Pandora for years has been an entirely flash based website. Which for their website service makes sense. Flash for the longest time has been the primary solution for web media such as music, video and animation. Last week Pandora launched their new website design and guess what? It is not flash based. Grant it there are a few components that use flash such as the video ad and some ads along the side use flash, but if a music player website recreates their entire website in order to avoid flash maybe we should assess why they steered away from this kind of technology.
5 Reasons Why Flash is Becoming Outdated
1. Incompatibility with new technology
Say what? New technology can’t process flash. More like new technology refuses to process flash. Apple’s iPhone, iPod and iPad do not read flash for web browsing because as Steve Jobs announced, “It causes problems and is outdated for touch based mobile technology.” This is in part because the majority of flash actions are applied through mouse hovers, and of course touch based mobile devices are incapable of hovering as with a mouse.
2. Flash is a Third Party Plugin
A third party plugin is an application that is needed to be downloaded or “plugged in” in order for you to be able to view something on a website. In other words, using flash is like a company outsourcing their customer support overseas. If the company doing their customer support doesn’t do their job well or have the latest up to date information then it causes problems for both the customer and the company. Their are better ways now to do things than to use a third party plugin where you have to rely on someone else to do their job.
3. Open Source Code is a Better Solution
4. Flash is Bad for SEO
To entirely build a site with flash is a terrible idea from the stand point of Search Engine Optimization because search engines can not crawl that data. It’s like building an entire site with images text and all. Your site can’t be ranked for your targeted keywords because it can’t find any keywords on your site other than the title and meta tags. For more info on why flash is bad for seo check out seomoz.
5. Waiting and Needing Updates
If you think that everyone will update their flash plugin or download it for the first time just to view your site, you are naive. There is tons of ready to read open source content on the web in just about every niece you can think of. So people will be more inclined to move on rather than download an update or plugin in order to view your site. People want content that is ready, open and available, not something with long loading times, constant updates, and problems.
So is Flash a Thing of the Past?
Well, yes and no. Flash can be a great avenue for video, where it is not widely accessible on the web just yet (why do people still use IE6!), and it can give eye-popping effects for ads, but it should never be used for the entire site. You don’t need to use it for the entire site and there are by and large better ways to do what you need to (ie. open source code). Avoid flash when you can and use it sparingly.
BTW sorry all you who have flash based sites that are reading this post. Just passing truth and trying to help a brotha’ out!
God speed superman fans,
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