I have a question for you.
Why are photographers so obsessed with having a Flash driven website?
This isn’t a new question. In fact, I’ve been asking it for years. I’ve even given classes on why Flash websites are the worst thing a photographer could ever have for their web presence.
But today I was referred to a site, and the question was brought up to me once again.
The site I visited was amazing. This photographer had a gorgeous intro video – probably one of the best I’ve seen.
Then I clicked into his site, and the headache began.
As I entered, it asked me to install a new plugin to make the site more effective. No. Never. So it brought me into the site without the plugin. Every click opened up a new browser window. The music started playing, and with that many windows open, it took me several minutes to figure out how to turn it off. Every gallery opened up a new window. The content (words) weren’t on the site – they were graphics, meaning none of the content had any effect on search engine rankings. Every gallery took seconds to load.
Really, it went on and on. I kept clicking because I was amazed at how much content he had – yet how poorly the representation was as his entire web presence unfolded before me.
This person had beautiful work. I know he’s a very talented photographer – I saw his work and know he’s going places. Yet with such a difficult site, he’s limiting his potential.
You don’t need the bells and whistles. You don’t need complicated galleries and Flash popping here and there. With your web presence, you need two things.
Keep it simple. Don’t let anyone tell you you need Flash and lots of movement to have slideshows online. You don’t.
Your work should speak for yourself. And you don’t need Flash to showcase a lot of your work. We had over 20,000 images online in the mid 1990’s – we kept everything simple, loading multiple images into one low res file. People came and stayed on our site (yes, 20,000 images took a while to load using dial-up modems.) They’ll stay on your site longer if you keep it simple, and make it easy to get from here to there without waiting for something fancy to happen.
And use a blog to add content. Content marketing will rule this next decade. You have to have quality content to play in the search engines, to get traction from being ranked in Google, and to have people find you through those rankings. It doesn’t matter how fancy your site is if its sitting among the billions of pages in Google-land.
It’s getting found that matters the most.