Creating a website is often an expensive, time-consuming endeavor. For one, you must commit time and energy in figuring out how, exactly, you want your business to be represented on the web. Then comes the issue of figuring out who will construct your website. Hire a professional web developer, or someone you know?
But rarely is the issue of what sort of technology you want to use at the forefront of the talk, and mostly because business owners don’t necessarily understand or even want to understand the differences between such things as Flash or HTML. After all, for them, it doesn’t really matter what their website looks like as long as it works. They just want a website that exists. What are touchscreen devices, anyway?
But that’s a problem because the technology that goes into the development of your website ultimately determines how users can interact with it and what constraints they may or may not have in that interaction. Flash is perfect for those that just hope to have a great looking website that people will view on your desktop or laptop computers, but what about those touchscreen devices, from smart phones to tablet computers?
Unfortunately, Flash websites typically don’t take into account touchscreen devices simply because Flash website is an older, less flexible technology. So things like tablets and smart phones, some which operate almost exclusively off of touch and rarely support Flash technology, are left in the cold.
The Rise of Touch
And the proliferation of such technology is only expanding. Already, the iPad has proven that consumers don’t just like tablets, they love them. And with the Kindle Fire’s recent release and inexpensive price point, that love for all things touch is most likely only going to increase.
Which is why it is important that your website supports those touchscreen devices. If research from PriceGrabber is correct, the expanded growth and usage of touchscreen devices is only going to continue to grow moving forward.
Fortunately, HTML technology, and especially such development platforms as WordPress are all pretty touch compatible. No they probably won’t be as flashy as Flash-based websites, but they also won’t be alienating to those that hope to find your website on their tablet or smartphone without Flash installed.
HTML5 Technology is More Future Proof
And ultimately, the future will become only more and more cluttered with these touch-based technologies. The current form of Flash is unfortunately a dying breed in the Internet space, simply because it doesn’t support touch in the same way that HTML does. Microsoft, too, has even realized this, admitting that Windows 8 might not even support Flash. Plus, they have already weighed in on the issue of the future of web technology, and they agree that it lies in HTML5.
Which is why building a Flash website, while okay for now, might hurt you 5 or 10 years down the road, when the web transitions more towards mobile computers and applications like tablets and smart phones, and typical PCs are more or less extinct, instead transitioning more towards low-consumption devices like ultralight laptops.
Flash: Not Entirely Dead in the Water
But contrary to what I seem to be suggesting, Flash isn’t necessarily dead. It is still a great technology for developing a functional and often beautiful websites that may certainly stand out well above their HTML5 counterparts.
Unfortunately, though, it’s not necessarily prepared for the current and seemingly perpetual onslaught of touchscreen devices, because it lies on such an antiquated platform.
So, creating a website now utilizing Flash is probably okay. But in the future? You’ll definitely want to have that website updated or completely re-hauled so that it is truly future proof and compatible with all of the world’s internet-accessible devices. After all, alienating yourself from only some of the world’s web traffic right now might not be very damaging, but when it becomes a much larger percentage in just a few years, it could greatly impact just how many potential visitors wind up viewing and interacting with your website.
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester based NY web design firm specializing in SEO, social media, web and graphic design and much more.