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6 Best Video Formats For Your Website

Centuries ago, the two main ways to watch videos and movies were on television or through a projector. Today, you can find videos everywhere, from smartphone streaming to 4K home theaters. So from a creator’s perspective, you’ll want to make sure that your video gets watched properly and in the highest quality video format.

That’s why it’s important to know about the different video formats available, which is what this article is all about! Read on to discover the best ones to use on your website.

Why Do Video Formats Matter For Websites?

Video formats are crucial, whether you’re trying to figure out how to create an IGTV or IG Reel, upload the best video to YouTube, or are just curious about video resolution. The issue is that we often think video formats produce the same result. Video file formats matter since they can affect the quality of the output, how quickly it loads, and of course – compatibility with the platform.

After all, not every machine, video platform, and browser will be able to play every type of video file.

What Is The Best Video Format For Websites?

The first thing to note is that you should always check what video formats are compatible with the platform you’re planning to upload to.

You may be uploading video files directly to your website. Or, you may prefer to upload videos directly to video hosting sites like YouTube, and embed these into your website via a link. In which case, you’ll always want to check what video formats are supported by the platform you’re picking.

It can get pretty confusing if you don’t know your MP4s from your MOVs. Let’s take a look at the most common format:

1. MP4

Because of its extreme versatility and compatibility with a huge range of players and devices, MP4 is by far one of the most widely used video file types.

Today, MP4—which was first made available in 2001—is regarded as a universal standard for video encoding. It offers a high level of compression (which means it can greatly reduce the size of the video file) without drastically lowering the video’s quality.

  • Perfect for internet video streaming since they offer high-quality videos at a little file size
  • Compatible with numerous media players, including iTunes, Windows Media Player, GOM Player and others
  • Great for high compression without significantly losing quality
  • Easy to change a file’s metadata and distribute the material without authorization
  • It requires a lot of processing power to encode, play and edit
  • Because MP4 is a ‘lossy’ format, repeated encoding can result in significant quality loss

2. AVI

One of the first video formats was the AVI, which Microsoft created in 1992. It’s one of the most widely used video formats available, along with MP4. You’ll also find that this format works really well with all Windows, Mac, and Linux-based devices as well as the most popular internet browsers.

But, unlike MP4 which is still growing to this day, AVI has been gradually declining in popularity in recent years. It’s often utilized for TV formats, which not a lot of people use to watch videos today.

  • The video format can be played on ordinary devices thus is available to everyone
  • Ideal for short videos, teasers, and promos that require compression while maintaining high quality
  • Compatible with Microsoft and other operating systems
  • Needs more storage
  • Not a good choice for live video streaming as the quality will lower the longer and bigger a video is

3. WebM

In 2010, Google created the open-source format known as WebM, which was primarily developed for the purpose of online video file sharing. It’s also supported by all of the top browsers, including Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

WebM is ideal for websites with lots of video material and a go-to choice for live streaming services like Streamlab because it only contains smaller video files and basically enables immediate playback.

  • Compression and decompression don’t need a lot of processing power
  • When utilized online, it provides users with a quick loading time
  • Delivers real-time video in excellent quality, making it ideal for live streaming
  • HTML is required to play this video format so it might not be compatible with some browsers and players
  • Poor mobile device compatibility

4. MOV

If you need a video format for movies, this is the one you’re looking for. The first three letters of the word are in its name after all.

MOV is a video file format that is mostly compatible with iOS gadgets (but it also works on Windows). It was created by Apple primarily for the storage of full-length movies. As a result, you’ll find that it supports high video bitrate, while also having decent video quality.

  • Widely compatible with a variety of platforms and codecs, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Can include various multimedia components stored as separate tracks, such as video, audio, or text
  • Suitable for the web since it provides high-definition videos with a tiny file size
  • Most of the time, a QuickTime player is required to open this file type
  • Only files up to 4GB are compatible with Facebook and Instagram

5. MKV

Matroskas, a type of Russian stacking doll, inspired the name MKV. And that’s precisely what MKV is—a video file format that supports an infinite stacking number of audio or video tracks.

For instance, this video type will save each audio choice as a distinct track if a clip includes multiple audio options in various languages. It also supports components like chapters and menus.

  • One file can contain audio, video, and subtitles
  • Nearly all codecs are supported by it
  • Free and open-source, so it is continuously updated and improved
  • Uses a more difficult compression method than the majority of other formats
  • MKV file sizes are quite large
  • Not compatible with a wide range of players and devices

6. AVCHD

Panasonic and Sony designed the AVCHD, particularly for video camcorders. So, if you often record high-end films, the AVCHD video format is great for you.

Using H.264/MPEG-4 video compression technology, AVCHD enables you to store hours of high-quality video with very little data. The video format also comes in standard definition and high definition versions, and the most recent version, AVCHD 2.0, even enables three-dimensional video.

  • Compatible with cameras from Sony, Panasonic, and Canon
  • Support for 3D videos
  • One of, if not the highest video file formats
  • Has a rather small range of devices and software compatibility
  • Can be very difficult and time-consuming to edit
  • Saves very huge files

Which Format Should I Use For My Site?

The general rule should be choosing a file format depending on the quality of your video. It has to meet the minimal standards for quality, but nothing more.

High-quality videos are challenging to download, convert to text, share, and manage. So, it might be smart to think about how you plan to view the video files. After all, not all web browsers, software, or hardware support the same video format.

Below, you can find a table to give you a quick rundown of which video format to use.

Video file formatBest used for
MP4
The universal video format for storing video files on PCs and mobile devices as well as for streaming services like Facebook and YouTube.
AVI
Great for short clips, promotional videos, and advertisements.
WebM
Widely used for online video archives and live streaming.
MOV
Optimized for full-length movies, especially on iOS.
MKV
If you have videos featuring numerous audio settings, multiple independent tracks, selectable chapters, and menu choices.
AVCHD
Mostly used for professional-grade videos that were shot in high-definition and 3D.

It’s hard to list down every scenario for each file format, but hopefully, this table has helped give you an understanding of which one to use for which event.

Bonus: Optimize Your Videos By Choosing Fast Hosting

These days, videos are everywhere. Even Instagram, which began as an image-sharing social networking website, recently made an interesting admission: “We’re no longer a photo-sharing app.” This statement is evidence of how videos have become part of our lives and businesses are adapting their models to deal with this new norm.

But, it’s possible that your server wouldn’t be able to handle the load if you were planning to upload videos to it, because they are more demanding than text-based content. You’ll want to make sure you’re set up with with a reliable web host specifically for quick and fast speeds. They optimize your website, making sure it’s always running at its best and fastest.

After all, you wouldn’t want to disappoint your visitors with low quality or buffering videos!

Choose the Right Video Format for Your Website

Videos are an excellent marketing tool that can assist you in achieving a variety of goals, such as selling your products or services, impressing your boss, or delivering a wonderful presentation for school.

But, picking the incorrect video format could either make or break the way you’re able to edit and render a high-quality video.

Luckily, with our guide, you can minimize this risk. All you have to do is understand what each format does, how it can benefit you, and you’re pretty much set for elevating the contents of your website!

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