Optimize video for your website

When using video, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What is the purpose of the video? 

  • What do you want people to do once they've watched the video? 

  • Where should they click next? 

As a rule, videos should be no longer than 30 seconds if they are on your home page. 

There are two main requirements when uploading video: size and file type.

  • Size: The maximum limit for a single video upload is 4GB. Smaller files will upload and convert more quickly.

  • Supported file types: mp4, jpg, mp3, mov, wav, m4a, mpeg, webm, wmv, flv

If your video files are in a different format, there are several free software programs, such as Handbrake, that can help you convert your file into one of the supported formats.

Considerations

Resources is capable of handling most video resolutions from 360p up to 4k; however, the optimum size for most website videos is 720p. This allows for good quality with a good mix of file size and compression, allowing for faster downloads and a better overall experience on any platform.

To safeguard homepage load times, Finalsite limits any hero video to 30 seconds. After the first 30 seconds of the video, it will loop.

To reduce your network bandwidth, you want your video to be cached on your visitors’ browser. Most browsers have a limit on how much they will cache. This limit varies, but 50MB appears to be standard. For this reason, any video you upload to a page should be under 50MB to ensure that the asset is downloaded once and cached locally.

Whatever file you upload to Resources, it will be optimized for speed. If you click on the “Download Resource” link once you have uploaded the video, you will receive the optimized version of the file, which should be considerably smaller than your original file. Use this file for your website video and not your original.

Whatever video you use, Resources will automatically send the optimal file for the device requesting it. If you do upload a 50MB file, for example, it will be converted to a smaller size for mobile devices. 

Best practices

  • People don’t come to a website to watch a hero video in the masthead. Put a short video and provide a link to watch the full video as an option. 

  • Use video sparingly to emphasize a point or showcase something special.

  • Remove the audio tracks to save some space. Not only does it increase the size of the file, most browsers turn off audio by default. 

  • Remember closed captions. VTT files can be easy to write, especially for smaller videos.

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