Why Flash is bad for you

  1. It slows down the loading of websites immensely compared to sites built using web standards of HTML+CSS+Javascript.
  2. Most sites that use it OVER-use it.  “More” is hardly ever better in Graphic User Interface (GUI) design.
  3. It doesn’t play nice with other web code when embedded, causing other graphics and elements around it to be off.
  4. It requires Adobe’s proprietary plugin.
  5. SWF video file format is significantly inferior quality compared to H.264, and while flash player is capable of playing both formats, there are too many content creators still using SWF since it is the companion file format made for Flash Player.
  6. While Google claims their crawlers can index Flash sites’ content, in my experience sites created using HTML+CSS+Javascript tend to yield better search results on Google and the like.
  7. Flash is created and managed by a private company whose goal is to make money off the tools needed to create and use it.  The web standards of HTML+CSS+Javascript, which in my opinion do most of the same functions better, are managed by the World Wide Web Consortium which is administered by educational and scientific institutions (but still by no means a perfect situation).
  8. Adobe’s Flash creation software is stupid expensive at $700 compared to the FREE and truly open web standards coding tools which can accomplish almost all of the same functionality.

When Flash started out it was a cutting-edge solution which pushed website GUI and media players beyond what web standards at the time were capable of.  It’s no longer the only game in town, much less the best game in town.  And it’s expensive, inefficient, buggy and unsafe compared to web standards.

Plus it tends to attract “designers” with bad taste who go overboard with dizzying moving menus and annoying mouse-over sound effects.  It’s also the tool of choice for ad-centric websites which care more about clicks and impressions than the content of the site itself.  Well-designed and attractive Flash sites do exist, but they are by far the exception and not the rule.  Its name is definitely fitting.

Just because it’s widely used doesn’t mean it’s better.  Take fast food for example.  The main difference is fast food is actually quicker and cheaper than eating right, unlike Flash which is more expensive and harder to work with (in my opinion).  But both are bad for your system and the environment, and are resulting in an overall lower quality experience for the customer in the long run.

So please, don’t use Flash to build your website.