Why It's Time To Wave Goodbye to Flash
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015
By Carrie H.
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Just when we think we’ve mastered text-lingo, LOL, BRB and SMH seem like amateur-speak compared to the phrases and abbreviations of the tech industry. Newscasts and morning shows are filled with professionals tossing around words like JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, Mobile Responsive, and Flash.

Can somebody pass me a dictionary?!

Let’s dive a little deeper into two of these terms: Flash and HTML5.

This whole topic warrants a bit of a history lesson. Before there was HTML5, there was HTML4. Makes sense, right?

HTML4, at it’s most basic description, is a type of code used to build websites. When paired with things like CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) that define the stylistic portions of a site like fonts and colors, and JavaScript, the force that makes things happen on a website, you build out a fully functional website.


But wait, there’s more…

HTML4 was first released in 1997. (See … told ya we were talking history!) This means, up until the release of HTML5 in 2012, the majority of websites were built on a technology dating back 16 years!

So where does Flash come into play?

As we all know, technology evolves (aka...buying yourself a new iPhone every couple of years and even updating the operating system in-between new phones), but in the website world, the foundation was an old standard of coding. As time passed, functionality became increasingly limited. To make websites more than just text and images, plugins were used to help extend the functionality of HTML4.

Flash was created as a plugin to HTML4. It helped bring movement to websites, and allow for video content. Think of image slideshow transitions and animation. These “extras” that made a website more visually interesting were using the Flash plugin to work.

Then what’s the point of HTML5?

After 15 years of HTML4, and countless plugins and web browsers, it became difficult to maintain a set of standards of how websites display.

This brought on the creation of HTML5 along with certain standards of how the new version would operate:

  • Improved functionality (less dependent on plugins)

  • Ability to be seen on all devices with the same experience

And a few more that relate to the coding language itself.

What did this mean for PhotoBiz?

As a 10-year-old company, we definitely spent the majority of our life-span in the pre-HTML5 world. Many of our clients have websites and online shopping carts that were built using the Flash plugin, as this was the industry standard prior to 2012.

Just as technology evolves, so have we.

Since the fall of 2012, all of our websites, blogs and ecommerce are built using HTML5. They have the movement and effects that Flash helped to create, with improved display features like high-definition images and video. AND, they work on all devices, all without having to use plugins.

Even if my site uses Flash, do I really need to change to HTML5?

Absolutely, the answer is yes. Websites and online shopping carts that use Flash are generally  still functional, however, as this technology becomes more dated, it can have security vulnerabilities simply because it requires consistent updates to adapt to newer technology.

For this reason, some web browsers are even disabling Flash as a default setting, meaning, your website may not be visible to its full potential audience if you’re still using Flash.

Just this week, Firefox announced they are doing just that: Firefox Blocks Flash By Default

How can I make the switch?

Our Brand Consultants will happily work with you to move from the Flash world to HTML5. It will be a good chance to refresh your website and even make some tweaks that may have lingered on your to-do list for way too long.











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