- Internet & the Web
I Hate Flash Websites
Flash Haters Unite!
I have an admission to make - I hate Flash websites. I don't like Flash ads either, but sites fully made in it are the worst. They're laggy and unresponsive, and I have to wait half a minute for some silly effects to load when all I want is to find some information about a new movie or a video game.
Do you hate Flash too - or perhaps you think it's the most awesome thing that ever happened to the internet? Read more about this platform, share your thoughts in the discussion and cast your vote in the poll below.
What is Flash?
Flash is a very popular multimedia platform previously owned by Macromedia, and currently developed by Adobe. It is a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to websites. Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, integrate video into web pages, and develop online applications or browser-based games. Flash can manipulate vector and raster graphics and supports audio and video streaming. Youtube uses a flash-based video player, for example, although they now have a HTML5 version of it, too.
Do You Hate Flash Sites Too?
Post your opinion to the appropriate side below.
Here's Why I Hate Flash Sites
Since I openly declare my hate for Flash-based websites and ads, I suppose I have to explain why exactly I dislike them so much. First of all, being a movie and video game fan I often go and visit the official websites in search of new information, screenshots, release dates and the like. Nowadays it's almost a given that a movie or a video game site will be done in Flash and full of shiny effects and cool soundtracks. While this provides a lot of eye-candy, it barely gives you any useful info.
Navigating such a website is an annoying experience. In full screen my somewhat dated dual core CPU isn't always enough for smooth playback. After every click I have to endure some silly pre-loading screen, after which I will be rewarded one short paragraph of text - the only useful part - and presented with yet another concept art piece and a different soundtrack I didn't ask for. Don't even get me started on how the text is often white on a dark background for added "coolness".
What if I want to find something specific, like a FAQ section of the game, or read more about the movie? No sir, that's impossible in a Flash website. You simply have to watch some trailer first (thankfully most designers include a Skip button) and "enjoy" the slow, crappy transitions each accompanied by sound effects, until you finally can get to the page you want. Annoying, unneeded, pointless! Not to mention, bookmarks and forward / back buttons rarely work on such sites. This is exactly why I often prefer going to Wikipedia which still has enough sense to present the information in good old black text on white background.
Flash ads are another matter. While I might be one of the few flash website haters, I am positive that no one really likes flash ads. The flashy (pun not intended) animation, the laggy scrolling and slower responsiveness of the browser, and, oh man, the sounds. Whoever had the idea that annoying your visitors with loud sounds would make them pay more attention to the ads? Kill those things with fire! (Actually, Firefox extensions will do that - see below).
What do you think about flash?
How to Block Flash Using Firefox Extensions
Thankfully a "cure" exists for all your Adobe Flash troubles if you use Firefox browser (and I am sure Chrome has some plugins for that too). Of course you can simply not install a Flash plugin at all, but who wants to lose the ability to watch funny videos of cats on Youtube? I thought so. So here's a short list of extensions that can block flash ads and more:
- Flashblock - probably the simplest and most straightforward add-on for the job. Like the name suggests it blocks all Flash content by default. If you want to see the blocked flash thingy, all you have to do is click the placeholder icon and it will be loaded. This plugin also has a whitelist so you can enable Youtube, for example.
- AdBlock Plus is a big and popular Firefox extension for blocking ads. Community-maintained EasyList will block most annoying ads out of the box. It also supports custom domain blocking and wildcards so you can for example block all URLs containing the word "banana".