How to and Why to add videos to your WordPress site

Videos attract, engage and more importantly bring back visitors to your website

The fastest and easiest method to add videos to your WordPress website is to develop the video on YouTube and then add the YouTube link to your website. This is because YouTube takes care of hosting and also manages the file formats. No matter what format your video is in, YouTube converts it into the required format for internet view. You needn’t worry about video players at all!

Videos add a lot of value to your blog posts and website. Explaining a concept, say something like making a greeting card to making French toast to explaining a mathematical formula, can be done faster through a short video than through a 1,500 word blog. Adding a video to just about any type of site makes it all the more engaging.

Adding videos to WordPress websites is pretty straightforward. In a recent post I had written about audio files in WordPress. Video files follow as simple a procedure as audio files and infact you don’t need to do much else if you have a well-produced video in the first place. In WordPress versions earlier than 2.9 you would have had to embed code from the video site. From 2.9 onwards however, the oEmbed feature provides a real quick way of embedding videos.

All you have to do is paste the video URL in the post. Only thing to remember is to check that it is not pasted as an active hyperlink. WordPress will simply show the clickable video thumbnail when you go to the post.

Here is our demo of how easy it is:

YouTube is not the only video option for WordPress

Apart from YouTube, the other white-listed video providers that you can embed in WordPress are:

  • DailyMotion
  • Vimeo
  • Flickr (images and videos)
  • Viddler
  • Hulu
  • Qik
  • Scribd
  • Revision3
  • PhotoBucket
  • PollDaddy
  • Google Video

SmugMug and videos can be embedded in WordPress 3.0 and above. videos can also be embedded.

Why upload videos on WordPress site or blog?

You must be thinking that videos take a lot of server resources and what will happen if your video got a lot of traffic. Your concern is legitimate and a lot of the times you may read that you shouldn’t upload videos on WordPress and instead leverage the functionality of YouTube to direct traffic to your website.

I don’t disagree that YouTube should be utilized for itself. It is the most used search engine after Google. Its social media features alone are reason for you to use YouTube as your preferred video website. However, sometimes you can enrich your blog/website by a well made video. Not every post or page needs one, but when you add a custom video it does many things for your website.

1. Deliver message quickly

A video can strengthen your message. It doesn’t need to be and ideally shouldn’t be a copy of your written content. Rather it should complement your writing. Maybe you are writing about food ; you could get in a short interview with a local chef who has an opinion about the issue you are writing about. A video would tell the site visitor right away what the topic is all about.

2. Actively engage visitors

Visitors to your WordPress site or blog are more likely to hang on if there is something that catches their eyes. Videos normally do the trick. Custom videos keep visitors engaged and they are more likely to remember your website, if you have shown them rather than asking them to read about it.

3. Drive website traffic and entertain at the same time

Search engines love new content. A YouTube custom video that you reference on your blog is a great way to get brownie points in search engine rankings. Use targeted keywords in the title, tag and description. The best part of a custom video? You can upload it on multiple locations without worrying about duplicate content. An entertaining video is a surefire way of getting people to remember you.

4. Increase your website reach

Did I mention that Google loves YouTube videos. If your custom video isn’t on your YouTube channel yet, make sure you get it on there. Share your video on other channels, encourage visitors to share your video on their social media networks. It is all about expanding the reach of your website.

5. Get regular site visits

Adding engaging and useful videos for your site visitors is a great way to ensure that they visit your site regularly. If you are able to help or educate visitors about an issue and show them how to find the solution, it ensures that people will visit your website for information. Any product or service can fall under this umbrella.

Whether you want to show people how to manage their insurance online or how they can achieve weight loss goals, a video can get the message across really well. What’s more if you have regular uploads, like twice a week or weekly, people are more likely to visit regularly.

Make use of videos to enhance your website and give valuable information to your site visitors. A bit of help from a WordPress designer would go a long way in setting up a layout where your videos are highlighted in the best possible way. Make an informed decision and watch your WordPress website reach the audience in the way you want.

How to add audio file to the WordPress website

Audio files are another major integral part of the website content. Adding an audio file to your website not only boosts your SEO rank but also it helps your user who does not have the patience to sit and read the content to better connect with the site. WordPress provides easy ways for adding audio clips to the website. There are two ways in adding an audio file to the WordPress website.

How to add audio clips – Method 1:

Click on the Add Media button available at the top of the content area.

add audio clips
add audio clips

Insert media page opens with the list of all the media items. If the media files exist in the list, choose from it. Else there is an option to upload new media file.

add mp3 files
add mp3 files

Once done click on the Upload option. The file is uploaded and is available in the media library page, ready to be added into the webpage. Choose the desired audio file and click the “insert into page” button.

add audio clips
add audio clips
add mp3 files
add mp3 files

Clicking on the pencil icon will open a window where the alternate audio file can be added and the customization to the audio regarding the auto load and loop can be made using the GUI.

add audio clips
add audio clips

How to Embed Audio File – Method 2:

We can embed audio file, using the audio short code.

how to add audio clips
add mp3 files

How to add Mp3 files – Method 3:

An audio can be inserted through oEmbed feature as well.  This is as simple as using the audio tag that is explained above.

The following are the basic options followed with the <audio> tag:

Src: The link to the source file is added with the help of this attribute.
‘mp3’, ‘m4a’, ‘ogg’, ‘wav’, ‘wma’ these file types can be used as the fall backs options of the files added..

Autoplay: makes the audio play automatically, when the page is loaded.
0 – Do not start automatically
1 – Starts automatically

Loop:  allows looping of the audio file.
Off – does not loop the audio file
On – Loops the audio file

Preload: States how the audio file has to load when the page is loaded.
None – audio file should not be loaded
Auto – audio file should be fully loaded
Metadata – only the metadata has to be loaded.

Inclusion of audio clips boosts your seo results:
Including an audio file in the website or inclusion of a podcast will definitely boost the SEO ranking.

Interviews:  A one on one interview with someone related to your website or your profession can be added to your website. A rich audio testimonial will surely boost your SEO.

Speech:  A recording of a person, explaining something or a recording of a radio show or any other Public speech can be used in the website.

Podcast: This is a very good option for increasing the SEO ranking, where in a user can subscribe to it so that the new episodes are automatically downloaded.  Any audio content can go into a podcast like a lesson/ tutorial, a speech, instructions, an audio version of a book or article, etc.

Conclusion: So inclusion of audio files helps not only in search engine optimization but also helps the new generation with the hands-free content. If you have difficulties in adding an audio file or help in boosting your site for the purpose of SEO,  get in touch with us and we can do it for you.

Web app vs Cloud app

Web app vs Cloud app: What are the differences between web apps and cloud apps?

They are similar but the terms are not interchangeable.

A lot of us tend to use the terms web apps / cloud apps interchangeably in our conversations. I do too, although I try to keep the usage as informed as possible.

What I find is that the confusion stems from the fact that all applications in effect run on the web, therefore they must all be web apps. In one way this is true. Yet the “web” in web apps actually refers to the dependency of web apps on web browsers. They need web browsers to run.

In this post, I’ll try and extend the discussion on this subject and list out the distinctions between the two. To begin at the beginning, however, let’s first understand what is meant by cloud app and web app.

The Cloud

The “cloud” in cloud apps refers to the computing architecture which involves storing and accessing data and software over the Internet instead of using your computer’s hard drive for this purpose.

In fact, the cloud is just another name for the Internet. According to this article that I found on the online version of PC Magazine, the origin of the word cloud as a metaphor for the Internet dates back to the time when the Internet was represented as a fluffy white cloud in flowcharts and presentations.

If you are accessing data and programs over the Internet, then it is considered cloud computing. Most individual users, however, may never know just how much data processing happens at the other side of the connection. Cloud computing can be done anywhere and at anytime with an online connection. Clouds can be public or private.

Cloud Apps

Cloud applications are not housed locally and are supported by a sophisticated set of systems that ensure security, uptime and the integration with other systems. The major features of cloud apps include:

  • The data for these apps is stored in a cloud
  • This data can be cached locally and accessed offline
  • Can be used from either
    • Web browser
    • Custom built apps for internet-connected devices like mobile phones
  • Can be used to access
    • On-Demand computing cycle
    • Application development platforms
    • Storage
  • Different user requirements are supported

Examples of Cloud Apps

Email, which probably never comes to the mind, is a pretty straightforward example of a cloud app. It was always designed to be that way.

We have been using Outlook and other applications like to access emails stored somewhere on the internet – Gmail, for example (Yahoo, Hotmail as well). Access information and storage somewhere in the cloud through any interface whether web based or otherwise. What’s more, email is available offline if users configure it so.

The other usual suspects are DropBox, Sugar Sync, ShareFile, Salesforce, NetSuite, Mozy, and Evernote. I found this interesting piece on CTO Informer where Joseph Janecka makes a case for Twitter as a Cloud App.

Janecka says Twitter can be accessed via smartphones even without the web browser interface. But the app is not fully on the phone either. The phone is simply the interface to access the data and application that is out there on the cloud.

 The Web Apps

The major distinctive feature of web apps is that they are designed to be used on web browsers. The architecture is quite straightforward. It is generally a combination of server-side scripting and client-side scripting where the client is dependent on the web server components to talk to the infrastructure that provides the core functional services.

Take online banking for example. The client, which is the bank’s website that the customer accesses on the web browser talks to the core functional servers via the web server. The client does not store any information, relying on the bank’s data servers to retrieve and verify information. The information isn’t just anywhere, it’s exclusively on the bank’s servers.

The other differentiating point on web apps like WebEx, online shopping applications, even Facebook is that consumer customization options are quite limited. If you are buying software that is labeled as cloud app you may want to ensure that the functionality and customization features are true to the cloud app characteristics.

Web apps also do not generally have the ability of multi-tenancy, that is, they are not designed to support varying requirements of consumers. A cloud app for data backup would support different requirements like security, backup schedule, data compression and more.

The biggest difference is the access. Web apps are almost exclusively accessed through web browsers and if a web app wants to evolve as a cloud app, it must become accessible from anywhere even without the web interface.

In spite of these distinctions, there are different ideas about what truly is a cloud app and what is a web app. Janecka writes that web apps are ultimately a sub set of cloud apps and perhaps instead of trying to distinguish the two apps, they should simply be viewed in terms  of service – “cloud service” and “web service”.

Yet others feel that web apps can evolve into cloud apps through the use of the rich development platforms and frameworks that are available now. According to this line of thought everyone and everything should ideally be on the cloud.

Web app developers should take advantage of the cost effectiveness and quick time to market of the latest cloud app development programs in order to move to the cloud.

Some examples of cloud app development platforms include Microsoft Azure, AppFrog and Google Apps Engine. While there is no single school of thought about the separation of web apps and cloud apps, I think we can agree on the following differences amongst these two types of apps:

  • Nature of access and storage
  • Levels of customization possible
  • Ability to support various types of requirements or multi-tenancy

Whether you need a cloud app or a web app for your business depends on the type of functionality and scalability that your require. An application development specialist can help you decide what suits your needs best.