Gone in a Flash

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Gone in a Flash

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Adobe Flash is gone.

On July 25th 2017, Adobe (the makers of Flash) told the world that the end-of-life for Flash is scheduled for the end of 2020.

Update, January 2021

Flash is “End of Life” as of 1st January 2021

No-one was surprised. The writing has been on the wall – for Adobe Flash – for some time now. Google won’t accept Flash on AdWords or its advertising publishing platforms. YouTube has switched to HTML5, Facebook won’t accept Flash video, and Amazon won’t accept Flash on its advertising platform. The list of “not-here-anymore” goes on….

Flash has served the industry very well. But once a ‘good way to do it’ platform, Flash also seems to have become more vulnerable to security holes; and although some games and specialist uses will persist for a few years, anyone using Flash for their website needs to migrate to HTML5 or some other open standard like WebGL (a JavaScript library).

I have been very surprised as to how many sites still use Flash! I noted in the last few days that my dentist’s website won’t not work at all without Flash player. The site instructs me to install Flash – that’s not going to happen.

Is your site modern? Is it mobile?

But the real point is – if your website is still using Flash then your website is probably way out of date in many areas. And a dated website is usually of little value – except maybe for the Contact Us page.

It is too difficult and time-consuming (or even impossible) for IOS and Android users to use a flash-based site. And since mobile/tablet browsing has already overtaken desktop browsing – if you have flash then you are basically closing your shop door to over 50% of your existing and potential customers.

What should you do if you have Flash on your site?

Doing nothing is not an option. Although some visitors will still be able to use the site, the “please load Flash player” message tells your visitors that your site is old and not to be bothered with. Worse still – not to be trusted.

Here is what you can do:

  1. Remove – if you can – Flash content or replace it with HTML5 code (or another open standard library).
  2. Embark on a content and design review. If your site was built at a time when Flash was ‘the thing’ then it is likely that you site design – and it underlying technology, is dated. And it’s very likely not usable on mobile – i.e. it’s not ‘mobile-responsive’.
  3. Don’t over-spend. If you run a small business then you probably don’t have an in-house web manager. However, do not be put-off by daunting-looking quotes from those ‘big web design’ companies. For a small business with an information-type site, web redesign and rebuild does not need to be complex or expensive. In fact, a modern, mobile-responsive site is not as difficult to build as some think. See some of our sites as examples.

Contact us if you feel the need to simplify and rebuild your site without breaking the bank.