Oct 17, 2011 115 reads by Navneet Kaushal

siFR stands for – scalable Inman Flash Replacement. In a nutshell, the technique behind sIFR is the same as image replacement, however, it relies on JavaScript and Flash to replace XHTML text with Flash text. Put simply, sIFR can be a website designer's dream tool as it allows website headings, pull-quotes and other elements to be styled in whatever font the designer chooses. And that too, without the user having it installed on their machine.

What Makes sIFR better?

To begin with sIFR allows designers to create a style sheet and set the size and other parameters of a headline, in other words, one can design their headlines any which way according to their fancy. Now, as sIFR requires JavaScript to be enabled and the Flash plugin installed in the reading browser. In this case, if you are without either JavaScript or Flash, then the reader's browser will automatically display traditional CSS based styling. Result- the user won't know the difference!

How To Use sIFR?

To begin with, you need to download the .zip file containing the script. With this you will also get a Flash movie template. Double click on the movieclip on the main stage in the Flash template. Now you should be at the actual text box. It is a simple step of changing the font for the text box to the desired font and simply publish the movie. All you have to do then is to upload the resulting .swf file to your site. See For example how the retail site Klutz uses sIFR-


For more examples on using sIFR- see this.

The SEO Benefit:

Now this SEO friendly way that lets you use your custom fonts, without the need to use an image is useful for any website that used Image or Flash as the headings. Now with sIFR, you can finally optimize your H1 tags. Since sIFR replaces short text blocks with Flash of selected typefaces, you are free to use your desired fonts while maintaining the optimization of the H1 tags. Say goodbye to images now! Google crawlers will index the text content-and your headings will play a role in rankings then.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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