Website Video Hosting Options: What’s Best for Me?

video

If a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is just thousands of pictures shown in rapid succession, then that means there’s a lot to be said about a well done video.

Video is a great way to add a personal message, demonstration, explanation, etc. to your website.  With the speed of modern internet, the affordability of digital storage, and ease of access to quality recording equipment, having video has never been easier.

But to show video on the internet, it has to be hosted somewhere.  Videos can theoretically be stored directly on your website, but they usually eat up a lot of server space and can affect loading times.  We’ve found that for longer videos, high quality videos, and large quantities of videos, the best solution is an external video host.

I have no idea what you just said….

As the name implies, an external video host is a place outside of your website where you place your videos.  YouTube is the most popular.  You place a video on there, and you can then send people directly to the video on YouTube, or you can embed that video onto your website so that people can view it there.

For example, this is an embedded YouTube video:

It’s viewable here but hosted elsewhere.  As we said, this is how most videos are done on websites.  So, let’s say you want some videos on your website, and you need to host them somewhere.

What are your options?

YouTube aka Mr. Popularity

YouTube-logo-full_color

When YouTube launched in 2005, it took the internet by storm.  Never had it been easier for people to upload and share videos with the entire world.  Sure, video hosting was available elsewhere, but it was either slow, buggy, expensive, restrictive, or unembeddable.

YouTube did it better and made it easier, and for the most part, that’s still true today.  A person can very quickly create a Google account (if you don’t already have one), setup their YouTube page, and start uploading videos in minutes.

Pros:

  • Ease of use
  • Free
  • Powered by Google which means search engine friendly
  • Millions of people are searching YouTube for random videos every day
  • Can incorporate ads for additional revenue possibilities

Cons:

  • Less customization available
  • Competitors ads and videos could be shown near yours (depending on your setup)
  • Some businesses block YouTube videos
  • Lack of support (because getting in touch with Google isn’t easy)

Vimeo aka The Artist

2000px-Vimeo_Logo.svg

Though not quite as well known as YouTube, Vimeo has remained constant and popular in its own right.  Interestingly, Vimeo has actually been around longer than YouTube.  It was also the first video platform to offer HD streaming, though most every major one now does.

In its time, Vimeo has collected higher quality video makers, niche markets, and those generally more interested in something with a little visual flair.

Pros

  • Password protection available for videos
  • Quality over quantity
  • Great customization offered
  • Better analytics provided

Cons

  • Smaller audience
  • No free accounts for business
  • YouTube videos generally rank better in Google
  • Storage restrictions based on plan

Wistia AKA The Dark Horse

Wistia-logo

Wistia is a little different from the previous candidates.  There’s a fair chance you’ve never even heard of it.  But if you’re mission is to put the best videos on your website in a seamless fashion, Wistia is the platform for you.

We should mention, Wistia is not a one stop, video-viewing spot.  People don’t go to Wistia.com and search for cool videos.  These videos are meant to be shared directly or embedded cleanly.  Unlike Vimeo, Wistia does technically have a free version that allows for 5 videos…but it comes with some minor Wistia branding.

Pros

  • Advanced styling and customization of player and controls
  • Advanced analytics and tracking
  • Lead generation tools built into player
  • Timed actions
  • Embedded social sharing

Cons

  • Most Expensive
  • Isn’t going to be found outside of your website

You Can Always Mix It Up

Let’s say you want clean, action-driven videos with superior analytics, AND you want to get in front of the video-searching YouTube masses.  There’s no reason why you can’t do both.  Unlike duplicate written content, duplicate videos on internet don’t negatively affect your website rankings.

You can easily create a Wistia or Vimeo pro account to store all of the videos for your website, and then upload all those same videos onto YouTube for no extra charge.

For many, if not most, cases, we’d say that’s actually your best solution.

Of course, you’ll want a beautiful, mobile friendly website to embed them on.  If you’re in need of such a thing, we’re here to help.  We also offer video-hosting management to our clients.  For $10 a month, we’ll host and manage up 10 videos for you.  That includes uploaded, embedding, branding, and more.

If you have more videos, it’s just another $10 for another 10 videos.

Contact us today and find out just how easy it is to have a great looking website to place videos on.

Have more video related questions?  Ask them below!

Written by Timothy Snyder
on March 29, 2016