HTML5 vs Adobe Flash

June 7, 2016 Emma Cullen

The discussion of whether to use HTML5 or the Adobe Flash platform for creating online display advertising is over, and now it's all about HTML5.  It always helps to understand the differences and benefits of both, even if one is on the way out, as it can help you to adapt existing skills to a new platform. This short guide will leave you with a better knowledge of  HTML5, and how it compares to Flash.

What is HTML5?

HTML5 is a HyperText Markup Language that is used to create dynamic content purely using code. It's often used to create online banner ads, as well as a whole range of website content. HTML5 isn’t a software tool or program, but it is the language used to create content and is relatively new compared to other programming languages. Although it was created in 2004, it wasn’t until 28 October 2014 that the final version of the HTML standard was complete.


What is the Adobe Flash Platform?

The Adobe Flash Platform is a software used to create graphics, animations, and games. The Adobe Flash Player is often used to view streamed online content such as videos or advertisements, but that will be coming to an end over the rest of this year.

What are the benefits of HTML5?

One benefit of using HTML5 is that it is free. However,  this also means that not only do developers need to understand HTML5 coding, but they should also have a solid knowledge of CSS and JavaScript. With this in mind HTML5 banner builders and other tools have been created to help create dynamic content in HTML5 quickly and easily.

HTML5 is supported on mobile devices. Display advertisements such as banners can be easily viewed on smartphones and tablets at an optimal size regardless of the screen. For instance HTML5 websites are responsive and therefore adapt to size when you resize the browser (feel free to try on this webpage!).

HTML5 also has SEO support. This is a great feature for marketers who want their websites to rank higher on search engines and in turn create more traffic and customers.

What were the benefits of Adobe Flash?

The Adobe Flash Platform is an out-of-the-box software, so once you’ve purchased it you’re ready to start creating. Within Adobe Flash it is easier to create animations than in HTML5, unless you have a production tool like BannerFlow. It used to be really widely supported too, although now that's not the case. Also,  most mobile devices do not support Adobe Flash so mobile advertising couldn't really take off in flash, and now the spend there is taking over desktop focussed advertising.

HTML5 vs Adobe Flash: which is better? 

Whilst Adobe Flash was more established and therefore developers and designers had more experience with using the software, HTML5 won out due to its openness, and the fact that the content created using it can be viewed on mobile, and is responsive.

Now, there's not really a choice as to which you work with, so it's a good idea to embrace HTML5, and bring over any relevant knowledge and design experience from Flash. HTML5 will not be going away any time soon, and with mobile browsing more common than using a desktop, the marketing industry needed to welcome a fully responsive programming language with open arms. Thankfully, they did.

We’d love to hear about your experiences! Have you made the switch from using Adobe Flash to HTML5? How have you found the change?


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