Gone in a Flash – The Decline of Adobe (Macromedia) Flash

 In Website Design

The long past-its-prime software platform known as Adobe Flash is finally getting ushered from the cheap seats right out of the stadium.

Just ten years ago Adobe Flash was the king of the web. The software brought websites alive with animations, video streams, and functionality never before seen in a browser. But after a seemingly continuous battle with its security exposure, it is not just in decline. According to WIRED, it’s Dead!

The Mozilla Foundation recently disabled the Adobe Flash plug-in and Facebook’s Alex Stamos is calling for an end date for Flash. The security weakness was solved and Adobe released a patch trying to get back in good graces. Unfortunately, we’re all caught in the squeaky wheel teeter totter we’ve been riding since Flash was first hacked.

Besides vulnerability, the major concern revolves around Flash’s proprietary nature. Adobe owns the language outright and hasn’t always played well in the sandbox. There was a major unhitching-of-the-wagons with Apple as Steve Jobs decided to exclude Flash from Apple’s mobile OS. Most of the issues Jobs eludes to are related to Adobe’s unwillingness to move to an “Open” platform like HTML5.  The “Flash Like” elements in HTML5 uses J-Query fallback and CSS transitions.

In recent years, developers have move to more stable and open platforms and Flash has continued its decline. In fact, Flash is now being used on less than 10% of all websites.

As a 13 year old marketing/web design company we dove heavily in Macromedia Flash projects.  We created splash screens, interactive CD’s, and entire websites.  It was customary to provide clients with 2 versions of their websites, one HTML and one in Flash.  In fact we still have a flash website sample from 2005 for a railing supplier that ranks well on Google, see it here Macromedia Flash Website Sample (Keep in Mind….apple products do not play flash). With the introduction of mobile devices, we saw the need to move away from Flash towards the now popular HTML5 responsive design.

What’s next? As Adobe Flash continues on its final march, don’t be surprised to hear of ranking penalties in the future. In fact, with the roll-out of the mobile-friendly changes………. they already are!

Check to see if your website contains any remnants of Flash at: http://seositecheckup.com/tools/flash-test. If it does, it’s time to fix that before some vulnerability is exploited.

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