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We're a web agency with 100+ clients, some of whom may have legacy Flash running on their websites.

With Google's aggressive move away from Flash (which we fully support) we want to give our clients as much support as we can to retire Flash.

However we have no clear way to identify which sites are using Flash - especially as it's possible to embed Flash objects in some CMSs (so it won't show up in our code repositories).

What is the easiest way to detect Flash use across multiple websites? Are there online services, chrome extensions or scanning software we can use?

A quick Google has only returned suggestions for searching the source code for Flash objects, which is time consuming and technically complex.

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There are many ways you can approach this, here is some that come to mind:

Google Search Operators

Using Google search and supported operators you should be able to find the adobe flash files, assuming that the sites do not block indexing of those files via headers noindex or robots.txt

Use something like this:

  • site:example1.com OR site:example2.com OR site:example3.com + "flv"
  • site:example1.com OR site:example2.com OR site:example3.com + "fla"
  • site:example1.com OR site:example2.com OR site:example3.com + "swf"
  • site:example1.com OR site:example2.com OR site:example3.com + "swc"
  • etc...

Generator Sitemaps

You can find out the content of resources of a site by creating a sitemap and then after you have all sitemaps generated you do a mass search in all files at once for file extensions: flv, fla, swf and swc. There are many sitemap generators available on the net, some trial, some free... e.g Screaming Frog sitemap generator.


HTTrack

You most likely know what HTTrack is but for readers whom don't, its basically a clone website application, that will basically clone a website from remote, to local.

You can simply use HTTrack and paste in all the site URLS in bulk, then you adjust the settings to search and download only the file extensions mentioned above, ignoring all other files, this will then create folders with the site addresses and your find it easy to simply do a mass search for those files.

| improve this answer | |
  • The HTTrack idea is clever - it's a tool we already use. – BaronGrivet May 17 '16 at 21:36

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