Looking to get some videos on your site? You have a few options as far as where to host them is concerned. While the majority of videos are hosted on free third-party sites (namely YouTube, and for good reason), you can also choose to host your videos on your own servers, or on paid third-party servers. So which should you choose? The answer depends on what you’re looking to get out of your videos.
Where Should I Host My Video?
Hosting on a Free Third-Party Site
By far the most popular option, many choose to host their videos on free third-party sites such as YouTube. There are a few big advantages to this. First, this puts your videos on the second largest search engine in the world (YouTube), as well as the first largest. With the right SEO, you can get your videos to rank highly in both. It frees up space on your servers, gets your videos to a huge audience, harnesses the power of social media, and of course, it’s free.
That’s not to say there aren’t a few drawbacks to hosting on a free third-party site. For one, you don’t have as much control over your video as you would if you hosted it on your own server, or even a paid server. You can’t customize that player on your site. You also cannot control the fact that your video may be followed up with a related video from a competitor hosted on the same site. In addition, many times the link to the video on YouTube ranks higher than that on your site, making the importance of a strong call to action even more marked. But all things considered, this is the easiest, most affordable, and overall best option.
Hosting on a Paid Third-Party Site
You may also want to consider hosting on a paid third-party site. The main difference between this option and the former is that (with the exception of Vimeo Pro) there is no public database of these videos: they are visible only on your site. These sites allow you to maintain more control over your videos with customization options and themes that match your site. Links to these videos in search engines direct viewers to your site, not a third-party one, and the videos themselves are compatible with most devices.
One of the big things you miss out on with hosting on a paid third-party site is access to the massive search engine that is YouTube. Despite the fact that there are bound to be many competitors videos on YouTube as well, it’s hard to pass up the exposure. In addition, you have to pay to play, which may not fit in your budget.
Hosting on Your Own Servers
Hosting on your own server allows you to retain complete control over your videos and can customize to your heart’s content. You can also protect your content using FLV or flash formats (though the less-protected HTML5 formats will play on more devices). You avoid advertising or competition from rival brands on third-party sites, and you can even charge for viewers to watch your videos if you wish.
However, there are a number of drawbacks to hosting on your own servers. Hosting video is very demanding on servers, and the quality will be negatively affected if the server can’t handle it. The higher the traffic to your videos, the more bandwidth they use, and the higher the cost to host the videos. Compatibility with devices can also be an issue if you choose flash formats, and it’s also not possible to customize videos for different internet speeds which may not be up to par. Unless you need to keep complete control over your videos, it’s best to consider a free or paid third-party host.
About TalkingTree Creative
Talking Tree Creative is a video and event production company that creates memorable experiences and lasting impressions on screen, on stage, and online. Headquartered in Washington D.C., TalkingTree Creative serves clients in the private, non-profit and government sectors, is a leader in the event production and video production field, infusing its work with elements of creativity, entertainment, and engagement. For more information about TalkingTree Creative, please visit talkingtreecreative.com. Follow TalkingTree Creative on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn to stay up to date with our latest projects. Get a dose of visual inspiration by checking us out on YouTube and Pinterest as well.