Video Tutorials vs. Text Tutorials

Do you prefer video tutorials or text tutorials? There’s a discussion on the blog of Jaap Haitsma with participants expressing an overwhelming preference for text tutorials. Business Blogging 101 is mostly video tutorials. Although, when I started making tutorials for WordPress in 2007, I used text instructions and screen captures.

When I found inexpensive video-making software, I quickly switched to tutorials using that format. It seemed to me that – especially for beginners – using WordPress is a process that involves moving from one part of the Dashboard to another. It was much more helpful to be able to show where a button is located in the Dashboard and what happens when you click on it without having to make individual screen images of every step.

The complaint from Jaap and others is that they don’t want to have to watch a 10 minute video just to get one piece of information, like “What do I click to make a static page my home page?” That’s fair enough. No doubt some (or all?) of my video tutorials could be made shorter and get to the point more directly. I will certainly keep this in mind the next time I make one.

One solution would be to make available a text version or transcript of each video tutorial. This would require that someone on my staff of one write out the transcripts. You may be surprised to learn that making a 10-minute video tutorial, which I usually do with only a little preparation, can take up to 3 hours when you include time to correct errors or rerecord, save files, upload to YouTube, add descriptions and post to the Business Blogging 101 site. Writing out a transcript is going to add a considerable amount to that time.

That said, I am truly interested to learn whether you prefer video tutorials to text tutorials with screen captures. Please take a second to vote above. And please add any additional comments you may have using the comment form / link below.

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3 Responses

  1. video tutorial is better

  2. Your tutorial on static front page was very helpful. I was able to solve a problem in a half an hour that I’d been srtuggling with for two days. Thank you!

    • @Lee
      Glad that was helpful! I love the Garden with Chickens site. My wife is pining for “city chickens” for our yard. Sounds good to me. We are allowed to have three in Seattle proper. Not sure how the neighbors would feel about it. :)

      It looks like you are serious about blogging. I would recommend at least considering registering your own domain. You can continue to use gardenwithchickens.wordpress.com but you can also use your own domain, and this will make it much easier to convert your blog into a self-hosted WordPress site down the road if you decide that you need more power and flexibility. The cost of self-hosting is minimal: less than $100 a year.

      Here’s a post I wrote about it. This is called “WordPress Tips for Business Blogs“, but everything applies to your situation, as well.

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