How to Optimize Video for Your Website – Part 1

Get the right bandwith and decrease those pesky buffering problems

Reducing your file size will improve the viewing experience for web users.

When you hear people talk about video, HD (which stands for high definition) is what everyone wants–it’s slicker and it’s sexier. But if you, as a business owner, want your audience to see a high quality video from your company, remember that bandwidth is key. Because having customers wait for your video to load while they see that “buffering” message is…not so sexy.

Playback Bandwidth measures the number of bits per second transferred over an internet connection from your website to a user. The larger the files on your website, the more bits per second you will transfer to your users. Video uses more bps than text or photos

File size is important for two reasons: The larger your video files, the more money you’ll have to pay for video hosting. Of course, YouTube will host your video for free, but even they have a limit of 20 GB per video. But if you choose to pay a company to host your video–like many private companies do–then you’ll be charged based on the amount of bandwidth that you use each month. That fee can range from $25 to hundreds of dollars a month depending on how much bandwidth you use and the size of files you need to store.

Every time a user watches a video on your site, they use a certain amount of bandwidth. If the file sizes for your videos are small, more people can view your videos and you can have several videos on your site. Fewer people can watch your videos if your video files are large.

File size also matters because every viewing experience is different based on their internet speed and the device on which they watch your video. The larger the video file, the more problems a viewer might have watching it. The video might load slow, choppy, or not play at all.

Here are four things you can do to reduce the file size of your video so that you use less bandwidth, save more money, and reach a larger audience.

Shoot shorter videos – Besides the fact that most people don’t have the patience or attention span to watch a video longer than one or two minutes, shorter videos will keep your file size low and allow you to host more than one video on your site.

Shoot simple videos using single subjects that avoid a lot of movement. The more movement, the more key frames, and the more key frames the more bandwidth a video will need. Unless you plan on spending more money on broadband don’t create action videos. Also, using a tripod will help reduce the file size because it reduces movement within the frame.

Keep fancy editing to a minimum. Try eliminating or reducing the amount of dissolves, fades, or animation, you use for scene transitions. Transitions increase the number of pixels needed from frame to frame which will mean you’ll spend more on bandwidth.

Convert stereo audio to mono. Two audio channels are great for watching a movie with lots of action and dialogue. But most people won’t miss the stereo sound it if they’re watching a talking head in a silent room. When you edit your film, converting stereo audio to mono will cut the file size of your audio information in half.

For more video editing tips read:

How to Capture the Eyes (and Wallets) of Web Users

Cyberwise: Live Streaming Advice

How to Determine if Web Video is Right For You

ACROSS THE WEB
  • http://www.howiweb.com Brian Wright

    If you’re a small business owner, it is highly likely that your web site is being hosted in a shared environment. Just having several users simultaneously watch a video can make everything on your site crawl. Even the big Fortune 500 companies host some of their videos on sites like YouTube.com and Vimeo.com. I think this option gives you several advantages: 1) it’s easy, once the video is up you can embed the video on any page in your site; 2) it’s transferable, if you build a new site or switch providers, your video stays intact; 3) discoverability, with so many people doing searches for video, your work has a better chance of being found if it’s on a major site; 4) hundreds of people can watch your video at the same time; 5) did I say it’s easy. I have custom built all of my web sites, but video is one area that I have decided to just leave to the pros. B Wright (howiweb.com)