Modern Flash CMS Issues

Web Design & Dev
MotoCMS Editorial 27 January, 2009

I’ve spent some time looking for main Flash CMS providers like ours and studying their products, and came to some conclusion that, in fact, I want to share with you.

The first website that came to my notice was Flashloaded. Launched in 2003 and based in Toronto, Canada, Flashloaded provides Flash extensions and Flash components for Adobe/Macromedia Flash design enhancement.

Here are the features of their Flash CMS:

• Direct updating of content on a live Flash website.
• No client training or HTML knowledge required.
• Editable textfields with built-in text editor (allows for multi-page textfields).
• Updatable images and SWFs – includes auto size, auto fit, positioning and captions.
• Customizable font list, font size list and color palette.
• Hidden login. weird thing…
• Allows for multiple users with different file upload permissions.
• All data stored in an XML file. No database required.
• Secure – username and password are securely stored on the server side only.
• Light weight – adds only up to 20kb to your Flash movies.

The key features list looks very promising, but don’t make hasty conclusion. So, I decided to play with demo example and was disappointed a little, because first of all I was not able to edit all of the text fields. Moreover, text titles, buttons names, links, site title and tag line are not editable at all. Also you may edit the images, set their size and location as well as enter a caption. And that’s it!

Let’s go on. The next is Flashblocks.

In addition to Flashloaded features, Flashblocks also provides an opportunity to drag and drop an editable component. With the help of an XMLeditor you can edit an XML file in a very user friendly way. And the File Manager allows you to upload, download, preview, rename, copy, create, and delete files and directories directly from your Flash website. There are also other features:

• Multilingual Administration and Multilingual Flash Websites;
• Multiple XML Data Files;
• Flash SEO.

Flash Search Engine Optimization can be achieved by simply linking to the Flashblocks ML data files. Flashblocks data files look like HTML. But there is no Google Analytics integration. Why do you need a SEO website if you can’t measure it’s conversion?

This all sounds pretty good, but they don’t give a chance to try a live demo.

Saffron is an international company that offers a wide range of IT services and products, among which is Flash CMS.

Using Saffron’s Flash CMS you can embed an image gallery, MP3 and video player. They provide pre-scripted and customizable Feedback form. But their Flash demo leaves much to be desired. It takes too long to load and sometimes doesn’t stop loading at all.
Saffron’s Flash CMS looks too simple and primitive. There are also some minor technical issues that darken the general impression.

Flashmation also creates media designs with tools to self-edit content.

By clicking on the View Site Demo and Admin Demo buttons, you are only provided with the screenshots, without any opportunity to play around. Additional features are:

• PHP contact form
• Copyright date automatically updates every year
• Notification mailer from web site
• Preemptive Loading System (This tells the Flash file to load all of the images regardless if the user has clicked on the image or not.)
• Background animation and effects and etc., or DDX is a world-class development company located in Sydney Australia.

Their range of features is quite extensive. In addition to the features mentioned above they also provide:

• Ability for the Flash website to be indexed by search engines and integration with Google Analytics.
• Ability for the Flash website to be viewed on newer mobile phones.

There is no mention of multilingual administration and multilingual Flash websites, and unfortunately, no live demo.

Author: MotoCMS Editorial
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