Adobe FlashAdobe Flash enables unmatched interactivity, protects source code, and it is especially well-suited for animation and media. Used in moderation, it can add necessary interactive elements or movement to bring a website to life. However, there are several reasons why we suggest not building an entire website or having your main website functionality (menu or main message) within Flash.

Not Search Engine Friendly: Just recently Google and Yahoo search engines have gained the capabilities to read Flash files – that is IF developers carefully include many additional steps when configuring the flash movie. There are still limitations in what links search engines can crawl or index. This means the text contained within the flash may not be picked up by search engines, which prohibits search engines from being found and listing this vital content to your prospective customers. Google still suggests to use Flash sparingly.

Immobile: Being the mobile society we are (an estimated 6.8 billion mobile phones worldwide in 2018) – it’s really disappointing for the millions of cell phone users that stumble across a website they CANNOT view because it is entirely flash based and says “You must have Flash Player to view this.” The Flash architecture is designed to work with desktop/laptop computers and not iPhones. Though Apple is in talk with Adobe for incorporating Flash, the deal seems indefinite at this point.

Lack of Consistent Cross-Platform Support: We’ve all had the Internet Explorer woe, and inserting Flash isn’t as simple as adding HTML tags to a document. You will need JavaScript support to help assist certain browsers in loading the page. Furthermore, there are all sorts of peculiarities that you’ll notice when integrating Flash elements into your webpage.

Slow Load (yawn): Flash sites are great, but take an eternity to load, thus the reason for the “Loading” image. You will notice that just about all “flash websites” load significantly slower than their HTML counterpart.

Flash Player Required: Having just bought a new computer, I had to download the Flash Player from the Adobe website in order to be able to view Flash animations. However, people can choose not to download it, thereby not seeing potentially valuable content on your site.

Accessibility: Adobe Flash is not accessible to those with vision impairments or who use text readers without MAJOR modifications. Therefore, without these critical modifications these Flash sites cannot be read. Most government and higher education websites must be Section 508 Compliant – which Flash is not.

Cost: The most obvious disadvantage of Flash is the high-priced software, around $700. The additional cost of purchasing the software’s, and the cost required for maintenance and upgrades to the latest versions turn out to be unreasonable for small business owners and web developers. HTML on the other hand is highly affordable.

Though Flash is useful in some cases, we believe it is important to know the limitations of utilizing this technology when building websites or selecting a developer for your site.