Adding video to your web page is easy! So why not do it? People love watching videos. In fact YouTube is the #2 search engine on the internet! That should be proof enough that people prefer watching videos on-line. You can embed a video of a promotion you are having, show reviews or testimonials of your product, provide a tutorial on just about anything or just create something for fun. You can use videos to tell a story about your company, demonstrate how to use a product or simply provide information. Think about it. If you needed to learn something, had you rather read about it or sit back and watch a video?
How To Create A Video
There are many different ways videos can be created. If you have a digital video camera you can record whatever you want and the recorded video will be saved onto a small media disc. You then place the disc into the appropriate slot on your computer and save it to your hard drive. From there you may want to edit the video using special video editing software. If you want to record yourself talking to your audience then you can use a webcam and the software that comes with it to create a video. If you want to record your screen then you will need a screen capturing software application. If you have a smartphone like iPhone or Android then you have the capability to record videos using your phone. You can then connect your phone to your computer and use a video editing software to clean it up or convert it to a different file format. You could upload your videos directly from your phone to YouTube but doing so will use your data plan, take longer to process and it won't be as easy to add all the extra elements you may want to include.
Below are 2 different examples of videos. One is an instructional video about how to accomplish a task in an on-line game called War of Warcraft. It was created with a screen capture software called Camtasia Studio. The second video was created with a pre-made app on iPhone where you embed a photo of your face to fit the character of the Jedi Knight as known to Star Wars fans. Since the video created with the app had limited capabilities (no voice over or editing of the video) I used the free tools provided on YouTube to add annotations to the video. Annotations are little notes that overlay the video to provide extra information. Be sure to watch both videos to see the differences.
Video with Screencapture of War of Warcraft Game
Video of Jedi Knight with a Superimposed Photo
Once you create your video you can either save it to your own web server or upload it to YouTube.
Uploading Videos to Your Own Web Server
If you don't want to host your videos on YouTube you can upload them to your own web server. You can then add a link to the video by simply pointing to the location of the video on your server. You can then place that link into emails that you send out to people - or simply tweet the link on Twitter. When a user clicks the link the video will attempt to play in whatever video player the user has installed on their computer. New computers usually come with video players already installed on them - Windows Media Player (on PCs) and Quick Time (on Macs) but if not they are available as a free download off of the internet. Non-technical users will need instructions on how to do this.
If you want to embed the video on your web page - you may need to provide instructions on how to download a video player. When a link to a video is clicked, a small screen (the player) will pop up, download the video then start to play inside of the player. You can use the controls to stop, pause or play the video.
Web developers often provide more than one format of the same video in order to reach a larger audience. Common video formats used to play in video players include .wav, .avi and more. Today more web developers are choosing to embed videos from external video file sharing hosts like YouTube and Vimeo. Instead of uploading a video to your own file server and then coding your page to play a video you instead upload your video to a public video host like YouTube and then grab the embed code they provide you and insert it into your HTML. By embedding your videos from YouTube you don't have to rely on users having a plugin to play the video.
Now web developers have another option of how to embed videos to web pages. You upload your video to your own server and use the new HTML 5 video tag to play your video. HTML5 video provides web developers a way to deliver video on their website without being dependant on what plugin a user has installed. Instead the browser is able to interpret the new html5 tags and play back the video inside the browser. With these changes come new file formats including .ogg, .mp4 and .webm. At this time, not all browsers support the same file types so again, web developers need to include at least one support file type for each browser.
One benefit of using HTML5 video to deliver your videos is in cases where a user is viewing your website from a computer in which they do not have access to download a plugin or player to the computer and for some reason YouTube is blocked - like on a computer at a school or library or corporate computer without admin rights.
You can add a page at the end of your video that displays your website url so that people watching your video on Tube or another third party website people can find you.
Videos rank high in search engine results so be sure to tag your videos so that your video has a chance to appear on Google.
Uploading Videos to YouTube
Once you have uploaded your videos to YouTube, you can share a link to that video by grabbing the code to the link and sending it in your emails, tweeting it or post it on facebook. When the user clicks the link they will be taken to the page on YouTube where the video resides and can push the button to start the video. Having your videos hosted on YouTube is good because a lot of people go to YouTube and search for videos to watch.
You can also embed the video that you hosted on YouTube into you web page (as the 2 examples above show). This allows your users to watch the video while on your website without the need to leave your web page to view the video. So you can see there are different reasons as to why you want to do both - have your video on YouTube and have your video embedded in your web page.
To embed a video into your web page - go to the YouTube page where the video is and click the Share link. Underneath that click the Embed button. You will see a box with code in it. Copy the code to your clipboard then go to your web page and insert the code into the body tag of your html code. Paste this code inside your web page where you want it displayed. You will now see the video (hosted on YouTube) being displayed on a web page of your web site. This "player" acts like a window inside of your web page and the video being seen through this window is actually hosted and broadcasted thru YouTube. The video player will be "branded" with the YouTube name. YouTube is owned by Google and a trusted site for serving videos so be proud that you are providing your videos hosted on YouTube.