Video at WA Has Gotten a HUGE Facelift!

Last Update: July 23, 2019

As each week passes, we are consistently rolling out new "code" here at Wealthy Affiliate. Each and every week is one of improvement, with some projects being visible within the community (to you), whereas other just as significant projects are being rolled out. Code, design, or speed improvements for example.

We have just released a significant update to our video platform at WA. Over the years, video technology has improved drastically and we have adjusted and keep ahead of the curve in terms of this technology. We originally (many moons ago) had out own video technology, we then moved to Vimeo, then we moved back to out own video technology, and now we are transitioning our video database and environment over to Wistia.

As we see technology around us that is better than what we are currently offering, or as we come up with our own in house programmatic advancements, we push forward with them and we do so very quickly. Our latest update is a shift to Wistia, which we feel are the leaders in the video space.

First though, I want to discuss some potential issues that a technology company can run into when it comes to serving video and offering a high quality user video experience.

The Complexities of Offering a Quality Video Experience

Video is not as simply as creating a video and uploading it. Not when you are offering an experience that relies on the reliability, the cross browser and cross device quality (and the combinations thereof), the load speeds, and the overall distribution of video. Even the likes of YouTube have issues with video, and that is because there are many complexities to playing videos, and playing them well.

Serving your own videos can be a nightmare, we have taken it on multiple times and we have implemented it very well. The problem when you are developing your own technology that isn't really all that unique to you (IE, there are millions of people using video with their businesses), sometimes it is best to go with a solution that is the most reliable in the space.

We feel that the best of the best is Wistia (which I will spend some time discussing why).

So, Why Exactly Have We Chosen Wistia?

When you are looking for a video platform, there are several things that are important to us.

Reliability. First of all, can the videos play across many browsers and devices? This is easier said than done. There are many browsers, there are plugins/add-ons that can conflict, and many devices these days that can cause all sorts of havoc when trying to distribute video content. If a video cannot play (and it can happen), it frustrates the end user and although it is often times out of out control, it can hurt our brand.

Speed & Compression. A video platform is only as good as it's ability to serve the content with speed. More often than not, any video loading issues stem out of poor video compression, or slow servers that are hosting the content (or both), or the users download speed. Speed and compression are of the utmost focus to us when we choose a video platform, they need to be able to work on internet connections that are not as quick.

Video Quality. All our videos here at Wealthy Affiliate are high definition, so the video platform that we choose needs to be able to appropriately deliver the BEST quality, based on how fast the viewers connection can handle. Wistia is very good at automatically handling for different sizes and quality, based on what the viewers current connection can handle. If it is unable to load the best quality version, then it will automatically choose a lower resolution video as it will serve on that connection faster. Quality equates to quantity (more people watching more videos). To us this is a very good thing and we feel that our quality of video has never been as good as it is now with our latest release and custom implementation of Wistia.

Advanced Analytics. To improve our WA training, we need to understand not just where people are "getting stuck", but where they are losing interest. How a video is delivered, how the training is structured, the length of a video, and how the voice comes across in a video can all have impacts on video engagment (how long somoene watches it). If people are not taking part in the education or just doing "part" of it, then it has a bearing out their overall success (which is our focus). Fortunately Wistia has some of the best and most insightful Analytics I have seen, video or otherwise.

As you can see from the following comparison, the user interface is also a lot more current feeling vs our WA in-house player which we began phasing out last week.

Before and After Wistia

One great little element that we've included in this upgrade is the ability to view video in-line in numerpus areas of WA. We embed video's in our main Certification and Bootcamp training sets of courses and lessons as well as the Activity Dashbaord. These embedded video's now open in a beautiful full-width views when they are played so that you can engage in the video in a full High Definition popout player without losing your position on the page!

Videos Will Continue to be a Key Part of the Education at Wealthy Affiliate

Videos are important to our training, our service, and likely they will be an important part of your website/business as you move forward. There are many applications where you will make use of video and it is important that you understand that not all video is built equally.

We use video a great deal here within Wealthy Affiliate and when we improve the services that our videos are run on, you and all fellow members will benefit from this. Quality of video, play speeds, video features, design improvements, and the ability for everyone to successfully watch the videos are going to be huge for the education element here at WA.

Additionally, the ability for us to see where people are getting stuck based on more advanced video analytics is going to lead to a great deal of improvements in the training structure and in some cases, we may be replacing entire segments of the training.

If you've noticed our Wistia video here at WA let us know how you like it! If not, then you can look forward to an enhanced video experience going foward at Wealthy Affiliate!

If you want to check out a Wistia Video, you can try the latest Webinar replay below:

Wistia video thumbnail

Have a wonderful week and we would love to hear what think about this latest enhancement at WA!

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suem2 Premium
Hi Carson, Kyle

This looks awesome looking forward to using this when I start to do videos.

Glad it is so robust and easy to use, as a newbie I struggle with techy things, I'm a baby boomer so never grew up with phones, computers, etc

Keep up the great work you do with WA, R&D, training, and support very much appreciate all your hard work and determination.

Take care,

Igor13 Premium
Hi Carson!

Yes, it is a nice step forward to UX and enjoyable videos watching. You have explained nicely within your post why is video important and why the proper video experience is even more important so, I think adding something about it is sufficient.

Thanks for the info, update, and enhancement of the WA platform.

Best regards,
davehayes Premium
I agree with Alex, and by spooky coincidence just this week took a trial of Wistia for the exact reasons you outlined so it is a good move and certainly will help with our businesses

As you say people are moving more towards video content then embedding it on their blogs so this is a good thing for all of us

Thanks for sharing
AlexEvans Premium
Hi, Carson a positive step forward, really enjoying the Videos playing in the timeline, and there seems to be a real clarity, 9 out of 10 the connectivity is not the best in this neck of the woods so a real plus.

Once again you guys are over-delivering and making our user experience flow thank you.
bleumoon Premium
I love the new video setup Carson, I would like you to consider closed caption though.

Being hearing impaired I think it would help me get the most from the videos, I noticed I am not the only one.

I don't know if this is a big undertaking and I am grateful for the updates you guys are doing continuing to help us have cutting edge technology at our fingertips.

Thank you and I never mean to sound ungrateful!

NWTDennis Premium
Jay's video above was noticeably improved over the previous setup. Both the visual and audio quality seemed so much better. Maybe now I will get over my preference for the old written, multiple page training format members used to use for their training presentations.

The stream of upgrades to this incredible platform have been continuous for so long that I have lost count. I wonder if there is a master list?

I hope new members realize how advanced this wonderful platform is. Thanks Carson.
Carson Premium
When video is as clear as this it's hard not to love learning via video. There will always be an application for written training though and we will continue to publish that alongside video here at WA.

If you have a look at my blog posts you'll notice many of them are updates to WA - it's not exactly a master list but it's a lot of significant updates we felt the community should know about :)

My Blog:
merlynmac Premium
Hey Carson,
I'm trying to help a fellow member who cannot see some of the training videos anymore. It appears the ones they can't see have been moved to this new service.

While trying to troubleshoot, I noticed they have a very slow connection (I'm thinking cellular in the boonies or satellite, etc.) and Wistia has a minimum connection speed of .7something megabits per second requirement.

I think this is the problem they are having and they don't have another internet option where they are.

I've opened up a ticket with Wistia to see if they have some workaround but I wanted to let you know this could alienate some potential members with poor connection speeds.
Carson Premium
Hi Scott,

Very low interest speeds can be used here with our new video, all the way down to 224p which requires very low bandwidth. That said, if there's a super slow connection plus a 30-40 minute video, it's going to take some time to download, even at the poorest quality.

Our previous video platform would have also had these issues as the video files sizes were much larger than they are now. Maybe the fellow member can leave a message here in this post so we can help out?

merlynmac Premium
The thread is here on her profile. She's a Stater member. I'll message her on her profile to come here as well...
keishalina9 Premium
*** Fantastic! ... Gold Stars for U ! .... ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ !

... we all very much appreciate your efforts & diligence in keeping this amazing platform up-to-date with the latest and the greatest!

.... Thanks so much for everything you do for us here at Wealthy Affiliate!

.... keep well, keep happy! ... cheerio-o! ... 🌈😊🎵🎈⭐️
SondraM Premium
Thank you to all of the team that has been working so hard to improve video at WA.

I will admit, I do not understand most of the tech related stuff that you all have been working on so hard behind the scenes in recent months.

Yet, it is clear that the WA team is not resting on it's past success. WA is continually improving.

Thanks again!
AffMktgRt Premium

Thank you, Kyle and the eam for all you do to improve the WA platform.

SongbirdDL Premium
I suppose I have been taking things for granted about videos. From this post I now appreciate how much work goes into video tech.

Thank you Carson for all that you do for the smooth running of WA.

That last webinar looks and sounds much clearer!

Carson Premium
Hey Denielle, as a member you should absolutely take for granted that video's should just work. As you mentioned though, there is a heck of a lot of technology that goes on in the background to make video play smoothly and on all devices. We're loving the new videos and we can't wait until all of our video's have completed transitioning over to Wistia!
Joes946 Premium
Thanks Carson.
Fleeky Premium

How does that translate on our own websites?
Carson Premium
Hey Fleeky,

This update is for Video at Wealthy Affiliate within the members area, however if you are interested in video on your own website then you could certainly sign-up to Wistia yourself and embed video's on your site with ease!

EdwinBernard Premium
Jay’s webinar in Westia Video looked so clear! One of the problems in the OEC and Bootcamp training videos was the blurry scripts. It was difficult to read the details. Hopefully the new video will change that. Have all the videos on the WA platform been converted to Westia Carson?
Carson Premium
Hi Edwin - All OEC and Bootcamp video's have been updated to Wistia and are all in Full 1080p High Definition! Check them out :)
Kyle Premium
These videos have always been High Def, you can change the play type and make them HD if you want internally within the videos.

If you hover the video, you can choose the play back quality.
LouiseBT Premium
Woah! And There's More!~!~!~!

Wealthy Affiliate ROCKS more than ever!

Thank you so much Carson :-)

Kyle Premium
We are constantly working to improve every aspect of WA, and we like to think with every new day that WA does rock more than ever.

We have a lot of exciting changes that are going to continue to roll out as we roll through the second half of 2019 here!
Carson Premium
You're welcome Louise - here's to an awesome video experience at WA hehe..
Alan Hocking Premium
Awesome as always! :)
Lazyblogger Premium
I saw the webinar and I thought was Jay"s intervention. It was full and clear. Thanks for that.
Carson Premium
I'm glad you noticed David, we're loving the clarify and player as well - very refreshing and current!
skmorrow Premium
Awesome update, thank you Carson.
Carson Premium
Hey Steve, no problem at all. The more folks that can stream video effortlessly, the more folks that can get through the lessons and move their businesses forward! Have a great week :)
Carson2 Premium
Certainly looking forward to this for all of us. Appreciate the update.
Carson Premium
You're welcome Carson!