AJAX vs Flash: what to choose for web development?

5 keypoints to consider when choosing a path for your web development

When it comes to rich Internet application (RIA) technologies, there’s an opportunity to choose between two main paths: Ajax or Flash. There’s no final decision yet in the web development world what technology is superior to the other, both have their pros and cons. Here are the main points that should be considered while making the decision.

UI Capabilities, Usability

Both Flash & Ajax support various appealing visual effects, such as drag & drop and transitions. But with Ajax you?re limited to the set of predefined effects, with Flash you can replicate virtually any effect.

Both Ajax & Flash/Flex applications can be made accessible to the people with disabilities. Flash web application look like a desktop one instead of Ajax web application that are more classical web.


Flash websites relies on the Flash 9 browser plug-in. The benefit of using a proprietary plug-in as Flash 9 is the environment identical across all web browsers. The downside is that the plug-in needs to be installed. But the plug-ing is not big and available for all most popular browsers.

The benefit of Ajax is that it runs in various web browsers, without the need for a plug-in. The downside is that there are differences between browser implementations of DOM, JavaScript and CSS, which can result in Ajax applications that work in one browser, but not in another. Another downside of Ajax is that it requires JavaScript to be enabled in the web browser.

Speed of loading and rendering

Latest Flash player versions features significant performance improvements and can easily cope with a complicated user interface. The performance of Ajax applications is based on the performance of the browser, which can vary from one browser to another.

Flash applications are usually bigger in size then Ajax applications, but they are usually cached in the browser so next time it will be loaded from browser cache.


Both technologies are generally seen as equally secure, though the Flash plug-in can introduce additional security risks. Most Ajax code is plain text and thus easy to read: this could make it easier for attackers to find vulnerabilities.

Magic Web Solutions Expereince

Our company has gained significant experience in both areas. We have worked both with Ajax and JavaScript-based libraries for visual effects.

Contact us about your enquiry.

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