HTML5 vs. Flash

in Website Management YouTube

No, this isn't an argument for or against HTML5 or Flash. Depending on which side of the fence you're sitting, that argument is over. HTML5 wins. Technical superiority is not what the discussion is about either. All you need to know as a small business is that Flash is out! In case you didn't realize it, it could already be affecting you.

Youtube has traditionally been Flash driven.That is to say, when you embedded a YouTube Video into your website, the underlying technology used to play the video was Flash. Did you care? Not really - as long as it worked.

Ok, so fast-forward to about a week ago when the proverbial you-know-what hit the fan. Firefox (one of the most popular browsers) basically said NO MORE! You can read more about that here. Firebox Says No To Flash.

While there are 1000's of applications using Flash on the web, probably the one that you need to know about is YouTube. You can see if your site has been affected by this recent issue simply by navigating to your site using Firefox and browsing your pages.Anything requiring flash now presents an ugly gray message:

Now, you can set your browser add-on to view Flash by default but should you? Well, if the read the article I linked to above, Flash is an essential open door into your computer for hackers. So, browser beware!

But the point of this blog is for the website owner. The bottom line is that Flash is over. So fix your videos. You should be happy to hear that Google has jumped on the HTML5 bandwagon. Our advice is for you to fix your YouTube Videos so people who browse to your site will not have this issue. There are additional benefits too. Videos you post on your site will work in more browsers and more phones (including iPhones and iPads that didn't like Flash).

Here is a page image of a client's website where I simply re-embedded the exact same video next to the one that was there. The one on the left is the Flash version. The one on the right is the HTML5 version.

For you techheads, here's the code associated with both.

Flash version:

<object width="420" height="315">

<param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0">

<param name="allowFullScreen" value="true">

<param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><embed src=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0 &amp;autoplay=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="315" width="420"></object>

HTML5 Version

<iframe width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" src=""></iframe>

Now, I can tell you that YouTube has been using this HTML5 version for quite some time but if you've been managing your website for a while, it's likely you have some of the old embed code in there. We say, just fix it. Re-embed the video and the problem associated with Flash will not be a burden to your prospective customers.