spacer.png, 0 kB
Calgary Software Application and Web Development Articles
Flash or Javascript? Let's compare!

For some, a simple static brochure website is not enough. Many businesses are investigating ways in which their website can stand out from the crowd and in some cases provide interactive features for their users. But what is the best way to do this, and what are the best tools to use?

When designing user interactive websites there is a debate raging over which programme is better to use: Flash or Javascript? Both have excellent benefits, as well as their own downsides. But which is best?

Flash Animation

Flash is a tool that has been used by web designers and developers to create and maintain impressive looking websites for many years. In recent months it jumped into the news again, after Apple decided not to support it on their iPad and iPhone devices. However, Flash has been very popular for a long time, due to several key advantages:

Pros of Flash


Despite the recent furore around the iPad and iPhone not supporting Flash, it is worth remembering that over 90% of web browsers do support it, meaning small businesses who adopt Flash will have their content seen by the vast majority of internet users.


Flash is a great animation tool, in fact it's what it was originally conceived as. This is its great strength and allows developers to create websites that are interactive and to an extent, 3D. Many developers still favour using Flash for animation websites over any other rival.

Cons of Flash

Hard to manage content

In most cases, apart from one or two pages, a Flash website will require the original designer to make any substantial chances to the site, meaning it can become very expensive in the long run if the business owner wants to make regular site updates. It is possible however to store content externally, not inside the Flash site, which can make things easier.

Can be slow

In many designer circles, Flash is viewed as a bit of a dated application, and one of the reasons is the slowness that some Flash sites experience. If you have ever visited a site which has a seemingly never-ending loading bar on the front page, the chances are this is a Flash site. This can put many people off who demand instant access.

Flash has some great advantages as well as some obvious weaknesses like any piece of technology. But how does it shape up compared to Javascript, another developer and designers favourite?

Javascript – Pros

Interaction and Compatibility

The biggest advantage of Javascript is the interactivity it brings to a website, making it memorable and improving the chances of a visitor returning time after time. Web users are also not required to download special software to view Javascript. Although browsers offer the option to switch off Javascript the default is generally 'on', making it very user friendly for everyone.

Extensive multimedia capabilities

Another advantage of Javascript is its multimedia capabilities, as it can support sounds, images, graphics and videos. For those who want a high quality website that incorporates these functions, Javascript is a great choice.


Javascript is secure, and has evolved over time probably at a faster rate than other technologies. Where security is a priority, Javascript provides a secure framework that may appeal to many businesses throughout the world.


Bloats web pages, causing them to run slowly

Javascript code can quickly add up to hundreds of lines. Due to the potential for the large amount of code that a server needs to deliver, Javascript run sites can become bloated if that code isn't kept in check and therefore slow. This problem can be rectified by cleaning up the code and storing it in separate Javascript (.js) files to increase performance. Any web designer with a special knowledge of Javascript will be able to overcome potential issues in this way.

Conclusion – Javascript or Flash?

Both Javascript and Flash have loyal followers who favour one over the other. When it comes to deciding whether to have an interactive website with animation and multimedia functions, the chances are the web design team will have a preference as to which to use.

The bottom line is both are excellent at what they do. Both have obvious drawbacks, but a top Flash design team or Javascript design team will know how to work around these and make the website as effective as possible.

Ollie Ford is the original Ollie Ford from Chelmsford; the one who runs Ollie Ford & Co; a company that embraces all things creative, from web and print design to logo design, branding, copy writing and marketing. Call us and say hello; come and see us and get free coffee; drop us a line and tell us all about you. 01245 349648.
spacer.png, 0 kB