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My slow loading flash site :(

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anna conlon
My slow loading flash site :(
on Feb 7, 2010 at 12:21:22 am

I've recently notices that i'm loosing 70% of my visitors in the first 0-30 seconds. I thinking its to do with elements of my site loading too slowly.

I have an opening animation which I think loads pretty quickly. I think the problem is occurring when selecting a button on the menu bar. It can take up to 5 seconds to load the external text files. If a user is inpatient and selects the button again this slows the process again and again.

this is the site http://www.videoproductions.ie

I'm very new to flash and i've hashed and muddled my way to this point. when researching this problem I know i've done lots wrong.

for example my site is all flash....bad (or so i hear)
the images have high dpi
I've used transparency
In my menu i've used button instead of movie clips.

on the up side I have done a few things right
I have a master file where a menu swf loads into
with this menu bar I load all my other swf's and text files (which load into scrolling boxes)

Where i'm having the problem is with my external text file and embedded text
you would imagen that text files would load very quickly but this is not the case.

I've come so far with this only to hit a rock ....what is the problem with the text ..I've looked everywhere and no answers on any forums

any help would be greatly appreciated...I could be loosing allot of potential business because of this


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Mike Smith
Re: My slow loading flash site :(
on Feb 7, 2010 at 12:06:25 pm

Why not try replacing the slow-loading text files with simple buttons with text included in Flash, and see if that fixes your issue. It's not like you're going to be wanting or needing to change the text on the buttons very often - and if you do, you can do so in Flash. So many of the reasons for loading text from an external text file don't really apply to you.

If you want to look at stuff on usability, flash and the web in general, then Jakob Nielsen's site is a useful resource, if you dig about amongst the alertbox columns. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/


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anna conlon
Re: My slow loading flash site :(
on Feb 7, 2010 at 1:29:53 pm

Hi Mike thanks for the response... i've posted all over the web and i'm getting little or no response to this problem.

I'm not sure i fully understand your suggestion about buttons...do you mean that i create one large area of text and then create a button out of that ....the only problem there is I can't scroll the text ...and on my prices page i have allot text I need to scroll.

I created this site from a template a lecturer gave me. The text loads in via external .txt files. I'm confused as to weather or not this is the common method of incorporating text into an all flash website? because i got it from college I would have expected this to be the correct and most efficient way of loading text. Maybe its not or maybe i'm not doing it correctly.


THE FOLLOWING EXPLAINS HOW THE TEXT IS LOADING INTO MY SITE

i have .txt files which are held within a vars folder within my websites main folder. these text files load in via a text box in my swf file


The action script below is on a its own layer on the first frame and its this script that enables the text to load

hope i've explained that right


stop();
//-------------------------------------\\
var cssStyles:TextField.StyleSheet = new TextField.StyleSheet();
cssStyles.load("styles/styles.css");
cssStyles.onLoad = function (success) {
if (success) {
loadedInfo.styleSheet = cssStyles;
_level0.myLV.load("vars/text_file_example_2.txt");
} else {
loadedInfo.text = "There has been an error loading the requested information. Please contact the Webmaster.";
}
}



//-----------------
--------------------\\



//----------------------------\\
_level0.myLV.load("vars/text_file_example_2.txt");
//-----------------
-----------\\



//-------------------------------------\\
var scrollPress:Boolean = false;
var movement:Number = 0;



upButton.onPress = function() {
pressing = true;
movement = -1;
};
upButton.onRelease = function() {
pressing = false;
};



downButton.onPress = function() {
pressing = true;
movement = 1;
};
downButton.onRelease = function() {
pressing = false;
};



_root.onEnterFrame = function() {
if(pressing == true)
{loadedInfo.scroll = loadedInfo.scroll + movement;}
};
//-----------------
--------------------\\


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Mike Smith
Re: My slow loading flash site :(
on Feb 7, 2010 at 4:11:21 pm

OK I think I understand a bit better what you are saying.

First thing, it looks like in your script you are loading textfile text_file_example_2.txt twice - if you search fpr _level0.myLV.load("vars/text_file_example_2.txt"); you will find two of these lines. Maybe you could comment out the second version and see if that makes a difference...??? Of course in Flash you can use // at the start of a line (or elsewhere) to comment it out.

You don't need multiple swf files and text files to load what is quite a simple Flash site. Often, template files are set up that way just to make it easy for people to customise them, rather than from any need or performance advantage. But you also don't need to change any more than you have to, in order to get the performance you want.

I don't think there's any need for you to load in text from external text files. You have access to Flash for if and when you want to change the text.

And if I understand correctly it seems that you are experiencing slow loading of the number of text files you are calling in.

It seems to me it would be worth your while to make a back-up of your master Flash file, and trying out a version where you make your buttons and your scrolling text boxes directly in Flash in the normal way.

So an alternative might be for you to set your myLV variable directly in actionscript ... or you could simply make and format your text boxes directly on the Flash stage, without messing around importing css and text files ... ??

It's really a case of what you want : if you just want to tinker with the template you have in a minor way, you might be best advised to go back to whoever gave it to you and ask for help - nothing wrong in doing that, and you can concentrate on your business.

If you want to master Flash so you can do more with it future, though, it might be worth your while experimenting with different approaches.

More stuff on text boxes at http://www.smartwebby.com/Flash/text_basics.asp , so you can see you'll have no difficulty making text boxes live in your master file - that and cutting the size of your loaded bitmaps should speed your swf loading considerably ...


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anna conlon
Re: My slow loading flash site :(
on Feb 7, 2010 at 7:19:20 pm

Thanks again Mike

you were spot on about the me loading my text files twice! i've taken you advice about doubling up on my website folder and tinkering with it. I'm going to try and get the text to load up but not from separate swf's (not sure how but i'll fiddle with putting into frames see what happens). ...i'll also reducing the size of my bitmaps

..i'm going to be working on it today and tomorrow so hopefully i'll be posting up my new improved site tomorrow. fingers crossed

also just want to ask you about
"you could simply make and format your text boxes directly on the Flash stage, without messing around importing css and text files"

is this were you type directly onto your flash stage and use static text or dynamic text and just embed the font into the page? because I've done this on the testimonials page. if you click you can see a different style of font. This method also gives me trouble with delays.

thanks

ana


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Mike Smith
Re: My slow loading flash site :(
on Feb 8, 2010 at 6:01:40 pm

Sounds good, Anna.

Your testimonial page loads quite speedily here (nice comments too!) .... but will of course be slowed a little by the embedded font. If you keep the number of fonts on the site down to a minimum, that will help.

I look forward to seeing the new version when you post it!


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