Web Developer Class: Getting Your Video On The Web

By Rich Hein

Many sites you visit have videos covering everything from how to properly tie a knot to, well, how to make a video. This tutorial for web developers will get you started and tell you how you can get your own video online.

You will need a few things to get started: a computer with internet access, video edtiting software and a video recorder of some type,

Video Recording Device

A digital camcorder is the best way to go. Most of these have built-in hard drives and accept flash memory cards. These are better simply because your video is already in a digital format.

You may also use certain digital cameras that are capable of both video and audio capture. These are normally stored on a removable flash memory card and can be accessed much the same way you access your pictures via a USB transfer cable, Firewire or a memory card reader.

You may of course use an analog camcorder but then you must also have a video capture device and encoding software like iMovie or Windows MovieMaker to convert the signal from analog to digital.

Whatever you use the goal is to get your digital video in to your PC so we can start the video editing process.

Video Editing Software

Now that you have captured your video and moved it to your PC you are ready to edit it using whatever video compression software you have chosen. There are a few free ones, but I prefer either Camtasia or Pinnacle Studio though these can be pricey.

First we must choose what format we want to use to get our video on the web. There are several formats out there, .avi, .mpeg, .wmv, .flv, .swf, .mov and more. Most browsers these days support Flash so I prefer .flv.

Now that we have chosen our format we need to reduce the file size. Digital videos can be very large and must be reduced to shorten the download time for users, you can do this by, editing out the unnecessary parts, shrinking the resolution from 640x480 to 320x240. or reducing the frame rate. In most cases the latter two options are normally found within the "Produce Video" settings of the video production software.

Getting Your Video On The Web

Now that your video is produced it is ready to go. It must be uploaded via FTP to your site or via a video sharing site. You can choose to either embed the video in your HTML or simply link to the video file itself. If you've chosen to use a video sharing site there is a good article here that explains the particulars of adding the video to your site. That's it, your video is live.


There are of course lots of different ways to get your video on the web with many nuances not touched upon here but this is an overview of a typical video project. Good luck and start making those videos.

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