Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight not showing on mobile devices

Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight are/were two popular multimedia systems with free viewers that have been used extensively to provide rich web content eg animation and video for websites. Some designers have got carried away and done whole websites with these technologies.

However Apple devices like the iPad and iPhone, together with many Android devices, have no, or very restricted, Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight capability.

What happens when a visitor arrives at an all-Flash/Silverlight website without the correct player?

They will get a message similar to the following:

Install Adobe Flash message

Grumpy visitors will go off somewhere else straight away, nice visitors will click through to be greeted by...

Sorry Flash not supported message

...at which point, they will become grumpy too.

What happens when part of the website is Flash or Silverlight?

Placeholders may appear where the multimedia content is supposed to be and this is always negative. If the multimedia elements are a key part of getting your message across or are providing functionality (eg a shopping system), then things get more serious.

The business decision

As a website owner these limitations mean that you are obliged to say no to Flash and Silverlight in your website.

This will be a disappointment if you have just received a website created using either of these technologies. There is no nice way to say this but you will have to have your website recreated in another technology, preferably HTML5.