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Flash splash page issues

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Tuesday April 10, 2007 )

Site splash pages, i.e. a page that displays a presentation before moving onto the real home page can be quite impressive.. the first time they are viewed.

Often created with Flash, these pages can have eye popping graphics and amazing audio that can really excite a visitor the first time they visit. After that initial viewing, they become somewhat of a pain in the butt while you wait for the page to load before you can move on to the meat and potatos of a web site.

It’s really important that if you’re using the flash splash pages that they are as lean as possible in terms of file size and there’s a “skip intro” button within easy reach – preferably at the top of the page. Many designers who do include the “skip” link will make it very small or hard to notice. It’s understandable, they want their work to be seen; but you want the client on the site and making an order or inquiry. Those people who really want to see the presentation will hang around for it to load; those who don’t, why slow down their browsing experience? It only serves to frustrate.

The other issue with splash pages is ranking – I’ve seen very few sites in the small business arena using splash pages ranking well in search engines. These pages seem to have a dampening effect and often contain little or no useful content for search engines.

Finally, if you pay big bucks to have a flash splash page created, you need to ensure the rest of your site matches the quality of the presentation. I liken it to house-hunting. If you see a house with great street appeal, your expectations of what’s inside are immediately raised. If the internals of the house have been trashed, the disappointment will be far greater than if the house hadn’t looked so good from the outside to start with.

In my opinion, for a commercial site anyway, when you type in a domain name, the real home page should display from the outset. If the presentation is important, consider finding another way to flag it with your visitors.


1 comment for Flash splash page issues
  1. i agree with your article.

    for me, having a splash page will determine the ‘curiousity’ of your visitors of whether to go through with your site or not.

    Comment by raymond lee quijano — April 18, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

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