3 Rules for Putting Video on Your WordPress Website

If there wasn’t already enough of an incentive to get in front of your audience with video marketing, the Coronavirus crisis is getting even the most timid people in front of cameras. In fact, according to a Renderforest survey of 1000 last year, 9 out of 10 viewers say that product videos are useful in the decision making process.

As users become more accustomed to be using and consuming video, it’s becoming more of an expectation that your website will include video content as well. In the same Renderforest survey, 71% of businesses claim that videos help to increase the time people spend on their websites. Here are a few pointers to ensure that adding video to your WordPress website contributes to your user’s experience and doesn’t take away from it.

How to Add Video to a WordPress Website

First, let’s start with some basics about how to embed the video in your site in the first place.

  • If you’re using the Classic Editor, then simply paste the YouTube URL (or Flickr, or Wistia, or Vimeo) in where you want it to display.
  • If you’re using the Gutenberg block editor, take your video URL, place the cursor where you’d like to put your video, and click the plus (+) sign. On the panel that opens, navigate to Common Blocks and click on the Video block. Next, click “Insert from URL”. Then paste your video URL and hit the “Apply” button to add the video to your site.

  • If you’re using the Elementor Page Builder, drag the Video widget wherever you want to place the video. This widget supports Youtube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, or Self-Hosted only. Add in the video URL and the source. The rest of the (many) options are not required but allow for an incredible amount of control in customizing the display.

Rule 1: Not Everyone Will Watch Your Video. Prepare Accordingly.

Sorry. But some people just won’t press “play”. Many users prefer to read an article or listen to a podcast instead. You shouldn’t put critical information in video format without featuring it elsewhere. In addition to usability, featuring content in video only is bad for handicap accessibility, which shouldn’t be surprising since the two so often go hand-in-hand.

Rule 2: No Autoplay

Don’t annoy your visitors with automatically playing audio. People might be hitting “play” at work or on the bus or while pretending to be doing something else, and you don’t want to bust their cover! Additionally, some browsers like Chrome may not even play your video if it isn’t set to mute by default.

This is a good time to mention that because users may want to play their video but without audio for these reasons, you should make sure that your video has subtitles. It also makes the content accessible for the hard of hearing.

Rule 3: Don’t Host Your Own Videos

Use external hosting. This means that you shouldn’t upload your video to your Media Library and it embed it from there. There are two main reasons for this:
1) If your video is uploaded to a platform like YouTube, users can find your videos from that platform as well.
2) Videos are often very large files, and uploading such files can put a big strain on your host’s server resources, resulting in slow page loads or higher hosting fees. The exception to this is when a video is used as a banner or as a background. In that case, you need to make the file size as small as possible to prevent long page load times.

Summary

Web users are increasingly consuming more and more video content. You can add videos to your WordPress website very easily, but you should make sure that it isn’t the only way that you are explaining something important on a website. As it is a resource-intensive medium, pay attention to file size and how your video is affecting page load times and website speed. Above all else, you want your videos to enhance the user’s experience.

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