If you have a great idea for a niche video site, have a business but limited website know-how or some basic Web skills and want to put your videos online, here’s manifest your vision, from the drawing board to YouTube.
Planning Your Site
1. Figure out why your site exists. Before you launch any site, you need to have a clear idea of its purpose and what makes it special. For example, your firm may want to create specialized training films. If so, you should determine whether it will support existing clients or try to find new ones. This may seem simple, but it is crucial.
2. Know your audience. Understanding who you are trying to reach and why will make your design choices easier, and will help give your site focus.
3. Choose your video format, whether it’s Quicktime, Real Player, Windows Media, Flash movies or some other player format. Remember that your audience may need to have a special player to play your video, so, choose wisely.
Flash movie types can usually be played by anyone with a current Web browser.
4. Decide how much to compress the video file. All video for the Web is compressed, which means there is some quality degradation. The higher the quality you want, the bigger your file will be. The more you compress it, the lower the quality of the images will be. You may have fewer colors and rougher sound.
Making the file small means quicker downloads, but, if your purpose is to show your film-making ability, your Web videos are your calling card, so don’t skimp. If your audience has slower connections, the time and frustration saved by having more compressed videos that can be quickly downloaded might be worth the loss of quality.
5. Determine whether your videos will play as streaming media or progressive downloads. Many types of streaming media require the video to be hosted on a streaming server. Keep this in mind when selecting hosting.
Building Your Site and Creating Videos
6. Create your video. It’s best to use a digital video camera, since your content is destined for a website. Download your content to your computer for editing.
7. When your film is ready to go, prepare the video for export. When you export the video, your software will have a huge number of options to choose. These will include compression, sound, quality, panel size, codec and format. To understand these options, check your software’s documentation.
8. When you export your video, you will get a file ready for the Web and possibly a section of code to embed your file onto a Web page. Save the code in the Web page immediately or paste it somewhere to save it for later use.
9. Build a Web page for your video. If you are embedding the movie in your page, paste the code generated by your editing software. To make the video “live,” send the files to your Web server using FTP.