How to Build the Perfect Video Test Page

Part 2 of JW Player’s Support Team series on video tips and tricks

There is always more than one way to do things, and certainly building websites is no exception. We are not familiar with the entire tech stack you have built on your website (a.k.a. we are not going to read through your minified code), but we are experts when it comes to JW Player. This might be the first time you are trying to implement our player on a page, but we do this every day. Like those insurance commercials, we know a thing or two because we have seen a thing or two…okay, make that closer to 50,000 support cases.

 

When you come to us with a support issue, the first thing we are going to try to do is reproduce it. Here are some key data points you can tell us right away to make it even easier for us to reproduce your issue:

  • Please send us a link to a test page that contains only the HTML and Javascript code necessary to reproduce the issue. We want to eliminate external JS libraries, custom CSS on the page, etc., but more and more we are seeing things like DRM videos or keys that cannot be requested by our IP address or infinite scroll pages that require us to scroll down to the fifth article before a player appears. And you never know, maybe building this test page will help you isolate the cause without having to submit a case to us in the first place.
  • Have you listed out the reproduction steps? Do we have to click here first or seek to there before the problem occurs? Or do we have to use a specific browser on a specific OS, like IE11 on Windows 8.1?
  • If your ads are not playing, have you asked your ad network for a sample ad tag that fills 100% of the time? In most of the cases we get about this, our player is doing everything correctly. The only problem is that the ad network is not sending us an ad to play!

 

Here’s another fun tip that might be new to you:

If you are using a single-line embed code from your JW Dashboard on your page and something is not quite right, you can also quickly test that same embed in a JW preview page. “How quick is it, Todd?” Simply copy the script URL ending in .js and paste it into a new browser tab. But before you press Enter to load the page, change the .js at the end to .html and then load that .html page. (This .html page just happens to be the same URL we use for <iframe> embeds.)

Boom, you now have a test page with only that embed code’s player settings and video content. If the problem does not exist on this page, there must be something else on your page conflicting with our Javascript or CSS. If the same problem occurs on the JW preview page, submit a case and tell us what is going on. Sounds like you found a bug in the player or something with that video encode is not quite right.

 

While we’re on the topic of tips and tricks, here are some other hopefully quick fixes:

  • How are you loading the player on the page? If you are using a self-hosted player and you are not using the latest and greatest version from our production channel, the first thing we are going to do is test in the latest version. Perhaps that bug has already been squashed in the latest release!
  • Which player configuration options are you passing in the setup() call? Perhaps you are overriding a player default that was set in the dashboard and you were not even aware it was happening…
  • Who is hosting your content? If your content is encoded and hosted by JW Player, then I would not expect CORS errors, for example. If your video was encoded by someone else, does the same issue occur when you upload the video to your JW Player account and our encoders have a try?

And in the next blog post, we dive headfirst into the wonderful world of why your ads are not playing…

 

Hope this is useful. Please let me know how else I can help,

Todd

Director, Technical Support Team

todd@jwplayer.com

 

For more posts from the Support Team series, click here.

 

To learn more about how JW Player can support your video business, schedule time to talk with a video expert.
 

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