HTML vs. Flash

Flash used to be one of the most important tools in the world of web design. It provided easy solutions to many issues, including font integration, animation and was supported in different browsers. The iPhone era changed the rules of the game.

Steve Jobs’ new device omitted Flash as Flash content became invisible. No one knows if there was a real technological reason behind his decision, or just pure revenge against Adobe, the creators of Flash whom he had a long-time love/hate relationship with.

Jobs predicted and accelerated the fall of Flash technology back in April 2010 when he published his “Thoughts on Flash” article. In this article, Jobs declared that “the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short”, he concluded that “new open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too)”.

More and more companies and platforms announced they are dropping Flash and moving to HTML. The most important announcement was made by Adobe, the original developer of Flash technology. Adobe decided to stop development of the Flash player for Android which means that website elements using Flash technology will not be viewable in all devices using Android OS.

This move by Adobe was considered by Google the first step that will make web developers understand it’s time to move on to HTML.

What is an HTML Site

HTML code controls the content of the site, the text, images and so on. The style of the site is controlled and designed by CSS code and JavaScript. You could say HTML is the backbone of the page, while JavaScript is the muscles and CSS – the beautiful skin. The three languages work together to create the full image we see on a web page.

The purpose of browsers like Chrome and Firefox is to read these codes and translate them into the web pages we all know.

What is a Flash Site

Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to Web pages. Although you can build a full site using only Flash, most sites use both Flash and HTML code. Many of the things we are now used to, such as YouTube and online gaming, were born in great deal thanks to Flash technology.  However, this technology has its disadvantages: it is heavy on the browser, has a history of security breaches and it requires external resources to work.

Major Differences between HTML and Flash

Both Flash and HTML sites are static sites that don’t include content management systems. When planning on building a website, one should consider a few parameters and learn a few facts before choosing between the two technologies.

Animations and Multimedia –Flash was always considered better for adding video, audio and graphics to a website. However, today with the introduction of HTML 5, HTML based websites are no longer restricted to static pages and can be more interactive than ever before. HTML 5 is already supported by most mobile OS and devices.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Flash websites are not very SEO friendly and may require much more effort to get optimal search results. SEO is an extremely important aspect of a website, since the main motive for building a site is to reach the widest possible audience.  Text added with Flash downgrades the page-by-page indexing by being harder for search engines to read and index.

Compatibility – Most mobile devices cannot read Flash based websites. This is undoubtedly the biggest downside of using Flash, considering that most web surfing nowadays is done in mobile devices. In contrast, HTML sites are compatible with all mobile devices.

Editing – Flash can be edited using Flash CS6 (retails for several hundred dollars), a relatively strong yet more professional visual editing environment. HTML can be edited in any text editor, but that option requires coding knowledge. There are also several DIY HTML online editing tools.

Bottom line – go with HTML. Better compatibility, better search engine visibility and a brighter future.

So how can someone enjoy all the benefits of HTML without (any) knowledge in programming? Modern online HTML builders provide a DIY platform to edit and publish a site quickly and seamlessly.

An HTML website builder provides a user-friendly editor that does not require any prior knowledge in coding. Anyone can create and connect a site that is compatible to all browsers and devices and has endless options of style and content.