Flash Sites for Specific Online Messages
Of all the web technologies, Flash is probably the one that divides opinion the most. For every web developer that comes from a design background who thinks that Flash provides much-needed life and vibrancy to a site, there is one from a coding background who resents the lack of structure or SEO issues generally apparent in a full Flash site.
If your starting point in evaluating a site is the traditional maxim of "Content is King", then just because something spins, bounces or explodes when you move a mouse over it, it doesn't necessarily make it a good thing.
Flash is undoubtedly a powerful technology but should be used appropriately. So as with any other part of your web site development process, you should decide on who is your target audience and will the use of this technology benefit my site?
If you run a site reviewing XBox or PS3 games, the Flash may very well appeal to your site's demographic. If however, you are publishing an online version of a broadsheet newspaper, then it may not be the most suitable technology to use to deliver that type of content.
Flash and Load Times
There is no question that a Flash site will require longer loading time than a non-Flash site. As broadband rollout and availability improves, the negative impact of the longer loading time is reduced. However, just because broadband is available in an area, it doesn't automatically follow that your target audience will have signed up for it. So consider your target audience and whether this is a factor.
Flash and SEO
Traditionally, Flash sites could not be indexed as effectively by search engines as non-Flash sites. This was because the 'text' content in a Flash site could not be analysed by the search engine robots. As the site content itself plays such a vital role in any search engine analysis of a site, then a search engine's inability to analyse the content of Flash site meant that SEO efforts were hampered.
Changes to Google and Flash over the years have meant that this issue has been addressed to some degree but if SEO is a key requirement, then a full Flash site would not be the best solution.
Ultimately, implementation is key - used appropriately, Flash has the ability to enhance most web sites. Used poorly, Flash has the ability to severely hinder your online presence.