What is a Flash intro, and why do I need one?

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time for you to “Flash-Forward” into the new millennium and add a flash intro to your website! But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s go back to basics and start at the very beginning of the average website.

Look at this page and what do you see? More likely than not, you’re probably seeing this article in a plain text, sort of like a newspaper or magazine. Up at the top of the screen might be a brightly colored website title. All text, pictures and colors are solid and not moving. This is called HTML, a computer language that gives direction to each and every word and picture, telling them where on the page they will be, their color, their size, etc. HTML is basic and does nothing exciting.

Now, scroll down a bit toward the bottom. You may or may not see a “flashing” banner, text, or picture, perhaps letting you know that “You’re the 1 millionth click” and “you’ve won a laptop!” All of the movement, including blinking and flashing, is probably animation written in Flash. Here’s how it works. There are basically two types of computer graphics; Bitmap (a solid picture, like a photo or non-animated clip art) and Vector (an animated or moving picture). Vector creates lines and shapes that make pictures. Flash “caches” each picture on a computer so it doesn’t need to be reloaded each time, sort of like when you draw stick figures on paper and then flip through each page to make a moving cartoon. Flash allows you to keep “flipping” through your pages quickly, without having to stop and “reload” another.

Now that we’ve covered what Flash is and what it does, we can go over why you need a Flash intro for your website.

One of the main purposes of having your own website is to attract new customers to your company or business that might not know of you any other way. More likely than not, you’ll want those customers to come back again and again, right? A Flash introduction to your site is one way to keep them dazzled and coming back for more.

Back in the 1950’s science fiction/horror movies took the world by storm, complete with their ridiculous over-acting and cheesy special effects. When the first Star Wars movie came out, the world was in awe over the effects created by a bunch of people in a movie studio. For their time, both styles of movies wowed the crowds and served their purpose, but when you put them up against today’s computer generated images, the earlier films switch genres from horror or sci-fi to comedy.

HTML is like the original “Godzilla” and Flash is “The Lord of the Rings”. Now which would you rather have as the introduction of your website?