Online Videos

Videos can be everything between free and expensive
Videos can be anything between do-it-yourself and 'it-can't-be-done' Webmaster

Videos are a great way to get someone's attention, feature an item, give instructions, and many other uses. They are a popular way of drawing traffic, advertising and just showing off.

If you need to place a video(s) or other large downloadable file on your website, we would be happy to do this for you. There are a few things you should know which we have outlined below.

There are basically three variables that come into play when you are dealing with videos and anything else that is interactive on the internet:

1) Storage Space
2) Bandwidth
3) Speed

Storage Space
Your server is big enough for almost anything you need to store in terms of video and other web content. A 10-minute video is about 26 MB. Our standard hosting subscription provides you with a minimum of 250 MB of disc storage.

Bandwidth is the amount of data that is transferred. You may be accustomed to bandwidth in terms of your cell phone. Your minutes are metered because every time you use your cell phone you are using bandwidth. In terms of web traffic, every time your page is viewed, there is a transfer of data. The total amount of transferred data is measured to give the amount used per month. This is your bandwidth utilization.

When you place a video on your e-commerce site, you really don't know how often it will be viewed. For example, if you were hosting a 10 minute long YouTube*-encoded video (360p), every time it was viewed, it would stream about 26 MB of data. 100 views per month would use about 2.6 GB of bandwidth.

Our standard hosting subscription provides you with 2.5 GB of bandwidth monthly. You can see that a small amount of video viewing can stress or overdraw your allotted bandwidth. Bandwidth stress can cause problems for your visitors and even affect sales.

Because of this, when you post videos to your site, we store them off-site to provide you with more bandwidth and delivery speed. This means you do not need to be concerned about video traffic affecting the performance of your e-commerce site. This is good for you and for your customers.

• This makes you happy because you don't need to worry about your site crashing.
• This makes your visitors happy because they get smooth viewing and shopping.
• This makes us happy because we don't have to worry about making you happy.

Offsite storage can be used for one video or many videos (depending on traffic, of course). Offsite storage gives you additional bandwidth in 15 GB increments.

Download Speed
Viewers want to be able to see videos without hiccups and interruptions. The video size and video encoding have an important effect on whether you get viewed when your customers have a slower connection. For example, low-resolution videos (360p) are popular at YouTube for the very reason that they can stream smoothly on slower connections.

Content length is also a factor. Many viewers have a short attention span. A longer video risks losing the viewer simply because he or she does not want to wait through a long video, especially one that does not stream well. As a point-of-reference, YouTube* requires that videos be less than 15 minutes long.

If your company is big enough to support it, there are paid services that will create multiple-encoded versions of your video. The server detects the viewing device and download speed of the user so that the video can be streamed without pauses to just about anyone.

You can see that the topic of videos is not straightforward. We supply video guidelines, instructions and resources in our Reference Library to help you understand how to do this yourself, or we are happy to do it for you.

Let us know about your video needs so that we can assist you in the solution that works best for you.

*A Word About YouTube, Vimeo and other video servers.
When you place your video at YouTube or other video server, you can then create a link from the YouTube video to your website. Your visitor can look at your video without incurring any bandwidth on your site because it is stored and served from YouTube. This could be a tremendous advantage, if you don't mind losing your traffic to YouTube.

YouTube not only serves up your video, but offers a fine selection of other videos to view, along with advertising. If your potential customer clicks on the YouTube link to watch the next video in the queue, then you have lost his or her attention and potentially lost a sale. You have to ask yourself if free storage is worth the risk of losing a potential customer or sale.

Updated 12/21/2011