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5 reasons to ditch your flash website

Flash can add interactivity, animations and extend unusual functionality to a website. However, it has many drawbacks and many flash features can be duplicated with more universally adopted programming languages such as javascript and php.

Unfortunately, many small companies today still rely on an all-flash website that could be hurting their business. Here are five reasons to upgrade:

(1) The Post-PC Revolution

Some industry pundits are now saying that we are living in a “post-pc” world.  While this may not be entirely true, more and more people around the world are surfing the internet on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.  While a few of these mobile platforms may offer limited flash support, the majority simply will not display your flash website.  Apple, one of the leaders in this technological revolution has completely rejected flash support for the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad.  Nearly 300 million smartphones and 14.8 million iPads were sold in 2010 alone. Do you really want to limit your website’s visitors to only those using a traditional computer?

(2) Flash Plug-In Required

Flash websites only work via a plugin that has to be installed and periodically updated in your visitors browser.  If your visitor doesn’t have the plug-in, or is using an incompatible older version, they are directed to “upgrade their flash player” before they can experience your page.  You want to encourage people to visit your site, right? Don’t give them hurdles to jump over along the way.

(3) Web Standards Don’t Apply

  • Try to scroll over some text or copying a link from a flash-only website, most of the time this doesn’t work.  When right clicking on an element in a flash website you get the flash menu instead of the right-click menu you were expecting.
  • Try clicking the back button while navigating a flash file, you go back to the last http:// page that your browser visited instead of the last page in the flash file.
  • Try bookmarking an individual page within an all-flash website, it doesn’t work.  Your browser views the entire site as one page.

(4) Annoyed Visitors

One reason people choose flash for their website is to add some fancy animations and really spice things up. All the extra embellishment usually means bigger files and longer download times. Nobody likes waiting around for a webpage to load. Often times the animations, decorations and sounds are unappreciated or even annoying to your visitors. People surf the web for content and information first, most users appreciate a website that just gets out of the way.

(5) New Standards are Coming

For online gaming, interactive demos, video and animation flash is still the best the web has to offer. HTML5 and CSS3 are new standards in development that offer nearly all of the capabilities of flash without many of the drawbacks, however browser support is still somewhat limited. A few years from now the browser support will be there and flash websites may be far less prevalent. More and more, to me flash websites are looking like a thing of the past.

Intriaci Studio