Flash vs. HTML5 Web Design

Creating a web design which incorporates multimedia or other interactive items has become very popular since around the advent of Macromedia Flash Player (now Adobe Flash Player).  Videos or games or picture galleries bring people to the site, so adding them to a web design is a great idea to make a site more interesting.  However, we presently sit at a bit of a crossroads, where Flash is no longer the only option when creating a web design which includes media.

Work towards incorporating multimedia web design within HTML began about 10 years ago, and is now coming to fruition.  HTML5 is becoming the new standard for HTML web design (although it has not been ‘recommended’ by the World Wide Web Consortium yet).  HTML5 allows the incorporation of rich content into a web design without the user requiring any plugins, so long as they have a fairly up-to-date web browser.

Adding multimedia to your web design using HTML5 is useful because your web site will be largely supported by mobile web browsers, while Flash web design is not supported at all on iOS, and Adobe is withdrawing support for mobile Flash across the board.  Web design using HTML5 will allow your rich content to appear on most mobile devices.

Flash web design is also quite useful in certain ways.  Flash videos will generally appear crisper because Flash can understand sub-pixel measurements, whereas browsers will round HTML5 web designs to the nearest pixel, making the way web designs look unreliable.  Flash web design is somewhat easier, too, since HTML5 web design also requires the integration of other web design technologies like CSS and Javascript.

Furthermore, if you wish to protect whatever media you are building into your web design, Flash might be better for you.  It incorporates a Digital Rights Management (DRM) system, to make it easier to ensure that your material is only for your web design.  HTML5 does not include any such functionality, meaning that media in your web design might be vulnerable. Vulnerabilities won't just hurt you, they might be damaging to the users who browse your web design as well.

HTML5 does appear to be a smarter bet if you would like to future-proof your web design.  Although the feature-set might be even, or lean towards Flash a bit, there seems to be an inexorable move towards HTML5 web design.  Eventually, HTML5 or an even newer revision of HTML web design might overtake Flash in terms of features.  But you will have to update your web design to accommodate those anyhow.  So as it stands, you should deciden whether Flash or HTML5 web design is a better fit for you right now, based on the points above.