML 5. You need to find a developer that uses HTML 5 and stuff like JQuery to deliver a great looking website that is cross platform. Meaning that the same website will work and display correctly no matter if your looking at it on a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Android, or any device that has a web browser.
You can still deliver video and other multimedia elements, just without the lead weight around your neck that's flash.
Why would you spend $2,000+ on a website that only a small percentage of your target customers can access?? Mobile is becoming the new, if not already, standard. Develop your websites that can be served on all these devices. Don't just go for the bells and whistles because it looks cool, but develop a great looking website that can actually be accessed by people on the device they choose. It reminds me of all the news articles I saw the last couple of years about restaurant websites that only are only built in Flash, so the thousands of users trying to access their website to look at their menus on iPhones and other mobile devices were not able to. You lose of on a lot of potential users. And with Mobile becoming the new standard, it's not something to ignore.
Have your website created using the new standards. If your web guy can't or doesn't know them, it's time get a new web guy that is keeping up with and looking towards new standards. It's no different than if you were to hire a contractor that doesn't know the new building codes. You wouldn't do it for your house or haunt, don't do it for your website. It's the first thing your customers will see and use, so don't give them a crap experience right off the bat.
Thanks everyone - you have all made great points, I really appreciate the feedback on this - between Adobe Edge that I just looked at, and the video idea I think I know what direction we are headed in.
Check out Adobe Muse too for website design... It's drag and drop graphics. Looks like an hr learning curve if that. Haven't been able to play with it yet. It's fairly new and after your 30 day trial if u like it u can get adobe iCloud which has everything including after affects for pennies on the dollar. It's a monthly subscription fee.
If you have the pics, a little edge animation which is replacing flash on the adobe platform, maybe a video clip/player you can blow it out very fast.. You won't need a web designer to make your updates or changes.. It's getting pretty simple.
The Hundred Acres Manor website was done by Tyler Kozar. As well as websites he does amazing work with branding as well as video.
I can put you two in contact if you're interested.
Adobe Muse -
Thanks for the suggestions on Adobe Muse - This program is pretty cool , and fairly easy to learn. I have been working with it about 6 hours total and have only had a few issues with it - We decided to go with the nice clean look that was given to us as an example, here's what we have so far:
Sweet.. I got to get my butt on it too. I have had it since it released but with our move its been on the back burner. Site looks great and you have absolute control!
You can't go wrong with Rogues Hollow Productions. They've done lots of sites/flash for attractions in the industry.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong as I'm not a professional web designer by any means, but my experience is if your looking to get the most results and search engine optimization out of your website I wouldn't use flash over your entire page. Flash doesn't offer much of any html content for search engines to crawl and log. So if your home page is all flash the bots will never sweep the rest of your site. They will just scroll over it, log very little (probably just the title) and move on elsewhere. Flash in the headers of sites seem to be ok because there's other content on the page to crawl. You want them to crawl your site as much as possible in order to get the most of search engines when someone is trying to find you online. The url posted earlier is awesome because the video is embed in the site instead of being an entire flash intro, therefore still offering html content for search engines to read and continue through the rest of your site. Same goes for pictures on your site. Rename your pics before you upload them, avoid "image_123456" and name the picture to work with your attraction in case the media wants to use your pictures on their sites. It will help extend your name even further online. Also, remember to alt text pictures too so when people search for your attraction your pictures will show up in google images, or yahoo images. At the same time, don't name every picture the name of your attraction. Name it what the picture is. The search engines will log anything that's written in html, unless graphics have been alt texted they will pass by those. Just some other things to keep in mind when building your site. Keep it simple, easy to follow for both patrons and search engines. Also, make sure that if there's a page that navigates away from your site that there is link back to your site. There is way more qualified web designers than me on here but this has been my experience. Hope that helps you.
Thanks for the tips on the image names - hadn't really even thought about that.
Everything you said is spot on and correct. If you site is flash, then SEO will skip it because it can't read the text or images in the site. I've said it once, I'll say it again, Flash is going the way of the dinosaur. Use a developer that can code with HTML 5 standards.
Originally Posted by MorgueofDoom