5 Ways to Improve Video Performance
5 Ways to Improve Video Performance
Don't stop at just optimizing your website. Take a look at how your streaming media could benefit from a boost.
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The days of a predominantly text-based Internet are long gone. Visual content like infographics, images, animations, and videos attract website visitors because people find this type of content more engaging and interesting.
Video is the most powerful form of media used online today—according to Cisco’s global Internet traffic projections, video content will account for 82 percent of all IP traffic (both business and consumer) by 2022.
Marketers and businesses know about the power and growth of video and they’ve adjusted their content marketing strategies accordingly. Hubspot’s 2019 State of Video Marketing report found that 87 percent of businesses now use video as a marketing tool.
For videos to have their intended impact, it’s vital they load quickly and deliver a smooth performance to target audiences on websites. Creating high-quality videos that connect with people takes a lot of hard work in a landscape filled with excellent video content. Here are five tips to improve the performance of videos on your website and ensure your efforts don’t go to waste.
Get Away from Shared Hosting Plans
If your website receives thousands of visitors per month, it’s high time to move away from the shared hosting plans that many entrepreneurs and small businesses start with. It’s understandable to choose cheap hosting plans when launching a website because such plans often suffice for a year or more without impacting performance.
In shared hosting plans, you share server resources with multiple websites on the same server. These resources include CPU, disk space, and RAM, and reduced access to resources affects page load times.
Conduct regular speed tests and use the growing range of online tools that check your hosting server’s response times. You’ll start to notice that as both your traffic volume and media library grow, your shared hosting server response time increases. This slows down your web pages and potentially prevents people from viewing your video content.
When moving from shared hosting to improve video (and general web page) performance, you have two options:
Dedicated server: You get a server and its resources dedicated to just your website.
VPS hosting: You get a fixed portion of a server’s resources, however, you still share the server with other websites.
The dedicated server option is the most expensive but it guarantees better video performance than cheaper shared or VPS hosting plans. You might consider moving incrementally from shared to VPS and VPS to dedicated as your needs increase.
Boost Live Streams with Video Transcoding
The video marketing strategy preferred by many B2B and tech businesses is to host webinars. These webinars are live streams that companies can use to position themselves as thought leaders in their industry or inform prospects about products/services.
Live-streamed webinars are really powerful but they can turn into a PR disaster if some users are not able to watch them due to either Internet connection or device constraints.
Video transcoding improves live streams by adjusting the bitrate, format, and resolution of videos to a quality level suitable for user devices and Internet connection speeds. Without transcoding, a webinar recorded and streamed in high-quality, high bitrate video will only reach users with fast enough connection speeds. The rest of your audience will suffer the frustration of constant buffering.
Some cloud-based and on-premise media management solutions come with video transcoding services. These services provide on-the-fly adjustment of your live streams to make your webinars viewable by the largest possible audience.
Use a Content Delivery Network
A content delivery network (CDN) caches your website’s content on a global network of servers. When people living far from your website’s server try to browse your website and download media files, the speed slows down because of the distance the information travels.
A CDN can deliver your media files (including videos) faster to visitors by delivering them from a server on the CDN network that is physically much closer to them. A CDN also reduces the bandwidth you consume on your hosting plan.
Consider Third-Party Video Hosting
Some businesses and website owners prefer to have full control over the platform from which they serve their video content. However, there’s no doubt that third-party video hosting is a convenient option. It’s easy to upload content to video sharing websites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion and embed these videos on your web pages.
Self-hosting gives you more direct traffic, more options for branding and design in the video player, and fewer visitor distractions like Youtube recommendations. Third-party hosting frees up bandwidth, the videos don’t consume server space, and the third-party provider takes care of video optimization for you.
The choice ultimately depends on which of these pros are more attractive to your business but third-party hosting is definitely worth considering.
Use Lazy Loading
Whether you embed your videos from third-party platforms or you self-host them, it’s a good idea to defer their loading at page load time. This technique, known as lazy loading, only loads certain resources at the moment they are needed.
The initial page load time is a crucial part of getting visitors to stay on your web pages and you want to keep it to a minimum. Google has a useful resource on using the HTML5 video element to lazy load videos.
Use these tips to help your webinars, tutorials, and landing page videos shine and reach as many people as possible. You want to optimize how you deliver the video content you’ve worked hard to create so that it doesn’t negatively impact website performance and deter visitors.
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