So you want to add some videos to your site, do ya? Well, it’s about time! Video marketing and online video hosting are crazy-effective ways to elevate your brand. Videos showcase your creativity, they foster communication between you and your audience, and they humanize your brand. So, there’s really never been a better time to start hosting videos online.
Considering the depth in the video hosting field today, there are a ton of video hosting platforms. Most brands choose to host their videos on free third-party video hosting sites (Youtube, Vimeo, etc). However, you can also choose to host your videos on your own servers using private video hosting services. So what video hosting solution is right for you? The answer depends on what you’re looking to get out of your videos.
What are my video hosting needs?
There are a few things you’ll need to consider before jumping in and picking a hosting option. First, it’s important to lay out the basic needs for pretty much any business professional looking to host video:
- easy to use
- compatibility with all different browser types
- SEO tools
- Mobile responsiveness
Now, you should consider your video hosting plans. Will you be uploading a few quick clips once in a while, or are you planning to build an extensive library of video content? The latter requires a whole lot more space and can be taxing on the host server. In this case, you’ll likely be considering a paid hosting service to ensure fast playback and a simplified, branded user experience.
It’s a crowded space, the digital video world. Luckily for you, We tackled the legwork for you and developed a guide for online video hosting options:
Hosting on a Free Third-Party Site
As you’ve likely seen on countless sites, many brands choose to host their videos on free third-party sites like YouTube and Vimeo. There are a few big advantages to this option. First, this puts your videos on the second largest search engine in the world (YouTube). Optimize your content for SEO, and watch your rankings climb. Using free video hosting sites saves space on your servers, keeping your site speedy for users. Other pros of popular video hosting sites are that they put your videos in front of a wide audience, they harness the power of social media, and of course, they’re free. Can’t argue with 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. So, wherever you embed the player, it will retain the branding colors of the hosting service.
- You can’t control the fact that your video may be followed up with a related video from a competitor hosted on the same site.
Hosting on a Paid Third-Party Site
You may also want to consider using a paid video hosting platform. 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. Search engine link viewers directly to your site, and the videos themselves are compatible with most devices.
While paid video hosting services are generally a great call, the main drawback is that you’ll miss out on the exposure of a larger free platform. And of course, you’ll have to consider your budget with a pay-to-play option.
Hosting on Your Own Servers
Hosting on your own server allows you to retain complete control over your videos and can whatever your little heart desires! You can also protect your content using FLV or flash formats (though the less-protected HTML5 formats will play on more devices). Hosting your videos on your own server also means you avoid advertising or competition from rival brands on third-party sites.
It’s important to know that just because you can host your video on your own server, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. 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.
WordPress video hosting
While this certainly isn’t the easiest option, there are reasons to host videos on your own server, and if you are a person who has these reasons, here are some options for you. First, you could always go ahead and upload directly to your media library on WordPress, but without using a video hosting plugin, that option typically comes with a headache (for free!). Themetrust.com offers some reliable choices for WordPress video hosting (and we sprinkled in a few options, too).
- known for super-fast load times
- extensive test suite to ensure seamless user experience on all browsers
- customizable player + templates
- equipped with a native HTML5 video API (what’s an API?)
- comes fully-optimized for WordPress
- unbranded and fully customizable
- smart resize for seamless viewing
- extensive admin panel
- custom and premade video player skins
- multiple stream sources
- works with mp3/mp4
- fully responsive skins
- VR support
- HTTP Live Streaming
Editor’s note: this post was originally published in 2014. It has been edited for relevancy and accuracy.
Video hosting made easy
Learn how we can meet your video hosting needs. Reach out to us today to see how TalkingTree can help you elevate your video marketing performance.