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Web Design Best Practices For SEO – Flash, HTML5 or Javascript?

Home » Web Development » Web Design Best Practices For SEO – Flash, HTML5 or Javascript?

With the latest SEO practices and Search Engine functionality updates, your traditional web design practices might be at stake. Read below to find out if you need to abandon your old practices and adopt new technologies to conform to the current SEO world.

SEO is the first priority for most online businesses as they drive traffic and revenue from search engines. Let’s look below to determine the best SEO practices when it comes to web design.

Responsive Web Design:

Responsive Web Design is the most preferred practice for creating pages, as the code can adapt to all screen sizes and resolutions, adhering to minimal resizing metrics.

Today’s design practices and trends are facing an intense rivalry among different designs and techniques which include Responsive, Adaptive, and Fluidic design. Setting aside the eye-candy factor, Responsive web design has a significant positive impact on SEO.

With responsive design, the website includes a single url version for every platform or resolution, unlike other technologies which include multiple url versions for a single page. Search Engine giant Google officially recommends webmasters to implement responsive design because it makes webpage crawling and indexing simpler and faster.

The major issue with multiple URLs is that crawlers consider the different versions of the same page as duplicate content, wrongly penalizing the site for plagiarized content from their  own internal pages.

Abandon Flash

Flash once revolutionized the web with it’s innovative and intuitive functionality. It was the first technology to combine video capability and animation on the web. However, in the recent years most of the users and designers started abandoning Flash for many obvious reasons which include Bad Usability, Poor User Experience, and Compatibility.

Even the technology giant Apple stopped flash compatibility in the iPhone and Ipad. Moreover, another reason to abandon flash is that Flash files aren’t processed by the native browser, but requires the support of an external plug-in. However, I’m not going to jump into a deep about the user experience.

One of the main reasons to abandon Flash is that Search Engines hate flash format. Most of the Search engines are not capable of crawling the content (although Google has recently announced they are able to index Flash). Moreover, Flash has a incredibly long page-loading time, which is considered an important factor for search engine ranking. If you are developing a significantly or completely content-driven website or if you business relies on Search Engine optimization or organic traffic, you may want to consider using Flash sparingly.


I’ve evidenced several websites investing countless hours and resources into developing some major applications using Flash. So Flash may still be the ideal solution for you.

However, the best solution for SEO related issues is, instead of designing the whole webpage in Flash format, use general formatting and embed necessary flash files as elements. HTML5 is the best available alternative for Flash, which is perfectly flexible and compatible with Search Engine optimization as well.

Google Chrome has been advocating the effectiveness of HTML5 by showcasing chrome experiments to the world, which sport and feature stunning and spectacular animations. The occasional interactive doodles showcased on Google’s homepage are created in HTML5 itself.

Use JavaScript

Although neither JavaScript nor HTML5 can compete with Flash when it comes to advanced animation, Javascript is the most popular technology nowadays.

Instead of Flash, you can use JavaScript for animating your menu dropdowns, transition effects, sliders and more. It is a rather simple yet flexible approach for designing dynamic website pages. Contrary to Flash, it doesn’t create its own markup – it just modifies existing HTML elements dynamically.

There are several frameworks and toolkits for JavaScript, which include jQuery, Mootools, etc. – all of which extend the power and usability of JavaScript.

Author: Shalini Nekkanti is an experienced freelance web designer, whose specializes in responsive web designing and blogs at FPPT.

John Culotta
John is the chief editor here at WebDesignDev. He is a creative who enjoys writing, research, and all things design related as well as (formerly) a full-time musician. As an entrepreneur, he has many years of experience in designing websites, packaging, logos, photo editing, and the development of his own top-selling products on Amazon and Shopify. You can see his motivational Instagram account or connect on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Web Design Best Practices For SEO – Flash, HTML5 or Javascript?”

  1. What has usability to do with using Flash? Flash is just a tool, not a usability guide!
    Also, if Flash developers usually make heavy websites, it is them who are responsible for the slow-load times, not the tool! You can make a very light engine (or use an existing one) if you want, a few hundred of kilobytes, or less.


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