Visual content is taking on increased importance as more businesses begin to recognize its potential to engage and connect with people. Video is arguably the most powerful form of visual media, and its use continues to skyrocket online. Hubspot’s recent report on the state of video marketing in 2018 found that 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool and 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service from a video.
Businesses can only realize the true and full potential of videos on their websites if those videos load quickly and play smoothly for target audiences. Poor video performance coupled with the reduced attention span of the modern Internet user is a bad combination that can drive people away from your website. Given the expenses involved in creating professional videos, you can’t afford not to maximize the reach of your carefully crafted video content.
Read on to find out five tips you can use to improve video performance on your website.
Move Away from Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is a fine, low-cost option for small businesses in the initial stages of running a website. However, once your website begins to pick up traction in terms of traffic, you have little hope of shared hosting plans being able to cater for any sort of high traffic volume with an acceptable level of performance. Text, images, and videos all load slowly with shared hosting and high traffic volumes.
To move away from shared hosting, you have two good options:
- VPS: On a shared hosting plan, you share server resources with other users, such as disk space and CPU, which leads to poor performance. VPS plans give you your own dedicated portions of the server’s resources to consume for yourself, offering improved performance.
- Dedicated server: On a dedicated server, you have control over an entire server’s resources. This option provides the best performance but it is the most expensive and technical.
Serve Content From a CDN
A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of worldwide servers on which you can cache your website. When you serve content from just one web server, all requests to your website go to the same server, which can lead to bottlenecks and poor performance during periods of high traffic.
By using a CDN, user requests are routed automatically to a server in the network nearest to their location. Therefore, when someone tries to watch a video on your website, the information travels over the minimum possible distance, which makes the video load much faster than if you just used one web server. Your Store Wizards Speed Manager is a good example of a CDN.
Transcode for Live Streaming
Many businesses recognize the value of video streams, such as live webinars, to inform prospects or customers about a product/service, or to educate people on an industry-related topic. Video transcoding is imperative for maximizing the reach of your video streams.
Video transcoding refers to processes including re-compressing already-compressed videos, changing the bitrate of streams, and resizing a video’s resolution. The main benefit of video transcoding for streams is that viewers can watch the stream in the best possible format and quality suitable for their device’s resolution and their Internet connection.
For example, if you live stream a video on a high-quality camera that outputs 1080p video and you stream it directly on your website without transcoding, viewers without a high-speed network connection will experience constant buffering as they attempt to these larger video packets. video transcoding services exist that can transcode videos on-the-fly for you without the technical overheads required to do it manually.
Consider External Video Hosts
When you create videos you might be tempted to directly upload them to your web server so that they are hosted on your website—this is not a good idea, particularly for shared or VPS hosting that have limited disk space. Video files are large and they can take up gigabytes of space at the highest quality levels.
Instead, you can opt to host your video on a third-party website, such as Youtube or Vimeo. When you use these services, you can copy a code snippet to embed your videos on your website’s pages, which saves space and improves performance compared to self-hosted videos.
Edit Carefully to Reduce Length
A hugely important aspect of creating a good video is becoming proficient at editing. Not only does careful editing lead to better videos, it also shortens the length of your videos by cutting unnecessary parts. The shorter the video, the less information or bytes that need to be transferred over a network connection, and, therefore, the lower the chances of performance issues. You may also choose to split up longer videos into a mini-series to improve performance.
Incorporate these tips when creating and publishing video content to give your videos the best chance of reaching the maximum number of viewers. Whether it’s a live webinar, tutorial, landing page video, or explainer video, your content shines best when you take steps to improve performance.