The Best Way to Publishing High-Quality Digital Media on the Web
Publishing high-quality media on the web is not as straightforward as you think. Some web hosts have a hard time pushing out large files to end users. Then, you have to deal with users with slower Internet speeds and users that are browsing on lower performance mobile devices. If you want to make sure that your users properly receive and experience your high quality images, audio and video files, you need to have an effective way to deliver your files. Here are some of the best ways to overcome these common obstacles and get your media across to the users.
Use Cloud Hosting
One way to make sure that your media files are delivered quickly to the end user is to use cloud hosting. It’s a far better option than regular shared hosting. Regular shared hosting confines your site to a single server location. Cloud hosting utilizes the resources of multiple servers all over the world for better performance. It’s the ideal choice for site owners that receive a large amount of traffic to their sites.
The downside is that cloud hosting is more expensive than regular shared hosting plans. Many companies also sell plans based on your bandwidth needs which can further add to the costs. To help compensate for the costs, you can sign up to a reseller hosting account to promote cloud hosting services. The margins are larger than regular reseller hosting accounts for shared hosting and dedicated servers.
Set Up Previews and Mouseovers
If you are using high-quality images and do not want to sacrifice their quality, you can go around the issue by setting up previews. You can set up small thumbnails that give users a quick preview of what they can expect. You can set it up so that if they want the full image, all they have to do is click it to open a new window. This not only solves the data transfer issue, it is also user friendly as it gives your site visitors the option to view the image.
An alternative to this option is to use mouseovers. Rather than linking to a completely new page, you can set it up so that a medium sized image pops up when the user hovers their mouse over the thumbnail preview. This is ideal if you don’t want to force users to make an additional click just to view the actual image.
Preload Audio and Videos
One of the biggest mistakes that site owners seem to make with their multimedia content is that they leave it to their users to start playing the streamable audio or video file. This requires the users to click on the actual user interface and wait for it to load on the website. This can increase your page or site abandonment rates depending on how long it takes for the multimedia file to load.
Instead of this common method, it’s better to start loading the multimedia file from the very beginning. That means that the stream starts loading when the users lands on the page. They are still given the option to play the audio/video on the click so that the users still have a choice. Don’t make the mistake of auto-playing your multimedia files on your web page as that can be very intrusive and annoying.
Compress Files Before Uploading
It doesn’t matter whether you have an image, audio or video file. You can almost always compress your files without sacrificing much quality. You can use an image editor for this process. It also helps to minimize image sizes to reduce the file size. When dealing with audio or video files, some file formats result in smaller file sizes without any negative effects to the quality. For video files, you can even reduce the dimensions or frame of the video for reduced sizes. For audio files, you can usually lower the bitrate a little bit without noticing a big difference in sound quality.
Putting in the time to optimize or changing the way your high-quality media is delivered will have a positive impact on content consumption. You’ll also want to invest a lot of time into compressing files and working on the backend code of your site to make your files more user friendly to your audience. With careful edits, you can deliver your multimedia files without a big drop in quality.