Behind The Scenes Look: How To Make A Video Tutorial Site
One of the big things here on Teach Yourself Websites is to help our students learn how to build awesome websites. Our free eCourse is built specifically for this and it has helped thousands of people over the last 3 years get started with their websites.
We are also big on teaching people how to do things that we do ourselves and that’s the motivation behind this post.
Recently we announced that we’re rolling out a members area on our website where people can login and view video tutorial screencasts on how to do various things on the WordPress platform.
If you’re interested in that, you should definitely check out the landing page which explains a lot more about the service.
Today’s special event is a behind the scenes look at how we put together our high quality video screencasts and what goes into making a single video for the member’s area of Teach Yourself Websites.
Check out the video below:
Software mentioned in the video
To make all the cogs turn here at Teach Yourself Websites we make heavy use of a couple of bits of interesting software.
How To Make Screencast Videos
First up is our video screen casting software of choice which is Camtasia by Techsmith.
Techsmith have been around for a long time in the screen casting space and produce what I consider the most well rounded and complete software for screen casting.
It’s not something I say lightly either, I actually tried using about 4 or 5 different bits of software to get the job done, but none of them had that magic combination of a great interface, inbuilt editing and quick production.
With this software, for a short video, I can film and edit it then get it up on the site all within an hour.
Sometimes it’s much less than that even and I hope to cut that time down when I eventually make the switch to a different video file host.
I’m also considering having someone else do the editing part which will make this process even quicker again.
Camtasia is kind of pricey in comparison to other screen casting software but it’s definitely worth the money. It’s a little cheaper if you’re on Mac for some reason, not sure why.
Getting Videos Into The Correct Formats
Next, if you’re publishing videos on the web there’s also something that you should know about video formats. You can export your screencast videos straight from Camtasia in MP4 but that’s not supported in all browsers.
I convert all my videos into OGG/OGV format as well which when combined with my video player of choice covers off most browsers. Firefox in particular is picky about this. It doesn’t like MP4′s very much, but loves OGGs.
To convert my videos after exporting from Camtasia I use a little free app called Miro. With Miro you can convert your MP4 into a massive range of video types.
If you don’t want to use an app for conversion and only need to convert to OGG you could also check out the Firefogg extension for Firefox. It’s a nice lightweight way to recode your MP4s into OGG format.
Managing Members In WordPress
The next bit of software we recommend is for setting up the membership site side of the site. We are using a plugin called WP Member, not to be confused with the non-free one with the same name.
The plugin itself actually just changed owners as it was recently sold. I’ve been speaking with the new owner of this WordPress plugin quite a bit lately and he’s making some fantastic changes to it. There’s actually a beta version out now which we’ve grabbed as it has some nice upgrades.
If you’re thinking of running a membership website WP Member is quite well featured and has been around for some time now so I’d consider it a mature product.
There’s other similar products like WP WishList or WPMU’s Membership plugin which are both quite good as well. I already had a licence for this which I purchased a while ago so it was something I could use to get up and running with it quickly.