ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Low-Tech Alternative To Long Flash Load Times

Updated on March 20, 2011

Flash Boring You To Death? Try An Old-Skool Solution!

We've all been there. Click on a link and end up in Flash Hell: Some braindead corporate web-designer's idea of a righteously impressive welcome to the site is nothing more than a LOADING 5%... LOADING 10%... until you hit the BACK button in disgust.

Flash is a great technology, but not when it provides a 5 second load only if you have a 50MB/sec Fiber Optic connection. I'd hate to be a 56K dialup user and hit one of those behemoths! It might take three days to load!

It's very easy to overdo the Flash and lose sight of the real-world necessities. Web surfers are accustomed to instant gratification, not watching a dial sloooooooooooowly wipe across the screen.

The Bannershop Interface is more complex and has way more options than you'll ever use. Just follow the screenshots below and your animation is done! The rest of the stuff is just window-dressing!
The Bannershop Interface is more complex and has way more options than you'll ever use. Just follow the screenshots below and your animation is done! The rest of the stuff is just window-dressing!

Although most broadband users have access to a minimum of 2MB/sec download, that is a theoretical maximum that is almost never reached due to overheads and various traffic issues. Most people are extremely lucky to download at half that speed. Well, you say, that's still 1MB/sec, so it's not too bad if my Flash gobbles up 5 Megabytes. It will load in 5 seconds.

Try again. You're confusing Megabytes with Megabits. Internet connections are measured in the latter which is 1/8 of a Megabyte. Therefore your 5 Megabyte Flash will take 5 x 8 = 40 seconds to load, and that's if the connection is clear through the hops and coming down at optimum speed. More likely it will take twice that long, or 80 seconds. And that's just to darn long to wait just to see your company logo cruise across the screen and morph into a freakin' butterfly.

Time to reach into the dusty old bag of Web Tricks. Time to reawaken what was once the Web standard: Animated GIFs.

Animated GIFs are simply static GIF images that are loaded one after the other at a predetermined speed, giving the illusion of motion. With all the various GIF animation software and optimizers around today, it's very easy to create an effective GIF animation that looks just like Flash, but would take much less than half the time to download.

My personal favourite is the Selteco Bannershop GIF Animator. This small and inexpensive software has an impossibly easy interface. Just prepare your individual static GIFs in Photoshop, select them from Bannershop, key in how long each frame will linger and click ok. You're done! Don't like it? Do it again, or use any of the various editing features within the program.

Bannershop and most of the other GIF animation programs have a built-in image optimizer which drastically cuts down the size of the file without resorting to squelching the visible quality. The result is a simple, single file that is a snap to drop into any HTML as it's read just like a static GIF.

Don't be a nose-in-the-air designer and look down on an “antiquated” technology like Animated GIFs. Keep in mind that the best way to promote your site is to keep it user-friendly to real-world surfers, not just the rarefied inner-city penthouse dwellers blessed with FiOS. Try Animated GIFs in your next project. You'll be glad you did!

 

Check out hundreds of Hal's PC Technology articles in these categories:

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Hal Licino profile image
      Author

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      Definitely GIF is a far more primitive format, but if you choose your concept carefully, I found it works just fine.

    • profile image

      Brian Lee 8 years ago

      I would also have to agree with you about the fact that GIF's are infinitely faster than flash. What I find, however, as the only disadvantage GIF's have over Flash is that GIF's are limited to 256 colors, so you wouldn't be able to create smooth color gradients.

    • Hal Licino profile image
      Author

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      May 26, 2007 at around 2:45 pm on a nice sunny day with temperatures in the low 20s Celsius... :)

    • profile image

      shane 9 years ago

      When was this written?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)