Performance Optimization For Your Website – Videos
Video has become a huge part of our experience online today, it is everywhere. News, Sports, Weather even Social Media is loaded with video content. The main downside to video is how to deliver it over the web without bringing a website to a grinding halt. Video is very large and bulky, and although you may compress and encode it 100 different ways, it still may respond slowly.
Things like connection quality, server performance as well as devices all come into play well displaying video online. If your connection is slow to begin with it will take forever for a video file to buffer online. If your phone just isn’t quite up to par, it may query the video slow or have issues displaying it.
Using a Stream Service
A stream service is a great way to deliver video at top speeds and ensure that it is viewable on all devices. Companies like YouTube and Vimeo fall into this category. They specialize in delivering video to the end user on all devices.
YouTube is free to use, and allows you to easily embed video directly on your website. The one problem with YouTube is anything that you need to protect is not always protected. This is because YouTube is highly queried for content that relates to searches. If you post a video to YouTube it by default is listed as public, meaning that the video can be viewed on your profile as well as anywhere that you embed it. You do have the option to list the video as Unlisted or Private which adds an extra layer of protection against the wrong people viewing the video.
YouTube Publicity Settings:
Public: A video that is published as Public can be viewed and searched for on YouTube, it can be displayed anywhere that requests it, and anyone can view the video
Private: Only you can view this video, or people that you explicitly grant access to can view it. If the video is shared or embedded anywhere it will display an error if someone is not signed into a Google account that is linked to the video as allowed to view.
Unlisted: This setting allows the video to be embedded and viewed on websites, but will not show in public searches or on your profile. If someone were to share a direct link to the video however, it could be viewed by someone else.
Another streaming service is called Vimeo. This company is like YouTube however it has many more protection features to their videos. But this service does cost based on the amount of video storage that you need monthly. Vimeo has settings that can allow the video to be public, private, only viewable on specific domains etc. This allows you to specify who and what can view your video.
If you had a membership website with videos that you didn’t want to be viewed by anyone, you could specify that the video may only be viewed on your domain, which means. If someone tried to embed the video on their website when it went to play it would fail to load because the requesting domain is not authorized to display the content.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network, otherwise known as a CDN, is a set of servers that are spread out globally, allowing high volume traffic to effectively receive content on the web. These servers are in multiple locations allowing anyone anywhere to view the content as if it were stored locally.
Using a CDN allows you to upload your content to your website directly, then the CDN makes a copy of this content and references itself in the page when it loads so your web server does not load the content, instead it references a direct link to the file on the CDN and delivers from there.
CDN’s range between a couple cents per month to hundreds of dollars based on your websites requirements. To reference a few examples, companies like MaxCDN and CloudFare offer this service as well other services for a cost.
In short, when planning to implement video on your website you need to consider how you are going to deliver it, where it will be stored, and the privacy requirements of the video. If the video can be public YouTube is a great option. For videos that need to be private and absolutely not viewable Vimeo may be the best option, if you have larger files or a heavy website, a CDN may be your best bet as it can deliver not just video but images, static java and style sheets that don’t change very often.
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