1. Computing

How to Get Flash Video on Your Website

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It's possible to get Flash video on your website using free tools and software available on the web. You can even create highly-customized Flash video players without knowing anything about coding or programming.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: varies

Here's How:

  1. Convert your videos to Flash.

    The first step to get Flash videos on your website is to convert your video files into Flash format. At the end of this process you'll have a .flv file.

    To convert your videos, you'll need video compression software (listed below). There are many free programs on the list that will convert your videos to Flash, but they often don't let you do too much to customize the size and quality of your file. If you want to get the highest quality .flv file, invest in a program like Sorenson Squeeze, which lets you control all aspects of the video conversion process.

  2. Check your Flash videos on your computer.

    To check the quality of your converted .flv file, you'll need to have a Flash video player installed on your computer. There are several free programs listed below, which play Flash videos as well as other more obscure file formats.

    Use one of these programs to check the quality of your compressed .flv file. Re-convert it, using different settings, if you want higher quality or a smaller file size.

  3. Upload Flash videos to your website.

    Once you have your .flv files converted properly, you're ready to upload them to your website. For this, you'll need access to your web hosting provider through an FTP service. You'll need to check with your hosting service if you've never upload files to your site before.

  4. Design and upload an SWF player for your Flash videos.

    The .flv file is only half of what you need to get Flash video on your site. You'll also need an .swf file, which is the video player that contains the .flv files.

    If you know how to use Flash, you can design a customized .swf video player. If you don't know how to program with Flash, you can download a web video player for the Flash videos on your site.

  5. Code your website to display and play your Flash videos.

    Once you have your .flv video files and your .swf video player uploaded to your web host, you're ready to get the Flash videos on your site. You'll have to update your website with a snippet of code that places the .swf player in the correct place, and directs it to play the correct .flv file.

    The JW player offers a setup wizard that generates this code for you, making it simple for non-programmers to get Flash video on their sites. It you're using a different SWF player, on one you designed yourself, you'll have to generate the proper code on your own.

Tips:

  1. Self-hosting Flash videos on your website can become a problem if one goes viral. The traffic can crash your site, and you may get charged for going over your bandwidth. If you're trying to make a viral video, or one starts trending that way, move it to YouTube, which is designed to handle large amounts of video traffic.
  2. Check out the .swf players available online. Prices are low, but the quality is high and most are completely customizable.
  3. Consider using a content delivery network. CDNs charge, but they can automate converting, uploading and posting your Flash videos online. These services offer customizable video players, complex video analytics, as well as pay-per-view and download options for your videos.

What You Need

  • Video compression software
  • Desktop Flash player
  • FTP access to your web host

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