I want to make flash sites so that I can pass them along without having to edit them again
is there a way that instead of having to edit the illustrator file, the user can call specific images or text from a folder to be able to update the site simply by placing files with designated names in the folder?
The short answer is yes.
The true answer is you will need to create the code to read the data file, load the assets, manage all the errors that could happen, etc. If you are not comfortable with ActionScript, this would not a project to undertake. Do not underestimate the level of effort in involved. But with that said, good luck!