Anyway, to get to the point, the customer has now been advised by a
marketing agency that the site should be reduced in size to approx 45
key pages, and that the majority of content for things such as
conference room specification and rates, bedroom specs and rates, menus,
events, golf rates, membership rates etc, should be made available in
PDF form instead of the html pages that are on the current site.

Out of curiosity, did they give a reason for this advice?

I am aware that recent versions of Adobe allow more accessible PDF
content to be created, but I would be grateful for thoughts on the use
of PDF content instead of html content.

PDFs *can be* accessible, but only if the people creating them are
extremely well trained and motivated to do so. It is *not* a matter of
buying the latest version of Acrobat and hitting "export".

The real world result is that PDFs *usually are not accessible*.
Because usually they're produced by people who have absolutely no
training in producing PDFs for on-screen use.

Even if they were produced perfectly and they were all accessible, I
still wouldn't recommend using PDFs instead of HTML. Fundamentally
PDFs are not web documents! They can be delivered via the web but they
are not web pages and should never be treated that way. PDFs introduce
a huge range of usability issues and the short version is they really
annoy the average user and confuse the heck out of less savvy users.

I cannot see any logical reason for the advice to your client to go
over to mostly-PDF. I would suggest finding out why they suggested it
and address the underlying issue. eg. if they want the pages to print
well, build a print stylesheet. If they want the page to be updated
frequently, train someone to do the HTML/use the CMS. If they don't
want prices getting indexed by search engines, use the appropriate
meta tags.

If they're desperate to control print, then they could *add* PDFs but
they shouldn't ditch the HTML.

cheers,
Ben

--
--- <http://weblog.200ok.com.au/>
--- The future has arrived; it's just not
--- evenly distributed. - William Gibson


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