When it comes to making a living as a freelance educator nowadays, there are a million and one tools to keep track of. Choosing the best ones and mastering them can be the difference between success and failure. No longer can a teacher simply rely on knowledge and methodology. It’s all about reaching a large audience and the best way of achieving that is by making videos.
Whether your videos are for YouTube, social media, or a paid course that you host on your own website, you will need a decent piece of video-editing software. There are loads of options, including the very expensive Adobe Premiere Pro, but often these will crash your computer. I have a pretty decent laptop that can run almost any software I need without a problem, yet Premiere Pro will crash it in about 3 minutes! And, if you can get it to run, even exporting a 10-minute video can take an hour or two.
Thus, I highly recommend looking into online video editing software. I first stumbled upon Flixier, but then later moved to WeVideo, and I wanted to put a short review of them here.
Pricing and Features
There are various packages for both Flixier and WeVideo, starting at $4.99/month for WeVideo and $10/month for Flixier. The $4.99 option, however, is fairly limited and so you probably wouldn’t want to go for less than the $7.99 option, which gives you unlimited uploads and downloads. The Flixier $10/month package is, however, limited and so WeVideo is much better value in terms of what you can store or produce per month. You’d have to choose the $25/month Flixier package to get unlimited storage and downloads, which would make it comparable to the $7.99/month WeVideo package.
Both websites are pretty similar in what they claim to do, although they differ somewhat in ease of use and performance. For both websites, you start a project, upload your files, and then move them about on the timeline to make a video. You finally export it as a video file that you can upload wherever you want.
They both have transitions and green screen features. They both give you some templates for text overlays and other visual trickery. However, WeVideo contains a library of stock images and video that you can use. (It’s not great though. I import from Canva, instead, which is another essential tool for online teachers.)
One minor advantage of Flixier is that there is a very limited free option, but I would say this is only worthwhile for testing purposes. WeVideo doesn’t really advertise it, but they will give you a 2-week free trial, which sort of makes that the equivalent.
Ease of Use and Effectiveness
This part is really important for me. I’m a teacher and a writer, not a professional video editor. Thus, I need my video-editing software to be intuitive and simple. Both Flixier and WeVideo fall into this category to some extent.
Though they are similar in terms of what features they offer, the quality and simplicity of these differ greatly. Flixier is, on the surface, an amazing piece of software, but I used it for a whole year and my big complaint was… IT JUST DOESN’T WORK! Argh! It was incredibly frustrating that it so frequently just didn’t work. The timeline wouldn’t scroll. Pieces of video would jump around at random. Nothing would load. You constantly have to refresh the page or sign out just to make things work again. The timeline goes out of sync with the preview, too, so you make changes that will end up in the wrong place… Altogether, it’s a disaster.
To be fair to them, they were constantly updating the software and they responded to complaints by trying to fix them, but every fix just brought a new problem. Ultimately, I grew very weary of trying to do simple things and finding that feature broken. In the end, the green screen feature could not even differentiate between a person and an actual green screen! It was embarrassing and I found that any free software online could do it better, so why was I paying Flixier? Here, you can see the difference quite clearly. With Flixier, you can both see the green screen in the background and also my face has disappeared! In order to completely remove the background, I’d remove more than 50% of myself. Ridiculous.
The difference with WeVideo is startling: With absolutely no modifications, the green screen has entirely disappeared, leaving me in tact:
They both also have transitions that you can use, but again Flixier’s mostly do not work. They will disappear, invert the screen, or otherwise screw up your video. It is a hassle to use them. With WeVideo, on the other hand, you have a better range and all of them work fine. You can see them at use in this video (between the chapter titles):
In terms of its performance, WeVideo is far superior. Whilst it is perhaps a little less intuitive than Flixier, it actually works. The pieces don’t jump around at random, the timeline scrolls properly, and the green screen is perfect. Everything basically does what it is supposed to do.
The only complaints I have about WeVideo are that there is no way of deleting a gap without manually dragging pieces of video. In Flixier, you can right-click and delete (called “ripple delete”). Also, in WeVideo, the preview stops when you click anywhere on the screen. However, these are minor and easily dealt with.
Also, one advantage that Flixier has over WeVideo is that it renders and exports video much faster than WeVideo. I found that WeVideo took about 30 minutes at least to export a 15-minute video, whereas Flixier usually managed it in about 5 minutes. That’s a huge difference, but in the end they are both faster than having a programme installed on your computer.
I stuck with Flixier for a year because it fulfilled a basic purpose and, in spite of many annoying bugs in the software, the team always seemed to be improving it. However, when I moved to a new form of video, incorporating a green screen, I was severely disappointed to find that their technology could not perform as simply as any free version online. WeVideo, on the other hand, is far superior. In fact, it beats Flixier in pretty much every respect. It is better value, better technology, better storage, and better performance.
If you want to make videos for your students or to attract new ones, then consider doing a trial with WeVideo and giving it a test for yourself. I was very impressed.