Optimizing Video For Size And Quality

Optimizing Video For Size And Quality

In this tutorial, we’ll walk through the steps to optimize the video on your website to ensure fast playback and reduce stalls. Optimizing Video For Size And Quality

Adding video to your application can increase customer engagement and satisfaction. But the exact opposite can occur when there are issues with the video playback: video stalls are frustrating and drive customers away. In this article, we’ll walk through the steps to optimize the video on your website to ensure fast playback and reduce stalls.

Over the last few years, more and more projects are using video as an integral part of the application. This is a great direction, as videos are more engaging than still photos (videos can double conversion rate and increase time spent on site), and as such, can really draw customers to explore details about products and services. However, it all goes sideways when there are issues related to the video playback.

Video playback issues are directly related to the size and bitrate of the video. A video with large dimensions or a high bitrate will take longer to download and will require a higher speed network to play back smoothly. This leads to longer startup times, and if the network cannot supply the video fast enough, the video will stall during video playback.

There is a solution though! By running basic optimizations of our videos before adding them to our websites, we can prevent these issues from occurring for good — well, most of them. All we really need to do is make the file smaller — in one way or another. So, now the trick is: how do we make the file smaller without reducing quality?

In this article, we’ll walk through the tools and some of the steps you can take to optimize your videos for playback — all of it to avoid stalls and impress your precious customers!

Real-World Data

It’s not uncommon to find websites with extremely large videos — for example, used used as hero background videos. In my research, I was looking into sites found in the December 2020 mobile HTTPArchive, and it wasn’t difficult to spot a good number of sites loading huge video files by default, both on mobile and on desktop.

It’s of course doubtful that you will be able to achieve the same savings that I’ll be showing here, but you will get some useful pointers and tips on things to keep in mind when dealing with videos. In fact, it is very easy to accidentally place extremely large videos on your website if you are not careful, resulting in them being almost unusable for most of your customers.

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