Uploading videos to your website may seem to be a simple thing to do. However, if you want to get the most out of uploading videos, there are tons of things you need to consider. In order to maximize the amount of traction that you can get out of the videos on your website, you need to know the most important elements of uploading video content and why you should understand them before anything else:
Fundamental Terms That You Need To Know
It would be very helpful for you to first understand the fundamental terms that you may encounter before hosting videos on your website. For example, when considering a video hosting website, some might have a certain limitation on resolution or frame rate. If you don’t fully understand what they’re talking about, you might be on your way to making a bad decision.
Here are some of the most common terms that you need to know:
- Aspect Ratio: Aspect Ratio is a term used most commonly for photos, TVs, and videos. It refers to the proportional size of the image or screen in width, then length, in the form of a ratio. For example, a common aspect ratio is 16:9, where 16 units is for the width of the video or image and nine units is the length. The common wide screen monitors that you see (and are probably using right now) is 16:9, while the widely-used squareish resolution that you used maybe more than five years ago are commonly 4:3.
- Resolution: It represents the quality of the video image and can be measured in pixels per inch (PPI) or more commonly, dots per inch (DPI). When it comes to displaying video, resolution is usually written in the form of width x height where width refers to the number of horizontal pixels displayed and height is the number of vertical pixels displayed on the screen such as 1920 x 1080. When written in short form, it looks like height p, or to use a common example, 1080p.
- Frame Rate: This is the speed at which a sensor captures video in a second. A single frame looks like a photograph. When you string each frame together, you get a moving picture or in other words, a video.
- Frames Per Second (FPS): This term is used to describe the number of frames used per second of a video. Common FPS include 24, 25, 29.97, 30 and 50. When you have a video that’s 30 FPS or more, it’s considered High Definition (HD).
- Bitrate: Bitrate is really important. This indicates the amount of data that is transferred per second when a video is being uploaded, usually measured in megabits per second (mbps) or kilobits per second (kbps). If you find a video host that uploads videos with a bitrate of less than 1000 kbps, it’s best to search for another host since the upload process is too slow for most people. It also affects those who use a video downloader, so it is best if the user experience is optimal in almost all aspects of your site.
- Encoding: This describes the process of taking an original (source) video file and converting it from one extension to another for viewing on different devices and browsers. Since different browsers and mobile devices accept different kinds of video file formats, encoding your videos can help ensure your videos are viewable to all your visitors no matter how they choose to view your video. For example, converting a video file called videofile.mov to videofile.mp4 allows the video to be uploaded and played on a WordPress site.
How to Upload and Add Video Files
Uploading files seems to be pretty straightforward most of the time, but if you’re at an intermediate level of video uploading, you might need to know more factors about uploading. For example, not all video files can be uploaded without the hassle. Most hosting websites, such as WordPress, allow for the following video encoding types to be used:
- .MP4, .M4V (MPEG-4)
- .MOV (QUICKTIME)
- .WMV (WINDOWS MEDIA VIDEO)
- .OGV (OGG)
- .3GP (3GPP)
- .3G2 (3GPP2)
This means that if you’re using other video file encoding types, it’s best if you look for a video converter so that you can have the best video files.
At this point, you now need to consider which file type is the best. Of course, the different encoding types are made for various reasons: each file type has its own pros and cons, and are used for different purposes.
For example, .AVI files are on the top side of the highest resolutions possible – and they have the most detail and pixels – but the file is too heavy that you would need a ton of data and bandwidth allocation. .AVI files could be best as a raw material when editing a video, but never a good one to upload because it would be too hard to view (since the file is too big, uploading, downloading the file or streaming it would take too much data allocation).
If you’re self-hosting your videos, a general rule of thumb is to use MP4.
According to studies and personal applications, here are the best settings that you can use:
Video Codec: H264 (High profile)
Frame Rate: 24, 25 or 30 (Constant)
Frame Size / Resolution: 1280 x 720 (720p)
Bitrate: 5000 – 10000 kbps
Audio Codec: AAC-LC
Bitrate: 320 kbit/s
Sample Rate: 44.100 OR 48,000 kHz (retain original sample rate)
This is the best quality that you can get with the most efficient file size. It’s not too low in terms of file size, but it’s still quite as HD as it could get. Just keep in mind that a higher bitrate results in a larger file size. As such, if your goal is to keep things neat and tight, choose a bitrate closer to 5000 kilobits per second.
Self Hosted, or Hosted Videos?
Here lies a very important question. Should you host the videos yourself (meaning you upload them directly to your website) or should you use video hosting sites (like YouTube, Wistia, Vimeo)?
In the most basic terms, self-hosted videos mean that they’re stored on your server with your blog hosting website, such as WordPress. Hosted option means your videos are stored elsewhere and linked or embedded to your site.
There are straightforward ways on how you can make your decision. For example, self-hosting should be the easiest and probably the most secure. However, they come at a huge price.
To host videos well, you should make sure your site and server are optimized for speed. Be sure that your server has an ample amount of RAM and a fairly generous processor speed. The amount you need depends on how many videos you plan on self-hosting. Another rule of thumb: a video that’s 1GB in size should comfortably fit into a hosting plan that has two and a half gigabytes of RAM, a minimum of a dual-core processor and 1500 MB of storage space.
You should also make sure you have enough bandwidth allotted to your hosting package. If you think your site could blow up with popularity, you should consider how much bandwidth your site is allowed to use up. The more visitors you’re expecting, the more bandwidth you’re going to need. If you’re planning to display many high-quality videos with tons of visits to your site, you might want to consider hosting your site somewhere else other than your own server.