Flash Forward: The Future Is HTML5

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:: By Michael Pasco, ZOG Digital ::


After significant security failures, thirst for user resources and industry-wide pressure, 2016 will be the first year marketers will not have Flash to fall back on as a crutch. Thankfully, new technology is readily available to take its place. 

As an interactive element, Flash has been intertwined with the user experience since its inception. With Web design now more important than ever, marketers must turn to other tools to maximize how visitors interact with their Web elements. 

Responsive Design UX 

Steve Jobs built the case against Flash five years ago. In that time, the globe was gifted 12 different iPhone iterations with no sign of slowing down or using Flash at all. In fact, mobile supremacy has prompted industry-wide marketer response in the form of responsive design. 

According to comScore, total digital media usage has grown 49 percent with mobile apps contributing to 77 percent of time spent. Mobile browsers are also seeing a strong growth at 53 percent. Mobile devices overall account for 62 percent of all time spent with digital media. 

More companies are paying attention to these shifts in technology and user behavior and crafting strategies to stay visible. This has to be the year to ensure their Web elements are accessible to mobile audiences. The best approach is using standardized coding languages understood by all devices – namely, HTML5.

HTML5 Aids Discovery Marketing

HTML5 ensures that all the important multimedia elements used in Flash are here to stay – without any cumbersome digital bloating. You can still embed interactive video, audio and other elements to grab a user’s attention and direct them to new content, but there’s another bonus that might not be immediately apparent — marketers now have more streamlined access to an important aspect to discovery in SEO. 

Flash websites were notoriously difficult to rank in Google due to their lack of searchable content. Websites built in HTML5 make it easier for search engines like Google to crawl its onsite copy with more transparent SEO. They allow elements like links, headers, image alt-tags, anchor text, meta titles and meta description tags to be optimized better without disrupting an engaging on-site experience for users.

Load Times UX and Responsive Design

It’s no secret that Flash increased the size of Web pages. In 2016, users don’t want to download any files in order to access a site just because it has Flash. 

Readers are time-conscious, especially when they discover your page with a clear intent to read, watch or buy. What’s more, people go to your website for information, not animation. Any extra time it takes to load your website is time they spend looking for alternatives rather than engaging with your content. 

Removing Flash serves as one more website optimization to keep readers engaged with your content faster and longer. Improved load times also lead to higher SEO rankings and user experience will get a much-needed boost. Keeping users on your page holds no value without well-written content that solves user needs and drives conversions.

Forward-thinking brands have already graduated to HTML5, but Flash still persists in 15.6 percent of the world’s top 1000 websites. The technology is here – 2016 needs to be the year to optimize your website content before you lose your visitor engagement to the competition.  


Michael Pasco is the marketing coordinator for ZOG Digital, a leading marketing and technology company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. His background in journalism, digital marketing and Web design drive his passion for writing thought leadership content focused around the evolving tech industry. ZOG Digital’s discovery marketing solutions include search engine optimization, social media marketing, paid advertising, and design and development. For more information, visit www.zogdigital.com or follow us on Twitter @ZOGDigital.

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10 comments

BrianB 01-15-2016 3:39 PM

Sad article - couldn't handle Flash? Too difficult? Great software. Made for the able and to create and not clone as all you incapable would wish to do. HTML 5 - OK but limited as today's world would love all potential creators to be. Stay with Flash and forget about badly written and badly expressed articles on something they (because of their lack of intelligence) could never understand. Start cloning???

DeanL 01-17-2016 11:29 AM

BrianB's remarks seem a bit personal. In fact, for all Brian knows Michael Pasco may well be a Flash Master Programmer.

DouglasT 01-19-2016 8:57 AM

This argument has to do with Flash web pages.  What about all the interactive content that has been used within HTML pages.  Still haven't found a good way to create interactive content as nicely and easily.

RonZ 01-19-2016 12:26 PM

Flash is one of the most unsecure application. Adobe has tired updating it and patch every hole. It was good until the mobile stepped upfront. Large size files, security vulnerability (constantly), and the need to use a special program to design it - all of it says one thing: it's time to get rid of it.

Katrina MO 01-19-2016 12:57 PM

Coding in HTML5 and designing in Flash should be easy for creators, period. I learned HTML and Flash for school so that I could teach high school students to make websites as a Technology Education teacher. But, the insecurity of Flash in comparison with HTML5 does not speak well of Flash. With more and more mobile devices proliferating, security of websites is paramount. It is surprising that more companies are not forward-thinking and have moved over to HTML5, but that could be a lack in updated training and resistance to change what is working. As more consumers refuse to accept the insecurity of Flash and HTML5 drives business to their competitors, the remaining 15.6 percent of websites will switch over.

Smith 01-20-2016 12:55 AM

I am totally agree with this post which is about The Future Is HTML5. This is the basic of web development and all students have to learn this language.

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RioB 01-21-2016 7:07 PM

flash music players don't work on phones. the article doesn't tell you how to replace it.

Showbox 02-16-2016 8:31 AM

Actually HTML 5 is not so new, just about every programming language, claiming the mass, protium have a series of tests and earn a W3C recommendation. Since the beginning of this process it has been five years, it was expected that by 2012, the approval will be obtained. The process was delayed because of the consciousness of tradition and conservatism, presumably because HTML 5 is so rich that its creation is called a revolution in web development.

Reverse Phone Detective 03-28-2016 1:58 AM

flash is getting day by day but fortunately html5 provides few features of flash in html itself.

Apartments Near Sorority Row UF 04-13-2016 9:05 AM

We have been utilizing HTML5 extensively on our new pages for Apartments near Sorority Row UF and it has done wonders in terms of reducing site load up speed, reducing bounce rates and visitor engagement and much more. Great article as always.

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