Nowadays, video is becoming more and more commonly used on personal and corporate websites.

Before you add an video file to your web page, it’s important to understand that videos are different from images – a single video file can take up hundreds of MB (or even GB) of your web server storage space.

And every time someone visit your website to view the video, they will be taking up a signification amount of your allocated bandwidth.

For videos which you do not mind sharing, you can simply upload the video to YouTube, Yahoo Video or Google Video all provide video sharing tools. All you need to do is upload your video file to their website, then copy and paste the HTML code to add video to your website.

However, if you prefer to keep the video file on your own server for easier management and privacy, then please read on.

Firstly, do not embed your WMV, AVI or MPG movie files directly to your web page. You should convert your video file into a streaming video file format. This way your visitors can watch the video as it is getting downloaded (otherwise they can’t see anything before the video file is fully downloaded).

As of today, the most popular and commonly used video file format for website is the Flash FLV video format.

There are few reasons why Flash video – FLV is the better option for adding video to your website:

1. Flash Player is supported by 90% or more browsers, more than any other player. Flash works on Windows, Linux. MacOS. And flash works in all types of browser including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. In contrast, your WMV video file can only work on MS-Windows using MSIE.

Yes you can embed a Windows Media Player into your website. However it is an ActiveX component which cannot be supported by all browser, and the loading speed is very slow.

2. Flash Stream video is the leading format using by video websites such as YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo video etc. Once you have your .wmv , .mpeg, .avi, .mov video converted into Flash format, you can use them on your own website, as well as sharing them on those video websites anytime.

3. Flash FLV does video streaming automatically — there is no any special processing of the file required. All you need is a flash video player software or template, and the video FLV file will play in streaming mode automatically.

4. Webmasters will have more custom option over the presentation of Flash video files — video editing can be done using Adobe’s Flash software, you can design your own player user interface.

There are freeware and shareware flash video software you can use without buying Adobe Flash, and without learning any flash programming.

A flash video player software can automatically convert your windows media file (wmv, or avi) into .FLV file for streaming, and allows you to easily embed your video into a pre-designed video player template.

Ko Fai Godfrey, website software and developer since 1996. Developed software including a flash video player, website builder, and interactive map builder.