Ding Dong, Flash is Dead! And it might be killing your website too...
Is Your Website Dying Too?
Unlike the wicked witch of the west, Flash is not dead quite yet. But it is indeed dying a long slow death (since 2017) with its final days coming in 2020. Adobe has given website owners three years to prepare for the end of life date, yet it's estimated there are still millions, if not tens of millions of websites still using Flash.
Why Should I Care?
Adobe Flash used to be essential on the web, as oil is to the Tin Man, to play audio and video content, games, animations, and apps. Without it, most websites could not fully render interactive content. It became the industry standard. But hang on Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore, and things have changed drastically.
Fast forward down the yellow brick road to today, and the opposite becomes reality. Websites with Flash content will become partially inoperable and Flash content blocked due to Adobe ceasing updates for the software completely by the end of 2020.
If you own an outdated website that is driven by Flash, it too is slowly melting away, and it's time to take action.
What is Flash?
Pulling back the curtain, Adobe Flash is a multimedia software used for apps, gaming, audio and video content on websites. It's not flying monkeys but when it first came out it did have a big impact on the web. This software must be downloaded and installed on your computer to load interactive content online and in apps. Over the years, many web browsers have built Flash into them as it became more essential for delivering high-quality content and experiences. Alternatively, it is now becoming restricted in browsers and slowly retired as the software reaches its End of Life date of December 31, 2020.
Why is Flash Dying?
As with any third-party software, there are security risks. The lollipop guild security team can only take you so far in internet security. Flash is an easy target and has become notoriously known for security breaches. And as technology evolved and with many people opposed to using Flash, alternatives developed.
Most notably, Steve Jobs refused to use third-party programs for the iPhone which triggered new technologies. Developers have been celebrating with song and dance... Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead! (the witch being Flash) and glad to see it go as no reputable web designer has used Flash in nearly a decade due to lack of support and the inherent security risks.
What is Replacing Flash?
Today, HTML5 has become the new web standard (the "Good Witch" has arrived). A much safer alternative designed to be used by all open web developers, allowing interactive content to be placed and played on apps and websites using simple coding without third-party software.
How Do I Know If My Website Has Flash?
Is your website rustier than the Tin Man? Most older template-based websites are run on Flash. The easiest way to check to see if your website has Flash content that will soon be disabled by the end of 2020 is to pop over to SEO Site Checkup and run a simple Flash Test.
What Do I Do If I Have Flash Content on My Website?
Get out of your storm Cellar! If you have Flash content on your website, to assure your website stays safe from security breaches and continues to load content properly, you will need to migrate to more modern technologies. A simple website rebuild can be done or take advantage of the need to upgrade and do a full website redesign (i.e. get the ruby slippers you've always wanted).