Why I Broke Up With My Flash Website

Posted on September 15, 2011

(Above: My new website. 100% Flash-free.)


I recently made the decision to go in another direction with my website — away from an entirely Flash-based portfolio — to something done completely with HTML. In the past few years, I realized that I would be better served with a more flexible system that can grow with me, my business, and the evolution of technology. My Flash website, which at one time seemed like cutting edge stuff, was showing its age and limitations.

It was time to move on.

I am certainly no stranger to the web. In 1998, I used Adobe Pagemill to maintain my first website (built by life-long friend Joe Gosen.) This site did quite well in it’s time, but since it was entirely in HTML it was difficult to update. I needed an easier way.

In 2005 I moved away from HTML, and fully embraced Flash. I bought a liveBooks website, and was thrilled with how easy it was to update. The pictures were large, and the images moved on the screen. The interface seemed easy to use, and the people at liveBooks were (and still are) great, helpful people.

Within a few years, I started to see limitations. The first one being that I couldn’t integrate my online image archive. My archive, which as of this writing has 51,240 images in it, was awkwardly disconnected from my portfolio. I put so much effort into filling up my archive, and I felt it deserved to have more visibility.

In 2009 I started a WordPress blog, with the intention of using it to frame my PhotoShelter photo archive, and drive traffic to what is my biggest potential for online revenue generation. My archive is a huge asset for me. Hiding it made no sense.

Also around this time I started to grow concerned about Flash itself. It doesn’t work on iPhones or iPads. It was slow on some computers. There were SEO complications associated with Flash that required a complicated work-around. And Steve Jobs didn’t like it.

I began to doubt that my Flash-based website was going to be able to grow with me. I saw a time limit approaching, and didn’t want to wait until I had no time left.

So, the other day, I moved my portfolio website to WordPress as well. And, looking at it, you’d never think it was WordPress. Thanks to the brilliant helpful folks at Graph Paper Press, I finally have a website that can grow along with advanced in technology, and the changes in the photography business.

I am using a slightly modified version of GPP’s “Sidewinder” theme. The images are large, it loads quickly, and it’s easy to maintain. Best yet, every single image within my portfolio has a link directly to a page where they can be licensed. Finally, a revenue component within my archive!

My Flash-based website was fun while it lasted. We had some good times together. But recently we’ve grown apart, and I think it’s best that we go our separate ways. It’s not, you, Flash – it’s me. Actually no, that’s not true. It’s not me at all.

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