Why You Should Avoid Adobe Flash on Your Website

By June 16, 2017Website Building

adobe flash logoAdobe Flash was once ubiquitous on the web. It featured in games, media content, and all kinds of animation. Support for Flash has been withdrawn over recent years, yet many small sites still rely on it. If your site is still using Flash, here’s why you need to update.

What is Adobe Flash?

Flash is a software owned and licensed by Adobe. It was licensed as Shockwave Flash in Internet Explorer and Firefox. At the user end it was a browser extension plugin that enabled multimedia content such as video and audio to be played on a website. It was also a common platform to run games, animation, and graphical user interfaces online. In 2013, Adobe said that of 1 billion connected desktops, over 400 million updated their software within six weeks of a new release.

What was wrong with it?

With so many users, it seems unlikely Adobe Flash fell out of fashion as quickly as it did. However Flash suffered performance lags and glitches, and markup languages such as HTML5 and CSS3 produced faster, cheaper, and better multimedia playback. Flash was also prone to viruses, and left web users at risk of having their devices infected.

Lack of support

In April 2010, Steve Jobs published an open letter explaining that in future Apple would not support Adobe Flash on new iPhones and iPads. Today it’s almost impossible to run Flash applications on iPads or iPhones.

Browsers have also stepped away from Flash. In August 2016 Google announced it would be de-emphasizing Flash on its Chrome browser in favor of HTML5. In December 2016 Google made good on that announcement by disabling all Flash content. Safari disabled Flash in June 2016, and Firefox says it will stop supporting it in 2017. All Facebook’s videos have been switched over to HTML5, and usage of Flash has declined to only around 6.5% of all websites.

Flash alternatives

The fact is, if your site still uses Flash it’s probably slow, has security loopholes, and won’t display on many browsers or any Apple devices. Given the iPhone has 60-70% of the global smartphone market, you simply can’t afford to have parts of your site be invisible to so many people.

The good news is, there are plenty of alternatives that are cheaper, faster, more secure, and more reliable than Flash. You can switch out animations such as homepage carousels with simple Javascript using plugins to code for you.

Adobe itself has switched to HTML5, and now offers a new suite of animation tools that replace Flash.

Conclusion

Flash used to be a mainstay of multimedia content online. Today it’s slow, obsolete, and is only holding your website back. A few simple updates can remove Adobe Flash in favor of faster, cheaper code. This will improve your site and give visitors full access to all its content. If you’re not sure if you’re still using Flash, or need help switching it out, choose a plan and let TechTe.am’s experts help you out.

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