Using Adobe Flash on your website? You have to read this

In 1996, Adobe released its multimedia platform, Flash and it changed the landscape of what websites were able to offer, taking the user’s experience to the next level.

However, technology has progressed to the extent that Flash is now obsolete. It’s proprietary software that is dependent on users installing a browser plugin, as well as updates, and their device supporting Flash in the first place.

The last thing you want is your audience landing on your website, ready to view what you have to offer, credit card in hand, only to be told that your content can’t be viewed. One of your jobs is to ensure that your audience’s journey is as easy as possible. Asking them to jump through hoops to view the details of your business will leave them jumping to the website of somebody who has embraced newer technology.

Adobe has announced that Flash will be obsolete by 2020. Soon, it will be mandatory to move away from it, but here are a few reasons why Flash should be removed with immediate effect.

Security flaws, malware, and bugs

Flash is notoriously known as the entry point for security breaches. Ads that annoy your users, backdoor malware installation and the collection of data are due to holes in Flash’s security.

Many security experts advise against installing Flash and to block sites that use it because of security issues. Not a great first impression, when a large warning sign asks your user to be wary of your website.

Mobile phones don’t like it, especially iPhones

Flash drains the battery of your mobile and takes up precious memory space. Steve Jobs led the ‘anti-Flash’ movement when he told the world that Apple’s iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches wouldn’t support Flash. If every iOS user can’t use your website, that’s a big problem.

SEO

Flash is not easily indexed by Google, so your content is barely skimmed, if at all. Many search engines have trouble following links that aren’t HTML and most links in Flash aren’t HTML based.

This will have a big impact on your ranking in Google, placing you much lower down the list. This will make it harder for the world to see what your business has to offer. There is a way around this, by developing two versions of your website — one Flash and one HTML, maintaining two copies of the same website. For something that causes such a low-quality experience for your user, doubling the workload isn’t recommended.

Bandwidth and speed limitations

In many situations, the entire Flash site must be downloaded before it can be used. It also takes up a lot of memory and slows things down. With your audience wanting things fast with great ease and the large majority of websites no longer using Flash, landing on one that does seems to be outdated. If it appears that a business can’t be bothered to make life easy and convenient for its users, that doesn’t bode well for what they’ll expect from your business moving forward.

Making your users do double the work

On your web browser, the back button allows users to go back to the last web page visited. Flash often removes that function, instead, taking your user back to the website they visited before yours. You are literally kicking users off your website.

If this happens once, it may be frustrating for the user to have to work to land on your website again. If it happens twice? They may leave your site and choose not to return.

If you're currently using Adobe Flash and are wanting to move away from it, please don't hesitate to email us at 'hello@wearegoat.com' for a free consultation.