Video websites have become as common as grass in today’s attention-hungry society. It is now as easy to find a video of an obscure singer from the North Pole as it is to find Rihanna’s Unfaithful music video. Nowadays, the list of video stars who have gone on to greater heights after being exposed to millions of viewers through video websites grows longer every day, boasting of stars such as Marie Digby, Pat Condell, Peter Coffin, Ysabella Brave, a capella group Straight No Chaser, and super tandem Ryan Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi. Their video homepages have scored millions of video visits from a motley crew of subscribers who watch websites every day, eagerly looking for the next big thing. But video websites are not just for those talented few who are trying to make a name for themselves. Even regular Joes who wish to share their videos with their friends will find a video website quite useful, especially those who have ever tried sending a large-file video email, and consequently spent hours waiting for the file to attach.
If you are one of the few who have never used a video website before, here are the steps on how to make your own video website:
- Know your topic. The first order of business is to determine what purpose your video website will serve. Most video websites, such as Happyslip or Smosh, post videos that revolve around a common theme. Narrowing down and clarifying your position helps to differentiate your website from the hundreds of others that are out there already.
- Know your audience. Once you have chosen a theme for your website, the next step is to figure out whom your potential viewers are. Doing this will make it easier for you to design your page specifically for the purpose of attracting your target audience.
- Know your video format. There are scores of video formats to choose from nowadays, from Real Player to Quicktime, Windows Media Player to VLC, Windows Media Player to Flash Player. Remember that you want as many of your target audience as possible to be able to view your videos, so make sure that you select a video format that is compatible with the more popular and widely available video players online.
- Know your compression trade-off. All video files that are uploaded to video websites have been compressed in some way, which means that a loss of video quality has occurred. Typically, less compression means higher quality videos, but this results in bigger files, which are slower and harder to download than highly compressed, lower quality files, which are much smaller and therefore easier to download. Thus, you should be able to determine whether you are willing to sacrifice quality for the sake of faster downloads, and this all depends on the types of videos that you will be making.
- Progressive download or streaming media. The final decision that you will be making is with regard to the hosting of your video site. Do you want your videos to play as streaming media files, or do you want them to be progressive downloads? Make the decision before you select your host, especially since many types of streaming media do require that the video should be hosted on a streaming server.
Using a video website is easy, as long as you familiarize yourself with the different options that are available to you before you begin.