• Development

Flash no longer supported in 2021?

Written by Rishi Patel

That’s right, Adobe turned off support for Flash at the end of December 2020.

Google announced that it will also stop indexing Flash content from their search engine which applies to any web pages that contain SWF (flash) files on your website.

Before we dive into alternatives, let’s understand what Flash is and where it came from.

What is Flash? Why is it being terminated?

Without getting into the technical details, Flash is a multimedia software platform that used to be the standard for publishing media such as videos. It was launched in 1996 with the aim to create richer content.

The type of media mainly consisted of animations, which quickly gained great popularity. Google only began crawling Flash files in 2008 and as with all technological advances, Flash started to become outdated as security and speed concerns gained in prominence. Due to this, more and more web browsers decided to discontinue their support, and eventually this led Adobe themselves to take Flash off the shelf.

As it stands, even though Google managed to index Flash files fairly well, it still didn’t allow pages to be ranked to their true potential. Today, all browsers have decided to stop support for Flash and you may have come across the notification on your browser indicating this – if you landed on a page with Flash components.

However, alternatives have been developed in the years since.

HTML5

HTML5 is the fifth version of the current HTML standard which supports all the multimedia on the world wide web.

Advantages:

  • You don’t need a plugin or third party install to get HTML5 as all browsers currently support it
  • Less heavy on resources – faster to load
  • Open source, meaning no dedicated development environment is required
  • Indexed well by Google

How do I get my website updated?

Updating your website and replacing Flash content essential, due to security issues with Flash. For example, a university website contains phone numbers, social security numbers and addresses. With Flash’s security flaws, bad actors could easily compromise and obtain such information using Flash as an entry point.

As not all organisations are rushing to update their Flash web content, this has the potential to cost more in the future if systems are compromised, or as the demand to replace Flash content rises.

HTML5 can provide far richer experiences than Flash ever could, and digital agencies are primed to deliver these services. Crucible’s work across HTML5 rich media is broad; if you are finding your organisation needing to update Flash content then reach out to us if you have any questions.