Longtime subscriber Peter Dunckelmann wrote to ask about a problem that he had in viewing a friend’s web site:
I am reading your newsletters with great interest and want to ask you for a little help.
A photographer colleague asked me to view her web site but to my dismay I was unable
to view anything.
When I click any link under ‘Portfolio’ I arrive back at the home page.
Now, is this a fault of the web site or is it the browser. I am using Firefox on Win XP.
The web’s URL: http://www.sgabelasfotografia.com.ar/
Thanking you in advance for your help.
Have a great day.
I wrote back to Peter to tell him that the problem was probably related to his computer, but not Firefox or XP themselves.
The web site worked fine for me. His friend had designed it using Adobe Flash. I suspected that Peter may have Flash Player disabled in Firefox, or may not have installed the Flash Player add-on for Firefox.
The fix is pretty easy, fortunately.
Using Firefox, go to www.adobe.com and click on the Get Flash Player button. After you download it, you need to install it.
The Adobe web site sends a different version for each web browser, e.g., the IE download of Flash Player is different from the Firefox download of Flash Player. If you use multiple browsers, you have to visit with each browser and download (and install) the version from each different browser.
On an entirely different point, although the web site works nicely with Adobe Flash, I think that his friend is really missing the mark on two points.
First, search engines potentially are a huge source of visitors to web sites (I get well over 1,000 visitors a day from Google — not just google.com, but via many, many non-US Google sites, too.
OK. Cool. Now, what does that have to do with the web site?
The problem is that search engines, not just Google, need web pages that have content they can read and links from page to page in standard HTML format. When you generate your content with Flash, the search engine can’t read it. If your navigation is Flash-based, the search engines can’t follow the navigation links — because they can’t read them!
The other problem is that Adobe Flash seems to be one of the prime targets for malware. Not only have there been a number of Flash security problems, but the bad guys seem to target Flash because many users don’t upgrade their versions of Adobe Flash (just go to www.adobe.com, click the Get Flash Player button, download and install the new version).
The result is that many security notices advise to "turn off Flash" until the fix is available. Guess what happens — if they user turns off Adobe Flash Player, then they often forget to get the update and turn it on again.
Or, they forget until they go to a web site, realize it doesn’t work, figure out why, update, start Flash, and go back to the web site. How often do you think that happens?
What’s the bottom line? What do I do? Although I used to turn off the update notifier for Adobe Flash Player, I now have it turned on to automatically download the update. Adobe always forces us to accept their license with each new version (or so far, it seems) so I know when updates actually occur, in case something goes wrong.