Flash guestbooks can make your visitors totally amazed at the modern design of your website. Even if they know nothing about internet marketing or even websites, they know something special when they see it.
Not only that, but those spammers who openly use guestbooks for blatant advertising will be disgusted at their inability to break into your Flash guestbook due to the superior security system you will have in place. In fact, one of the main problems with most HTML and Java guestbooks is security, and the ease with which spam bots can access the software. Some guestbooks are more resistant than others, but nothing can beat Flash!
Flash by name and Flash by nature, this technology is a joy to behold when it is at work on your website. Many people have had a problem with it since until recently Google could not interpret Flash content, but that has now been resolved. Google can now read Flash, and so web pages designed using the technology can be listed in the search engine results pages. Guestbooks are good content, especially if you design them to include useful information and keywords.
The benefit of having a guestbook on your website is that it allows people to leave a note that they have visited. Believe it or not, there is a large body of people that likes to leave their mark, and if you can get their email address when they make their comment, then you can keep in contact. It's just like having an opt-in form, only the visitor gets to leave a comment in fact it's better than opt-in form because you get to know what the visitor thinks about you, your site or your products. That is really valuable information, and all from a simple guestbook.
A Flash guestbook is even better because you have so many design and security options. If you are worried about the language that some might use, you can include a list of censored words that will not be accepted. Flash guest books can work with radio buttons, text fields, check boxes, and other features that provide interactivity, and include a web based moderation panel than can simplify the task of approving or rejecting entries. This in itself is a good security feature.
Flash guest books can contain a number of standard fields plus some custom fields that you design yourself. Validation can be required, and email and URL syntax validation can be applied to the appropriate fields to warn visitors of errors in their input. Search facilities can be provided and you can opt to receive a notification by email whenever an entry is made. If it is not to your liking you can delete it and blacklist the email address or URL it came from.
There is a lot more that can be said about flash guestbooks, but what are the main benefits of having one on your site: yes, we have touched on some of these, but what are you really going to gain other than reading what other people think of your website?
To answer that question you have to know a little about internet marketing and how search engines rank your website. Here are the major benefits and one or two minor ones:
1. As already referred to, you get the opportunity of the email address of the visitor. Anybody involved in internet marketing understands the importance of a list of email addresses of people interested in your product or niche.
2. You can design the guestbook to be keyword rich, and attract the attention of search engines. This helps in your listing position for the keywords you are targeting.
3. Search engines love change. What better change in the content of a website can there be than a guestbook. New entries daily are like grist to the search engines mill, and will help to keep you high in the listings if you are already there, or well on the way if not.
4. Your visitors can keep in touch with you. A Flash guest book allows people to keep in touch without the formality of an email, and many people prefer this semi-anonymous means of making contact. It is akin to a quick chat rather than a formal conversation and provides an opportunity for this form of informal contact. How can that help you? Who knows, but it can do no harm and many who have a guestbook on their website report excellent results from long-standing visitors. Perhaps relevant, perhaps not.
5. It's a service. It allows people visiting your site the opportunity to make a statement, and you can allow them to remain anonymous or insist on a valid email address and/or website URL. Flash technology makes this sort of design easy to apply to your guestbook.
6. Many people love to provide an opinion: in fact it seems to be part of the human psyche, and wherever you go you hear people giving their opinion. In pubs, bars, restaurants, staff rooms, by the water cooler, in the street and at home. People love giving opinions, and your Flash guestbook allows them to do that on your website. Do you think they will return? You bet they will!
So there you are. The reasons for including a Flash guestbook on your website are compelling, and allow a degree of website interactivity that most people love. Let them provide their opinion, but at the same time collect a huge list of email addresses that will be of use to you, and the argument in favor of a guest book is overwhelming.
So why a Flash guestbook rather than Java or HTML? Because of the simplicity and the design opportunities; it looks better, is easier to use, and provides you with the security and moderation facility that you will need. Why consider anything else?
Flash guest books are easy to add to your website, and Walter shows you how on Flash Guestbook where you will also have access to FlashLoaded's whole range of Flash applications that can make your website special.