Death or loss of any kind can be life-altering, whether it’s losing a loved one or losing your favorite web application. Wait…what?
Back in 2017, we wrote about how Adobe announced that it would “stop updating and distributing Flash Player” and what that meant for you. Well, the inevitable (finally!) happened and, as of December 31, 2020, Adobe no longer supports Flash player. RIP.
It’s been 6 months without our beloved Flash: how are we getting on?
Just like with any type of loss, we’re processing the death of Flash in a bizarro-world 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and, finally, Acceptance. In the following blog post, we’ll talk about what to do now that Flash is obsolete.
“Flash was revolutionary. It’ll be back.”
“Flash isn’t dead.”
HTML5, the most recent version of HTML, was more than likely Flash’s indirect killer. In 2008, in fact, Apple’s late CEO, Steve Jobs, penned an essay, explaining why Flash would never be shown on iPhones and iPads and that HTML5 would be the future of the web. It was a slow but steady demise after that. HTML5 supports rich media content like audio and video, uses cleaner, consistent code and helps rank with search engines.
CSS, or cascading style sheets, are responsible for the look and feel of a website. Where HTML determines the structure of the site, CSS decides the visuals, layout and aesthetics. CSS creates a great user experience and makes a website easy to navigate. It allows for faster page speed, quicker development time and compatibility across devices.
“Why won’t this site load?!”
Because of Flash Player’s limited capabilities and security risk, not a lot of browsers automatically supported Flash. Instead, you had to install a plug-in for it to work. Over time, people began to search for other platforms to display multimedia content. Browser technologies and dedicated mobile apps began to do the work that Flash pioneered.
HTML5 doesn’t need third-party plug-ins or APIs, which improves its load time. According to Semrush, 25% of websites load in more than 5 seconds, 50% load in over 3 seconds, and 94% of websites take longer than 1 second. Load time helps improve your search engine rankings, so using technology that allows your webpages to load within 2 seconds (the “threshold”) will only help SEO.
“But my images are too big to load any other way!”
Speaking of load time, back in the day of desktop computers and slow dialups, images could take minutes to load. So, instead, Flash used vector graphics, which was a mathematical way of scaling images to be used on small items like business cards or larger items like billboards. Vector graphics significantly reduced file size and increased load times.
Nowadays, we have scalable vector graphics (SVG), which is an XML-based markup that lets you create vector graphics for the web. HTML5 even includes an <svg> tag that allows you to create graphics that can look pixel-perfect on any device, large or small.
“What if we just use Flash for our videos?”
It’s true, playing videos was the most common use for Flash Player. But, in 2009, HTML5 introduced the <video> tag. Video sites like YouTube and Netflix could now use HTML5 exclusively on any modern browser, allowing for higher quality video. If your website is still using Flash to play your video files, you can easily replace them with HTML5, using <video>.
“What about audio?”
There’s an <audio> tag in HTML5, too.
“I don’t want to learn another program.”
“Actually, this is probably pretty cool.”
In the end, the death of Flash can only lead to a new generation of freely available technologies that run faster, are responsive and more secure. We can appreciate what Flash gave us and remember the good times, knowing that it led to where we are now. So, thank you, Flash, for everything you’ve done for the web. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you.
Need help migrating your Flash website to HTML5? Contact us – we can help!