Showing off your Skills
Naturally, moving to a hybrid way of working does call for an updated approach in terms of presentation, and those who offer both stills and motion have to adapt their websites to accommodate both genres and to present them in the best way. For those who might not be fully experienced in what’s required it’s time to call in the services of a professional who can advise on the most efficient and seamless way to integrate video content alongside stills.
“In the last couple of years, showing video has been a ‘must have’ feature for many of our clients, even if it’s only an ‘About Me’ video introducing themselves,” says Andrew Skirrow, a director at website provider Amazing Internet, which offers a bespoke service specifically geared towards those in the creative industries “Ten years ago, only a few photographers were asking about it, but now I can’t think of many that don’t also do some sort of video offering, whether they do it themselves or have a video specialist as part of their team.”
The problem is that videos are extremely data heavy, and hosting them directly on a website can take up a huge amount of server space and bandwidth, particularly with 4K footage becoming the norm. It’s all too easy to be racking up massive hosting bills without your site being particularly busy.
“The most cost-effective way of providing video on your website is to host it on a platform such as Vimeo or YouTube or one of the other options that are out there,” says Andrew. “You can then embed the video so that it appears to be just another part of your site. You might choose to do this via a pop-up window or overlay or, for the most seamless look, you can embed it directly into the page, presenting it exactly like you would a static image.
“One of the other big advantages of hosting with YouTube or Vimeo is that it takes away most of the headaches that arise with such things as file formats. Video can be a complete minefield when it comes to compatibility, and YouTube and Vimeo are, of course, experts at this, and have made it simple to upload a video and be confident that your viewers are going to be able to view it without any problems. “When you embed a video in a web page you’re creating a frame into which a video player is loaded and then the video is streamed from the video platform rather than your site. Each platform has its own player and can therefore be in full control of the streaming process, ensuring that the video will always play correctly.”