Drawing traffic to your website, on its face, would seem to depend primarily on the quality of the content —how well-written it is and whether or not the videos and images used are of high quality. However, in reality, a site’s accessibility is equally, if not more important.
A web page’s “accessibility,” in this case, refers to how well it loads given less than ideal internet speeds. Why is how fast a site loads more important than having high-definition videos? Experts have found that just 6 seconds of added load time leads to losing over twice as many users who would have otherwise visited a site had it loaded faster. In another study, the British Broadcasting Corporation found that their web pages lost 10% of potential visitors for every second of added load time.
Beyond the visitors a web page receives from users who actually find them, search engines are more likely to direct users to visit sites that load quickly. Search engines consider a web page’s load speed when they decide where to rank it in search results.
With these realities in mind, now consider that videos are usually the largest files loaded on web pages. Thus, minimizing the size of videos is one of the best ways to speed up web pages with videos.
The most direct way to reduce a video’s file size is with conversion and compression software. But, with so many ways to reduce a video’s file size, the process can seem quite challenging. So, to get you started, here are a few methods to reduce video size for your website.
Use Appropriate File Formats
MP4, WebM, WebVTT, and OGV are all suitable file formats for web videos. Uploading other file types can lead to large video file sizes. You might not have the necessary codec to convert a given type of video file, depending on your Windows version. Video converters are your best friend here.
There are freely available tools you can use, for example: to convert VOB to MP4 online easily. VOB files are "video object" files encoded in a MPEG-2 video format. This type of file requires a license to decode/encode and contains user-interface content like chapter selection menus that don’t work on web-hosted videos.
Scale Videos To A Practical Resolution
Videos on web pages should be no larger than the resolution visitors will view them at. The lower the resolution of a video file, the smaller its file size. Plenty of video conversion tools like Leawo also come with features that let you downscale a video’s resolution. If you’re hosting your videos on a site like YouTube, you can use built-in video editing tools to adjust the resolution.
As an upper limit, videos intended to fill a browser window completely should have a maximum width of no more than 1500px. Getting a bit more technical, make sure you indicate the width and height of videos in your HTML or CSS so that browsers can assign the appropriate bandwidth for loading them.
Use a Video Compression Tool
Even if you’re using a video hosting website like YouTube, compressing your videos before you upload them is essential. Like lowering a video’s resolution, compression reduces a video’s file size at the cost of lower quality. Video compression considers how much detail changes between a video’s frames to save visual data that may be reused in subsequent frames, thereby reducing a video’s file size.
There are many available compression software with codecs for video compression, for example, WinxDvD. Video compression codecs reduce the amount of data required to describe the frames of a video and remove redundant video data. However, each pass through a compression tool can unnecessarily lower image quality. Rather than putting a video through extra compression tools, ideally, you should specify compression settings when exporting it.
Reduce Audio Quality
The sound for a video file is attached to a video as an audio track. These tracks are handled by different audio codecs. Even if you mute the audio for a video file, that audio track will still increase the file size of your video.
If you recorded the video you plan to upload, you can remove the audio or reduce the audio quality when you export the video file. Otherwise, you can use a Fonepaw tool to remove a video’s audio track or lower its quality to reduce the video’s file size.
Use Videos With Less Fine Details
Apart from its file type, a video’s size will depend on the level of detail required to render whatever is in the video. So, by taking videos with fewer fine details (like lights, textures, and lines), you can reduce the eventual size of your video files. Having overall smaller video files makes other methods like lowering video resolution and converting file types more effective.
Video Hosting Websites
To minimize space on your website, you can upload your videos on sites like YouTube. Unfortunately, this is a quick fix with major drawbacks for SEO and search engine rankings. It’s possible that search engines will prefer the video hosting websites’ web pages where you’ve uploaded your videos over your own web pages.
To avoid negatively affecting your SEO, host small-sized video content on your own domain while uploading larger videos to video hosting sites to keep web page loading times as brief as possible.
Offering video content is an excellent method to retain the interest of your online visitors. But, without taking steps to reduce your videos’ file sizes, videos can cause performance issues and make web pages’ loading times unbearably long.
Thankfully, adding videos to your website should have little effect on load speed as long as you optimize your videos. By practicing the above tips and tricks, you can easily reduce your video files’ sizes to find a balance between quality and accessibility.