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Can Flash design a website in its entirety

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Terrence Dunlop
Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on May 6, 2008 at 11:51:28 pm

Stupid question, I'm pretty sure it can, but:

I'm designing my first website for the company I work for - and I want it to include a scrollable photo gallery, animated buttons, flyout menus, etc., and I'm wondering if I need Dreamweaver for any of it. Is Dreamweaver recommended for the framework that the animations sit on?

I want to make it look like http://www.hudsonstudios.com - I think that was designed with frames in DW. Wondering if it could all be done elegantly in Flash alone.

TD



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MA Carlson
Re: Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on May 7, 2008 at 6:24:02 am

That site is all Flash. (except of course for the few lines of code that embed the Flash content and center it in the browser)



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Adam Ashby
Re: Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on May 7, 2008 at 6:19:50 pm

Yep. That site is flash. They used frames to hide the fact that the html that actually contains the flash is hosted on another domain, I think the developer's.

The only drawback in doing entire sites in flash is search-ability. Search engines don't search flash content very well. Your text in flash must be selectable in order to find it at all. I don't think Dynamic text is searchable at all. Description and key word metadata help, but pages rank better if the decsription and the content somewhat match. If search-ability is not a very important issue for the business, go for it.

If you need the site to load quickly, have elements and other swfs load in dynamically as the user navigates to them.

Also, flash sites don't need to be one html page. There could be several swfs on different pages that link together, or a combo of flash and html thats still very interactive and cool looking.


Adam Ashby
mutli-media artist
FDC Productions, Denver, CO
http://www.fdcproductions.com


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Terrence Dunlop
Re: Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on May 7, 2008 at 7:16:11 pm

I think I heard somewhere that if you include an alternate page with all your info that can be accessed if a user doesn't have flash, that content can be searched and will lead to your site.

True? and thanks...

TD



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Adam Ashby
Re: Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on May 16, 2008 at 12:57:58 am

Thats true but you want to link via regular html links to that content. Also, I think if you embed your swf with javaScript, you can put all you content within the noscript tags and web crawlers will read and index it. Since crawlers ingnore js, that content is what would show if the user had js turned off.

Adam Ashby
mutli-media artist
http://www.adamashby.com

fdcproductions.com


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Terrence Dunlop
Re: Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on May 30, 2008 at 4:59:58 pm

Hey Adam, i don't know if you have a second, but I've got a flash site ready for publishing, and I need help doing exactly what we talked about in this thread - a way to include searchable text in (I guess) the .html that a search engine can search. You'd mentioned embedding the swf with javascript, then putting my searchable text in noscript tags - can you elaborate a little on this? Any help you can give me would be appreciated, it's the kind of thing I could spend days looking for the answer for, and I get the feeling it's pretty simple.

Terry



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Adam Ashby
Re: Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on May 30, 2008 at 8:12:12 pm

No Problem.

In Flash go to Publish Settings and select HTML. Choose Active Content Update, then publish. Now look at the source of the HTML. There's a script that looks for the AC _RunActiveContent.js file, runs it, then embeds the swf file. At the end of that script there are noscript tags to put alternative content in for browsers with scripting turned off. Put your content in html form there, links and all. Most crawlers ignore javascript but will read this. If you want your swf file to be indexed at all you would also put object and embed tags in there, too, but there is usually no reason to since you're putting in the same text and link content in html.

Adam Ashby
mutli-media artist
http://www.adamashby.com


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Adam Ashby
Re: Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on May 30, 2008 at 10:11:17 pm

Whoops! Actually in Flash CS3 the HTML publish setting is now FLash HTTPS instead of Active Content Update.

Adam Ashby
mutli-media artist
http://www.adamashby.com


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Terrence Dunlop
Re: Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on Jun 19, 2008 at 4:46:52 pm

Hey Adam,

I'm at this point right now, where the flash site is done and could benefit from what you were talking about, can I ask you to elaborate?

Bottom line, the site's mostly photos and it takes a while to load.

If you need the site to load quickly, have elements and other swfs load in dynamically as the user navigates to them.



Is this done in Flash using a preference or some actionscript placed strategically?

Also, flash sites don't need to be one html page. There could be several swfs on different pages that link together, or a combo of flash and html thats still very interactive and cool looking.

Is this done by splitting the site into different, discrete .fla files that you can then link to each other using html? or can you link them within flash?

Thanks for all your help!





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Adam Ashby
Re: Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on Jun 19, 2008 at 6:06:20 pm

"Bottom line, the site's mostly photos and it takes a while to load."

- depending on your needs you can have your pics load in dynamically with actionscript.

"If you need the site to load quickly, have elements and other swfs load in dynamically as the user navigates to them.
Is this done in Flash using a preference or some actionscript placed strategically? "

-you would do this with actionscript.

"Also, flash sites don't need to be one html page. There could be several swfs on different pages that link together, or a combo of flash and html thats still very interactive and cool looking.
Is this done by splitting the site into different, discrete .fla files that you can then link to each other using html? or can you link them within flash? "

-either way. Have different swf files on different html pages. In Flash you can use getURL to nav to a page but you may want include the link in html so crawlers can follow.

Adam Ashby
mutli-media artist
http://www.adamashby.com


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Terrence Dunlop
Re: Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on Jun 23, 2008 at 4:02:09 pm

Hey Adam, another quick question if you have a sec -

My boss brought a test version of the site up and everything works fine, but his monitor is smaller than mine and has a fat toolbar on his browser, and he had to scroll to get the page in his browser. Can Flash or a block of code in the html be used to automatically size and center the flash movie in different sized browser windows? Any ideas?

Thanks again, you've been a huge help!



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Adam Ashby
Re: Can Flash design a website in its entirety
on Jun 30, 2008 at 3:40:07 pm

Terrence,

hey, sorry its taken me so long to get reply. I've just been extremely busy.

When you embed if you set the width and height values both to 100% instead of pixel size it will center the swf in the center of the browser. The scale value is by default set to noscale, if you change it exactfit it will size itself to the size of the window. Problem is that sometimes it get too big.

Also, theres a javascript that will automatically set the browser fill the screen:

moveTo(0,0);
self.resizeTo(screen.availWidth,screen.availHeight);

put between javascript tags of course.

Hope some of that helps.



Adam Ashby
mutli-media artist
http://www.adamashby.com


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