When Flash first became popular, everyone hopped into the bandwagon. People went for Flash designers who could make their Web sites look cool and, well, flashy because we just love taking a look at web sites with great visual appeal. There definitely was a great improvement in how websites looked. Gone are the days of static pages and still pictures because now you are able to add moving images, sounds and life-like designs.
But then people started to become annoyed with all those Flash web sites. At the very top of their grumbles was that most of these websites contained not a lot more but fancy sounds and images. Initially, Flash was such a funky, new concept that people didn't really care regardless of whether or not they were getting anything from the website. And then when the Flash hysteria died down and people returned to their primary objectives of looking for information that will help them in their daily lives, they realized Flash was quite a nuisance. Not to mention that it noticeably slowed down the website's loading time and wore away people's patience.
It's exciting new trends like Flash that can quickly drive you over into the bleeding edge and lead you to commit business suicide. It is one thing to never be scared of pioneering for the sake of improvement, but it's another to risk losing your business just so you can position yourself to get ahead. It's like when Windows Vista was initially released by Microsoft. Everyone scrambled to get Vista on their PCs only to realise much later the latest operating system from Microsoft was full of bugs. That is why very new technologies whose uses and advantages haven't yet been evaluated fall into the "bleeding edge" category. They are so new it hurts. It cuts. It bleeds. It kills businesses.
Look at any website put together by a non-professional web designer and you'll realize what I'm talking about. When it comes to getting in front of the competition, beginners try their hardest to be successful. It's comprehensible, considering just how tight the competition is in the web design market. What they don't realize is that the fact that they're trying too hard is causing their design to backfire on them.
Have you ever seen what I call a kitchen sink website? The designer simply puts in whatever he will be able to think about into the website in the hopes that people will think he could be a pro for knowing all of these things. In the end, though he just ends up looking far more clumsy than previously. Flash is one thing, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. You may also find excessively fancy fonts that you've got to squint your eyes to read, complicated frames that leave plenty of dead space around them and scrolling marquees at the base of the site. These are all doubtless difficult elements to program, but they aren't much better at convincing your website's visitors to purchase your products.
The best thing to do is still to go for something less advanced. I'm not suggesting that you don't try to bring in something new. That's also committing business suicide, but just in a very different way. Cutting edge enterprises will always win the race, but it is important to look at what you're going into before falling all over yourself. Stay in the sweet spot, just behind the curve. That will make you miles in front of almost everybody else but you're also not the first one to fall flat on your face. Besides, in web design, the days of the simple text and a lot of whitespace are making a comeback, fortunately because web masters now realize the significance of giving more value in the form of useful, topical and fascinating info rather than attractive designs.
You really don't have to have the coolest-looking website on the planet, you just need to be the very best in your own niche. And how do you do that? Supply the most high value content you can and let your S.E.O guys work out what works and what doesn't.
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