HTML5 Is a Replacement for Flash and Other Myths Debunked

For several years now, the cries of “Flash is dead” have dominated web design conversations. And if the language isn’t exactly dead yet, it’s certainly on the verge of taking its last breaths.

However, just because designers are being encouraged (alright, pushed, at least in the case of Google ads) to use HTML5 rather than Flash, especially for animation, that doesn’t mean that HTML5 is a replacement for Flash. On the surface, it seems like that might be the case: Both Flash and HTML5 allow for the creation of interactive web content that is more engaging and entertaining, and both work on virtually any browser.

However, because Flash is not supported on most mobile platforms, including the uber-popular iOS, and is vulnerable to a host of security issues, the majority of web designers, especially companies offering free animation maker tools, are gravitating toward HTML5 to ensure that their content is usable on all devices and secure. Why make an animated ad or video if it won’t work for those on a mobile device? More and more people use Google search via a mobile device than their laptop or desktop computer.

That being said, HTML5 is not a replacement for Flash. For starters, HTML5 does not work with live streaming video, and HTML5 isn’t always an easy language for beginning designers to work with. And the idea that HTML5 is replacing Flash isn’t the only misconception about these programming languages. There are several others that you want to be aware of, so they don’t hold you back or cause issues with your animation or video design projects.

MYTH: HTML5 Is One Big, New, Shiny Toy

At some point, you’re probably going to be asked whether your video or animation work is “HTML5 compatible.” Many people assume that HTML5 is a new program or type of technology that effectively renders everything that came before outdated. However, unlike say, Windows 6 or iOS 4, HTML5 isn’t a new software package or operating system that may not be compatible with other technology. Rather, it is a set of new features in the existing HTML language. Granted, not all of HTML5’s features are compatible with all browsers, but that’s changing all the time. The bottom line? HTML5 isn’t new, but an extension to what we already have. Compatibility isn’t an issue in most cases.

MYTH: Everything on Your Site Needs to Be Converted to HTML5

Undoubtedly, you are going to hear questions from clients (or the executive suite) about whether everything on your site needs to be converted to HTML5. Whenever new technology is released, and non-designers catch word of it, they tend to panic and wonder if everything they have is now out-of-date.

Thankfully, this is an easy question to answer, and the short answer is no, that not all of the existing web applications or content on your site needs to be converted.

If you want to be sure that your content works across all devices, then anything in Flash should be converted or replaced by an HTML5 version. However, because HTML5 is just the latest iteration of the HTML programming language, you do not need to replace the remaining HTML code on your site. In fact, as you add new features, you can add them in HTML5, but that’s all you need to do.

MYTH: HTML5 Isn’t User-Friendly

One reason that many designers are clinging to Flash is the belief that HTML5 is more complicated to use. While there is likely to be a learning curve for most people, it’s not excessively difficult to learn. In addition, while some believe that there is no development environment for HTML5 due to the fact that it can be used in a simple text editor, it is possible for developers to use the language on most platforms, including Dreamweaver CC and Visual Studio.

MYTH: HTML5 Isn’t Compatible With Internet Explorer

Initially, designers avoided HTML5 due to concerns about compatibility with IE, since not all of the features worked. However, those concerns go back a few years, when there were some compatibility issues with IE9, but subsequent versions of the ubiquitous browser are more HTML5-friendly, eliminating that concern.

As more designers and developers adopt HTML5 for their site animations, the number of myths and misconceptions swirling around the language will decrease substantially. However, if you are still using Flash or reluctant to switch to HTML5 for any of these reasons, it’s time to learn the facts and improve your web content.

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