What is the best video format for your website?


How to choose a video for your website? Here are the factors you must take into consideration, including Compatibility, File size (smallest format), Video quality, editing software runs on your computer, and Software affordability etc.

For me this is a question I can offer you the answer: The format you want is "Flash". It gives you fantastic compatibility, and the file size is just a little bit bigger than a similar-quality video in another format (like H.264/MP4). In the olden days you'd have to choose between compatibility, file size, or quality. These days you don't have to choose.

Flash is what YouTube and Google Video use, and they use it for a reason: More people can play Flash video than other format, since Flash is pre-installed in more browsers.


It's true that Flash isn't 100% compatible for everyone, but the point is, nothing is 100% compatible. Using a Flash player is simply more compatible than anything else. If you take one thing away from this page, take the fact that using a Flash player will give you the most compatibility and save you a lot of grief.


Flash is the only player that's pre-installed on both Windows & Mac computers. If you use Windows Media format, you leave out your Mac visitors. If you use QuickTime, you leave out your Windows visitors. Yes, those users can download and install extra software so they can view the video, but do you think everyone will do so just to watch your video? The easy solution is to just use Flash, since both Windows & Mac computers have it preinstalled.


In fact, not even all Windows users have Windows Media Player installed! In an April 2006 survey, only 85% of users had WMP installed for some reason (vs. 98% for Flash).


Maybe you're skeptical of Flash because the Flash videos on YouTube look like crap. The problem there isn't with Flash, it's because YouTube uses pretty drastic compression. When you use Flash yourself, you don't have to compress the files as harshly as YouTube does.


Besides exporting or converting your video to Flash format, to get it onto your site you'll also need to install a Flash video player. There are lots to choose from, and I'll cover them later, but if you can't wait to get started then check out Wimpy Wasp.