Choosing between Flash Website Design or CMS Web Design – The Pros and Cons Compared

Web Design

Not long gone is the time when Flash was mastering the World Wide Web. Internet underwent further revolution and websites got all whirled and whizzed with animation and other wowing elements. Now Flash web designs have some strong competitors like CMS websites. If you need help in deciding between a Flash and CMS design, this post will be a good read for you.

Reasons to Use Flash

Flash is a robust tool, but like all other tools present in Web developer’s toolbox, it is unable to cover all the issues and situations. At times, Flash comes up with the best solutions possible, but not every time. If you can get the best out of Flash, it won’t be difficult to increase your page views and website traffic. Here are some of the benefits that flash websites offer.

• Cross-platform compatibility

Almost all browsers support the flash sites. So with a flash website or application, you can rest assured that it will be displayed correctly by anyone with the Flash plugin. Your browser or operating system does not affect the website.

• Games

Games are exceedingly engaging; many businesses have started to use games for their business branding. When it comes to flash games, there is no issue regarding the browser support of Ajax.

• Vector graphics

Flash makes vector graphics smoother and more attractive. It allows developers to create websites with smooth lines given that the user has a vector-graphic tool installed on his or her hard drive.

• Animations

Flash initially came up to serve the industry as an animation tool, and it is one of the best options to create animation, as it does not just make animation easy to create, but easy to view too.

• Video

Video works flawlessly in Flash websites as there is no need for any OS-dependent plugin, such as Media Player or QuickTime.

• Multitasking

Flash websites can easily perform script actions, accumulate data, and do multiple tasks that server-side scripts can perform.

• Image replacement for special fonts

Coders and programmers looking for special font family to use in their websites can use an image replacement practice, called Scalable Inman Flash Replacement (a.k.a sIFR) that replaces text in the website design with Flash to show specific fonts.

Reasons Not To Use Flash

• Reduced accessibility

Since a majority of Flash websites are image-based and do not generally have too much of alternative text, it is less or not at all readable to the screen reader.

• Not Appealing To Search Engine

Like screen readers, the search engine spiders cannot parse visuals. Moreover, many spiders are unable to follow links other than standard HTML links – and in Flash, most of the links are not-HTMLized. This is one of the many reasons; why many Flash developers get a hard time getting their Flash websites rank higher in the SERPs.

• Bandwidth and Speed Limitations

Except when the designer goes several miles extra to optimize Flash, many Flash websites are extremely large and demand an age to load. Most of the times, your visitor has to download the whole website to use it. And while you can include graphical countdowns and other engaging animations to hold them, many people still won’t stay longer.

• Minimized Usability

One of the essential buttons on a browser is its “back” button. Website visitors often use it to escape from a website, but in case of a Flash site, they don’t have that functionality. When a visitor clicks/taps on the back button after researching a Flash website, your visitor is returned to the site they landed on previously before coming to your website, leaving him/her with the nuisance to re-navigate to the previous location.

• Plug-in is Required

While a plethora of web browsers have their plug-in already installed, flash demands a plug-in to function well that many people don’t allow.

• Constant Updating

The best thing about a well-made, successful website is that they constantly update their pages with fresh and engaging content to exhibit the most recent news and industry trends. It can be considered as their main reason to stay at the top of the listings. In contrast, Flash navigation websites demand the supervision of a Flash designer all the time you need to add to or update new information into your present Flash website.

CMS websites – the biggest counterpart of flash websites

As the flash is growing older and limiting the developers on many grounds, CMS websites have become the “new fav” for every website development company. A CMS owns the power to intermingle power with simplicity so that you get enough time to focus on beefing up your business.

Mentioned here are some of the main reasons why developers are creating CMS websites as a norm.

Quick and Easy to Update

Unlike flash websites, CMS site enables the user to update content and add new pages conveniently. Admin can manage the whole website while adding new pages, posts, images, articles, polls, and different other features through an intuitive interface.

No technical knowledge required

With CMS websites, there is no need to employ a web designer/developer for website management. The website admin can handle everything from the layout of your website to frequent updates using the control panel. It saves time, energy and money demanded essentially by a flash website.

Scheduled Content

Many Content Management Systems allow the user to schedule articles so that they can be published at a certain time. It is quite helpful when you want to keep your website updated while you are on vacations, as the CMS will do it on your behalf.
Protected Content

You can set certain pages to be viewable to certain people when it comes to CMS website. Such as, you can display all of your basic articles to all the visitors and ask them to sign up on your website to access premium content.

SEO friendly

CMS websites are searchable by the search engine as well as the visitors. With a search system in place, you can save your visitor’s time to explore your website in search of what they actually need. It results in enhanced user experience and is less infuriating too.


CMS platforms, such as WordPress and Joomla, have a great resource of extensions, enabling the developer to create a website with advanced functionalities. From e-commerce to Galleries, Forums, to Social Media, you can get extensions of all sorts.

Disadvantages of having a CMS 

• Server resources: Some CMSs can put an excessive amount of load on the server resources;

• Hidden implementation charges to enhance the system as per the unique users’ needs and demands;

• Maintenance: When mismanaged, your unmaintained and outmoded CMS can do much harm to your website and result in security vulnerability;

• Functionality limitations: CMS also comes with limitations, at least not without amending the codes. An average website visitor won’t care much about these things, but when you want special functionality, don’t hold yourself back from doing a little extra research.

• CMS Are Resource Expensive: it has been said that a CMS website demands a considerable amount of time and energy from the host server in contrast to an equivalent HTML website. This leads to greater hosting costs and likely operational issues for the website owner. Bandwidth, CPU usage, and storage are all priced greater than an equivalent HTML website.

Written by Arnaud Gilbert
Arnaud Gilbert is a technical writer and spent most of his time researching and writing about technical stuff. Its a hobby for Arnaud to write about the technological arena. He starts from basic and ends up giving you full knowledge about what he is writing. He writes well and his writings are also full of information and can clear the concept of any reader.