Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Video Formats… What Works and What Doesn’t

Videos make a great addition to your Region website and can make it more entertaining and educational (and possibly educational) for your visitors. The National Office has a YouTube channel with videos available for Regions to put on their websites.

YouTube videos are easy to embed on your website. All you need to do is go to the video and click on the embed link. Copy the code and paste it where you want it on your website.

If you would like to use your own videos that are not on YouTube, you might want to follow some of these guidelines:

File Format – There are some common file formats that work universally for the most part. MOV (or Quicktime) files work in any browser and on any iPhone or iPad. FLV is a good format for the web, as it loads quickly and tends to have smaller file sizes. It, however, does not work on iPhone and iPad, so if your audience includes users on these devices, I would opt for another format. MP4 is another QuickTime format that works on all devices and browsers.

File Size – You will want to compress your files as much as possible while still retaining a good quality. Large files (anything over 10 MB) can be cumbersome to download and could cause a user to abandon watching the video. Cutting your video to reduce excess footage will also help reduce file size.

Players – There are many players out there for embedding video on your website. We use one at the National Office called FlowPlayer. It’s free to download and lets you customize how the player works. It also allows you to add a variety of video formats to optimize the playback for the user.

If you have more questions about optimizing video or adding video to your website, please ask away in the comments!

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