Monday, 27 March 2017


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Adding video clips to your web pages

Below is a video that EiS Kent has made.

This is the script that displays the video above!

View the code required to make sure this video plays on all platforms: PCs, Macs and mobile devices and popular browsers such as IE; Safari; Firefox and Chrome.


There is no single format that works on everything!

Getting video onto your website can be complex because no one video format or file format is compatible with every browser.

For instance: Flash works on most browsers, but not on the iPhone or the iPad (and isn't preinstalled on post-October 2010 Macs!).

So you have a number of choices:

Add a video to your web page as a simple link, as you would a document like a PDF file - the easiest way - or write complex HTML to embed and play your video on your web page. Important: You must paste the script into your web page while in 'Source' mode. If you chose the first option, then the visitor downloading your video will need to have a player on their computer that will play the format you have chosen. These are mostly automatically downloaded or loaded by the browser being used, but sometimes they will need the visitor to locate, download and install them before your video gets played.

Factors to consider

It is important to consider the following before uploading video to your web site:

  • Is the video in a suitable format?
  • Is the video an appropriate size for a web page?

What format to chose?

Videos can be created in a variety of different formats. Many formats have specific uses or are suitable for specific platforms. Using common formats will give most visitors the best chance to be able to watch your videos.

Some common formats include:

  • WMF - Windows Media File. Playable on PCs with Windows Media Player.
  • M4V - Video container format developed by Apple and is very similar to the MP4 format.
  • MP4 - Apple Quick Time Format.
  • AVI - Audio Video Interleave File.
  • FLV, F4V - Flash Video  is a container file format used to deliver video over the Internet using Adobe Flash Player versions 6-11. Flash Video content may also be embedded within SWF files.
  • SWF - Flash Movie. Cannot be played on Apple touch devices like iPad and iPhone.
  • OGG - Free, open container format maintained by the Xiph.Org Foundation. Used to add suppport for Firefox and Opera

Each of these formats will produce video files of differing sizes. Some, i.e., WMF or AVI will produce files that are much bigger than other formats. The file size is dependent on the Codec that the format is using or that you have chosen to use.

The EiS Kent video above utilises 4 different formats: .m4v; .mp4; .ogv (OGG) and .swf (Flash) to enable us to be confident it will play on all the diverse platforms, devices and browsers currently available.

What size is the video?

Video can come in all sizes and qualities from the very small to the very, very large high definition videos suitable for TV's and cinemas!

Web pages prefer videos that are small enough to download quickly but large enough to be easily viewed even when viewed at full screen size. They may be a trade-off of size against quality in this process.

Before uploading a video you need to prepare it for web use. Exactly what you do is dependant on what size and quality of video you have decided to use. Some modern computers come with free movie editing software that lets you save your video in a web friendly format. Examples are iMovie on the Mac or Windows Movie Maker. There are other video software applications.

There are many other video utility Apps you can use to help you to create your video files. Some of these Apps charge for full functionality. Search the Internet to find these.

What else can I do?

  • Link to YouTube videos using the HTML code that they supply, just paste it into your web page ('Source' mode) and it will play embedded in your web page.
  • Link to videos on your favourite social networking site.

The downside of using either of these two methods is that links are often included that will take visitors back into the originating site and in addition, you may need to have a current account with the media or social networking site you are using.

Note: There is a vast amount of information on the Internet about how to prepare and use video on your web pages.


A codec is a device or computer program that encodes or decodes a digital data stream or signal such as video or audio. Codec is a portmanteau of "coder-decoder" or "compressor-decompressor".

Page last updated:  Monday 24 November 2014

es2 website builder and content management system designed by EiS Kent. Tel: 0300 065 8800. Copyright 2017 Kent County Council. About Cookies