HTML5 Vs. Flash: Important Things You Need To Know

Brief Intro: HTML5 Vs. Flash

When you are looking for the right tool for a web design project, there are a lot of options to choose from. But, when you need an interactive website, you are limited to two tools: Flash and HTML5.

Each tool has unique features that contribute to their popularity among web developers. So, choosing either tool ahead of the other may be challenging for you, especially if you are new to web design.

This is why it is important to compare both tools vis a vis their features. This article takes a look at these powerful tools and compares them from different perspectives.

What Is HTML5?

What Is HTML5?

HTML5 is the fifth version of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). The markup is a language for web design. The latest version was released by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in October 2014.

The fifth version is an upgrade of the previous versions with a wide range of new features. Even so, it retains most of their attributes such as tags and elements.

HTML5 contains three major elements. One is the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for presentation elements. There is also HTML code for the structure and JavaScript that brings life into the website.

HTML5 was created for a reason: to help web designers create a complete website without using extra plugins for the browser. So, you can add animations and apps with ease. You can also insert music and movies into your website without a hitch. This is because most browsers already support HTML5.

Flash Vs. HTML5: What Is Unique About HTML5?

Flash Vs. HTML5: What Is Unique About HTML5?

HTML5 Attributes

HTML5 boasts of an impressive collection of attributes. Some of these reasons are why it is the preferred option among many web developers.

Some of its features include:

1. Video

HTML5 supports video streaming through its Video element. When you stream your favorite video from a website, you are using this feature.

2. Canvas

With the canvas, a web developer can render graphics with ease. Web designers can handle projects that need tons of graphics with this feature. You don’t need a plug in to use this feature. It is available for use once you design your website with HTML5.

3. Figure

Without the Figure element, you can’t display visual content on your website. It is used for displaying illustrations, photos, and diagrams. This adds to the overall beauty of the site.

4. Header

The Header element comes in handy when grouping some elements on the top side of a website. Navigation items, company logo, and the search form are some of the items that can be grouped with the element.

The arrangement of these elements makes the website’s top look decent and easy to use.

5. NAV

NAV helps with the arrangement of some parts of a website that link to other pages. It allows a developer to organize those pages in specific ways that give users easy access to them.

6. Footer

At the bottom of a website is the Footer. Some of the information in the Footer area includes links to social media, copyright information, and About Us. It can also hold some other pieces of information about the website.

7. Geolocation

Geolocation is another important HTML5 attribute. This feature is used to know the geographical location of a user. Businesses take advantage of this information for marketing campaigns.

8. Audio

In the past, developers depended on third-party plugins for audio rendition. HTML5 has eliminated the need for such intermediaries. With its audio element, you can render audio on a website.

9. DIV

DIV is the appropriate element for wrapping “a block of code within a wrapper element specifically for the purpose of positioning the content.” Envatotuts, a How-To website, scored a good point with the definition. DIVs are great for content arrangement.

These are some attractive HTML5 features. Web developers are using these features to build responsive websites for a wide range of use.

Front-end developers can perform different tasks with HTML5. They can insert forms and images into a web page with it. It is no wonder, then, that websites are becoming more attractive.

It is also a great tool for developers. They can use it to create several versions of a website for several platforms. This will enable users on Windows and Unix to have a uniform user experience on the website.

HTML5 is supported by an array of browsers. Google Chrome and Apple Safari support it. It also works well on Opera and Mozilla Firefox.

For mobile devices, ipads, iPhones, and Android devices have HTML pre-installed on them. So, it works well on these devices too. This means that a web developer won’t have issues with different browsers and devices while creating websites with the latest version of HTML.

HTML5 Pros

HTML5 has some awesome and attractive benefits for users. Some of these are:

  • Several Video Supports: HTML5 supports different video formats. This makes it easier for users to use any browser of their choice without video support issues. The available format options are H.264, Ogg Theory, and VP8/WebM.

Every browser except Internet Explorer supports Ogg Theory. H.264 works on others except Firefox. You can use VP8/WebM on any browser, although it requires manual installation.

  • Great for SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a necessity for impressive rankings on search engines. HTML5 has built-in SEO function that supports optimization benefits. Developers can take advantage of the feature to create websites that will meet business owners’ SEO needs. This is a big support for website owners’ optimization efforts.
  • Less Maintenance Requirements: HTML5 is an open-source web design tool. So, users can find needed support nearly everywhere. When there are issues, there are a plethora of online sources and support groups that can help you out. This reduces your maintenance issues. You can update your code in real-time effortlessly.

If you are an app developer, you can also update your app without resubmitting your product. Once you do that wherever you are, everyone with the product will have their apps updated automatically.

  • Clear Code: Coding used to be stressful some years back. Web developers in the 1990s can attest to the difficulty of creating a website. HTML5 has a coding profile. It supports clear and consistent code. The learning curve is also easy, a welcome development for web developers across the globe.
  • No Multiple Developments: Reaching out to customers on different platforms can be a bit challenging. It is also time and money consuming. Thanks to HTML5, a developer doesn’t need to create different websites for each platform. They can write the code once and adapt it to several platforms.
  • A Modern User Experience: Web development has undergone an impressive transformation since its creation. Consumers are no longer comfortable with the type of websites available decades back. So, a developer must be abreast of new developments in the industry and capitalize on it. That’s the only way to meet customers’ expectations.

It has the ability to incorporate videos and sound into websites. So, users are finding websites created on HTML5 better than before. The audio and video are pretty cool too. Pure and crisp animations are also guaranteed. So, users are having a better alternative to what they were stuck with some years ago.

HTML5 Cons

For a web development tool with amazing features, HTML5 is far from being a perfect tool.

Some of its major weaknesses are:

  • It only supports modern browsers: You can’t access any website built with HTML5 on older browsers. It has compatibility issues with these browsers. This limits its use to web users using the latest browser versions only.
  • It is still a work in progress: When using HTML5, you must be on your toes to catch up with the changes in the language. The web design language keeps evolving. Old features are updated while extra features are added. While this makes it more attractive, it requires time and effort. Developers must devote a good amount of both resources to stay abreast of the development in the language.
  • Average Integrated Development Environment (IDE): A design platform as popular as HTML5 is expected to be great where it matters. It is expected to have an environment that provides users with the facilities they need for web development. It doesn’t meet up in terms of IDE. At best, HTML5 offers an average IDE.

These are some of the areas where HTML5 doesn’t meet up with people’s expectations.

HTML5 Vs. Flash: A Deeper Look At Flash

HTML5 Vs. Flash: A Deeper Look At Flash

What is Flash?

Flash is an Adobe product that hit the web design industry 21 years ago. When it came on board, it revolutionized video and audio streaming.

Developers could use its multimedia feature to create faster graphics for websites. Its ActionScript scripting language was designed for that function.

For several years, this multimedia tool was the preferred web design tool for developers. It powered several websites long before HTML5 was introduced into the industry.

It was used extensively for:

  • Publishing interactive websites.
  • Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) development.
  • Animations creation.

For the first time, developers had a tool that enabled them to go beyond conventional standards. They could create something fascinating to website owners and users.

Flash Features

Flash also offers developers some features that enable them to develop interactive websites. It supports the following:

  • Animation

Flash is a great tool for creating animations. You can animate drawings, texts, and still images with it. If you’re creating a website and need some animations, you don’t need a third party, you can simply get it done with Flash.

  • A Multifunctional Tool

Besides animations, it was used in the past to display online games and web pages. Flash is also a great tool for playing both video and audio content. This factor increased its popularity almost two decades ago.

  • Integrated Development Environment

Flash comes with an Integrated Development Environment. The IDE contains all the necessary tools a developer needs to get their job done. It also enables them to create attractive websites faster than before. In most cases, coding isn’t required. When you must code, you will be done with a few lines of code.

Flash Pros

Here are some of the benefits of using Adobe Flash:

  • Easy Navigation

Websites created with Flash are easy to navigate. Developers can easily add menus and other navigation elements. These features make it easier for users to find their way around such sites. Plus, web designers can add search buttons on a website for the same purpose.

  • Easy Learning Curve

With the right support from Adobe and other sources, you can find your way around the tool in a couple of days.

Pro developers can easily switch to the tool in a matter of days. Beginner developers could handle it pretty well after some days of constant practice. This was responsible for its increased usage and popularity when it was first introduced into the web design industry.

  • Great for Games Development

Flash has all the resources you need to make games. Viva Cruiser, Bejeweled, Line Rider, and Bubble Shooter, are some of the over 4,000 Flash-based games. This is according to Ghacks, a technology website. So, you can always rely on this web design tool if you wish to include games on your website. You will also find it useful if you want to create a games-based website too.

  • Smooth Integration

Adobe Flash integrates well with most existing web technologies. Except for some Apple products, you can use it with other technologies for any web design project.

This compatibility makes it appealing to users of a wide range of devices. It is one of the reasons why many web designers still prefer it to some other web design tools.

  • Extensive Community

Thanks to its attractive features when it first came on the scene, Flash can boast of an extensive community of users. These users can always count on amazing support from different groups of users across the globe. Hence, if you run into troubles while using the design tool, you can have easy access to community support.

Flash Cons

  • Poor Website Usability

Although Flash is a good tool with great features, it can also be a real pain. Developers may lack focus as they concentrate more on animations. In the end, you may end up with a design with great graphics but not good enough to promote your brand.

If website visitors find it difficult to navigate your site, they most likely will prefer to do business with your competitor that has a better UI/UX.

  • Slow Load Speed

Websites created with Flash have a reputation for slow page load speed. This is usually caused by the heavy graphics in most of those websites. Such sites are bulky. The bigger the file, the slower the page. In this current digital age, site speed is everything. Web users are impatient and might not bother to take a second look if your website is taking too long to load.

  • No Search Engine Indexing

Search engines find it difficult to index Flash websites. Their inability to navigate through such websites and index them may have negative effects on the site. Some of the major problems include poor site SEO. This is a problem that can trigger low traffic and patronage.

  • Low Support

Flash no longer support mobile browsers. In this era every business is targeting the mobile audience. So, a website that is not mobile-responsive is leaving money on the table.

Newer browsers have dropped their support for Flash player. Its incompatibility with some iOS is another problem.

How the two web design tools compare with each other is represented in the table below:

HTML vs. Flash

Comparison Basis HTML5 Flash
Weight HTML5 is fast and lightweight. It also occupies less CPU time for web page rendering Flash consumes CPU time and heavier than HTML5.
Required Processing Power This tool requires lower processing power than its competitor You need a higher processing power than what HTML5 requires for Flash-based websites.
Resources The web design tool is light on resources. You don’t need plug-ins for operation. It uses a lot of resources. You must install corresponding plug-ins.
Deployment HTML5 is known for easy deployment. Upload the files to your server, create the code. The browser will handle the rest. Flash is pretty easy to deploy. You simply upload the code into your website and the containers to your server. That simple.
Age HTML5 is a new web technology. It has some of the most important tools for modern website design. With almost 20 years of existence, Flash is an old web design technology.
SEO HTML5 is SEO-friendly. It makes search engine indexing easier than Flash. It doesn’t support search engine indexing. Hence, it is not SEO-friendly.
Cost HTML5 is an open-source platform. You can get and use it for free. You must buy it because it has a dedicated development environment.

Conclusion: HTML5 Vs Flash

HTML5 is open source, which opens it up to contributions from many people. This makes it an evolving ecosystem while Flash is owned by Adobe. Flash has been around for more than 20 years. But, there are still unresolved issues with speed and security. This is why some web browsers have stopped supporting Flash. HTML5 on the other hand continues to enjoy wider reach and support because of its flexibility, speed and security. HTML5 has become the gold standard of the industry. This is because it continues to release amazing features that match current trends and innovations in the digital space.

That will be all on the HTML5 vs Flash debate. Hopefully, this article has offered some insights and clarity to help you better understand what each is about.

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