Adobe Flash - It's time to let it go for good
February 12th 2014
Update: As of the end of 2020, Adobe Flash is no longer supported on any devices. If your website still uses Flash, and you are looking for a new solution for your website, contact us at SilverServers to look at a new website design!
I'm amazed at how many websites out there still use Adobe Flash. Less and less devices support Shockwave / Flash technology every day, and yet some websites out there still use it on their homepages or to deliver some critical page content to visitors. The time has passed - if you use this technology it's time to stop.
What does this mean for your website?
It means that if you have a website with components built in Flash then people browsing your site from their smart phones and tablets will be unable to see those components. If you have a full site designed in Flash or your sites navigation system or main menu is designed in Flash it should still work properly for people on their PC's and Mac's but iPhones, iPads, tablets and smart phones will require you to provide them with an alternative means of using those pieces of your website. This is something you should be doing already for two reasons:
1. Not everyone has Flash enabled even on their PC or Mac. The vast majority do, but not everyone.
2. Screen reader software used by visually impaired users may not be able to read these portions of your site.
In the past search engines were unable to crawl Flash navigation menu's and it was recommended to provide search engines a text based/HTML based navigation system to substitute your Flash navigation. This is no longer the case. A good search engine can index the basic text links and content from Flash but it is still unable to determine what the images, videos, and animations mean.
Again the primary concern here is for Mobile websites intended for visitors using tablets and phones. If you do not have a mobile site it may be time to get one. Smart phone and tablet users may still be able to view your normal website minus it's Flash content however it may be cumbersome for them to navigate with their tiny screen without having to zoom in, scroll back and forth, etc. You won't be providing your customers with a very pleasant experience.
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