The web’s love of media hasn’t changed much since the days of RealPlayer, but the platforms, possibilities, and potential have all gotten much broader. There are more video hosting sites than ever that offer increasingly higher levels of visual fidelity, which is why you may want, or need, to make sure that media’s a priority for your website. With video and audio content, you can increase your social media share ability, and really make your site stand out; here are a few ideas on how to get the right amount of media out there for the viewing public.
- HTML5 is the standard now. If you’re still relying on Flash to put your media out there, you’re missing out on a whole demographic of iOS users, not to mention those that have disabled Flash out of security concerns. Whether you’re adding a music player, a video player, or even a game app, it’s best to use HTML5 to get the job done. It’s the new standard, and there’s still a lot of potential with what can be done using the programming. If it’s good enough for YouTube, it’s good enough for your site.
- Keep everything titled and described. For the sake of easy indexing by web crawlers, and to help users quickly find the content that interests them, make sure that your media is properly tagged with all of the important Meta information. If you’re designing a site for a podcast, that means that there should also be a section for show notes and liners that make it easy to navigate the list of episodes available. The better organized and cataloged the media on the site is, the easier it will be to appreciate, consume, and share.
- Design for mobile first. This one has two benefits: The first is that you will be able to capture the attention of an important and growing number of users that strictly use their mobile devices to browse the web; the second is that you will keep your bandwidth low, even on the desktop version of the site, by keeping mobile design in mind. Responsive design works great for this, especially if you want to set up a video viewing experience at very exact dimensions and specifications. If you’re not designing a media site for mobile audiences, you might be missing out.
- There are tons of media hosting services and built in players accordingly, from YouTube, to Sound cloud, to Vimeo and more, there are plenty of options that you can use to keep your own bandwidth and storage costs low without sacrificing the amount or quality of content available. For higher quality video, Vimeo is usually best, but for share ability and visibility, YouTube is the reigning champ. For audio clips, Sound cloud’s the standard. Podcasts can usually have their own hosting and streaming services, although those do come at a premium. The upside is that they can save you money on bandwidth.