Benefits of using Amazon S3 to stream your web videos

Amazon S3 is a scalable cloud storage that is not only cheap but fast. In this post I will explain why you should use Amazon S3 to store and stream your video files rather than storing them on your normal web host.

The problem:

Most web hosts declare unlimited space and unlimited bandwidth for their patrons which are basically vague terms as explained in this post.

If you have opted for a quality hosting (which you should) you are on limited space and bandwidth. Top notch hosting providers do not sale hosting for cheap and if you are looking to stream videos, you might face a recurring expense for bandwidth usage and additional space utilized and end up paying $$$ monthly. Fortunately, for a situation like this we have a solution or boon and it is called Amazon S3.

Amazon S3 as the solution

Amazon S3 is a scalable cloud storage for internet and it is cheap. First of all it is free for 5GB of storage and 20,000 GET requests. Which means, you can store videos up to 5GB free and they can be viewed 20,000 times every month free! Beyond that, the rates are very nominal and a summary is provided below.

For 1 Terrabyte storage (approximately 1000 GB) the price is $0.095 per GB per month. Now let us analyze what it means. Suppose you have 32 GB of video files. You get 5 GB of storage free. So for 27 GB you have to pay 27 x $0.095 = $2.65 a month. This rate is applicable till you reach 1000 GB (no user of ours have ever needed more than 100 GB for streaming web video files). The reason being our video encoder, really gives you a low file size to quality ratio. There is another expense. Amazon charges for each request to the video file and that is $0.004 for 10,000 requests after the free slot ends. Considering, your video has 50,000 views a month your expense will be $0.004 x 3 = $0.012.

Summing up, to store and stream 32 GB of video files on Amazon S3 your monthly expense will be $2.65 + $0.012 = $2.662 !
Add to it the almost zero downtime and fast delivery. All our videos on www.easyflv.com are stored and streamed from Amazon S3. And, when you use EasyFLV it provides a seamless integration  with Amazon S3 that makes your experience hassle free.

Amazon S3 Signup and details.

Happy streaming!

Benefits of adding video to your website

In my 9 years of developing EasyFLV and serving to more than 50,000 customers, I strongly conclude, I have only seen positive aspects of adding video to a website.

In the earlier days, a lot of people were reluctant considering the aspects that videos will slow down the website, it will harm SEO (Search Engine Optimization) etc. But after YouTube was born in 2005 things began to change and the awareness took a vertical. By 2007 – 2008 everyone wanted to have videos on their website.

5 years later in 2013, I often get questions where people send a link through our contact form of our website, willing to know if a video will really help or will it be wise buying EasyFLV. I reply to these emails personally.

Today I thought I will summarize my real experiences I have, to let you know why you should have a video on your website.

Visitor Engagement

Marie (name changed) is an astrologer and she wanted to know if a video could enhance her website. The niche “Astrology” is probably one of the niches where videos are used very less. I took a look at her website and suggested she can record a video while she is in a session with a client and publish the video. Visitors can get a clear idea. The idea had one problem though. Privacy of the client. Later a video was recorded where the camera was placed at the clients back protecting his privacy and Marie published her first video online. Luckily her website designers had Google Analytics already installed on the website. And then the website stats took a sharp change.

Google Analytics

The average visitor engagement went up. The bounce rates went down. Queries went up proportionately. The website now made a sense for Marie.

Conclusion: A video on your website uplifts the user engagement. And I have got proof of that.

Trust

This is just from last year. Paul (name changed) is a real estate broker. He builds his website himself. Not that jazzy but it works. In September 2012 Paul dropped a query to EasyFLV as how a video can help make his website look attractive. He was keen on making a video about his services, client testimonials etc and a custom video player to match his website. I took a look at his website and asked him, how many queries does he get from the website on the listed properties? The answer was “Not much”. I suggested Paul to make a walk through video of one of the listed properties, on his handycam with a commentary in his own voice. I added the video on his website (no he was not a customer yet) and asked him to come back and buy EasyFLV if he gets more queries on that one particular. property. Ten days later, I find a sale in Paul’s name and followed instantly by a thank you email. That one property got sold.

Conclusion: Videos ensure trust on your visitors. If you provide a service, videos are mandatory. If you sell products, videos can help convert better.

Credibility

Here I have no problem in placing the link for the respective case. The Untouchables Band – a Premier Philadelphia Wedding Band is using videos with playlist on their website with EasyFLV. You can check here

http://untouchablesband.com/video.html

Now imagine the same website without the videos. The videos give a huge boost to their credibility. Undoubtedly.

Conclusion: Add videos to your website to project your credibility on the subject. Videos never lie.

Start adding videos to your website if you have not already. Contact us if you want us to do a quick free audit of your website as how or what type of video can help you boost visitor engagement, trust and credibility of your website.

How to add video to a WordPress blog

Adding a video to a WordPress blog is slightly different than adding a video to a normal webpage. The reason being WordPress is a script that runs on your web server with a database in background. Here I will point out the three methods of adding videos to a WordPress blog, followed by simple pros and cons of every method.

Through third party video sharing websites:

You can easily upload  your video to a video sharing website like Youtube or Vimeo and have your video shown on your WordPress blog. Every video sharing website provides you with a embed code to add the video to your website or blog. You have to paste this embed code in the HTML view of your WordPress editor when you are creating or editing a post.

Pros:

  1. Easy to implement.
  2. Secure. Is not vulnerable to WordPress hacking attacks as it does not use any php scripts.

Cons:

  1. Chance of loosing traffic since the video player will have a direct link back to the video sharing website. Chances are you could end up loosing your traffic instead of gaining.
  2. You will be governed by the terms and conditions of the video sharing website and if not respected properly your videos may get banned and removed.
  3. Will not come with all features that you may need. For example, showing your own custom image or graphics after the video ends.

add-video-to-wordpress-01

In WordPress

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Published video on blog

Conclusion: If you are sure that your videos will not violate any terms of the sharing website and that you would not be hurt for a percentage of traffic loss, go for this method.

By installing a WordPress plugin

A plugin is a like a extention of the core WordPress script and is essentially written in the programming language php. You can install plugins for WordPress (perhaps you already know this) for a thousand of reasons including adding a video to your blog. Buy or install a free plugin, enter the values in the plugin and your videos will be published on your blog. No copying or pasting of code needed and the process is seamless.

Pros:

  1. You host the videos so you have full control over them.
  2. A good plugin will upload the video file(s) for you.

Cons:

  1. A poorly coded plugin is a doorway for hackers to sneak in to your blog and hack, alter  your website. Good webhosts these days, are getting restrictive on several plugins or more specifically on which plugins to install and allow.
  2. A plugin might fail when WordPress undergoes a version change. Specifically if the plugin is also not updated by it’s author.
  3. Can be tricky to install and get going.
  4. May not come with all features that you may need. For example, showing an image after the video ends.

Conclusion: Use this option if you are confident of the plugin and it comes with good reviews.

By using a self hosted video solution

The most effective way to add a video to your blog is using a self hosted video solution that does not require a plugin to operate. How? In WordPress, you can easily embed a piece of code in the HTML view of your edit window when you are creating a new post for your blog. A self hosted video solution will provide you the html code for the video player which you can just paste where you want the video to appear. Additionally, you can upload the video files either to your own domain or to a separate domain or a cloud space like Amazon S3. The flexibility of this method is, the video player can have a host of features of like intro and outro images, redirect URLs, video-on click function. etc.

Pros:

  1.  Easy to setup.
  2. You host the videos so you have full control over them.
  3. Secure. Is not vulnerable to WordPress hacking attacks as it does not use any php scripts.
  4. You can get features like showing an image before the video plays, after the video ends, video on-click functions etc.

Cons:

  1. Manual upload of video files needed.