Sharon Florentine is a freelance writer who covers everything from data center technology to holistic veterinary care and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.
If you’ve ever tried to verbally explain a task (like tying your shoes, for instance) to someone else, then you know how much simpler it is to show them – and that sums up the importance and the power of video for communication.
Of course, showing someone a video is a lot different than being able to host videos on your WordPress site so that your entire audience can view them. Currently, there are a number of toolkits available to do just that.
There are the big-name video hosting providers: YouTube, Viddler, and Vimeo, for instance. And then there are plug-ins available for use with sites like WordPress, which allow you to embed videos directly into your blog posts.
There are many different plug-ins available depending on how simple or sophisticated your needs are. The WP Dude, Neil Matthews, has a great rundown of the various options, as well as written and video tutorials available that will walk you through the process of adding video to your WordPress site.
“Most plug-ins ask you to simply enclose the URL of the video file in a tag, so [the video] can be a locally hosted file you upload from your media section or a remote file on [a site like] YouTube,” Matthews said in his post. He also advises that you refer to your preferred plug-in for full details on how to add a video to a post.
If you’re going to add video capabilities to your hosted WordPress site or blog, you should consider using a Content Delivery Network or Content Distribution Network (CDN) to deliver your videos and images quickly and efficiently to viewers.
A CDN is essentially a number of highly optimized web servers located around the globe that cache static content. When users access your site, static content – like images and videos—will be delivered from the server that’s closest to users’ physical location. For sites that are heavy on videos, graphics and photos, or for media-heavy and streaming media sites, a CDN is especially valuable. Combined with a cloud storage solution, you can store, manage and distribute your videos worldwide.
When users visit your site, they don’t want to wait for long load times, choppy video streaming or interruptions so that content can “buffer.” With a CDN and a web hosting provider optimized for videos, you’ll more easily be able to distribute your content almost instantly. And the better their experience with your website, the more likely users are to share your video content, generating an even larger audience for you.