Where Should You Host Your Videos Online?
When it comes to hosting videos online, one place springs to mind – YouTube. But is it really the best place to host your videos?
Most people think YouTube is the only place to host their online videos, but they’re wrong. There are currently several other alternatives including Vimeo, Wistia and Sprout Video. Not to mention there is always the option of hosting them on your website.
With so many options, how do you decide which is the best for you and your business?
To help you decide, we’ve put together a handy post that takes a look at the pros of each. What you’re trying to achieve with your website will influence which host to use. So which is the best? Self-hosted or third party? Let’s take a look!
When a video is self-hosted, it means the video is uploaded to your own server and can be placed on any page you want. Many content management systems including WordPress and Drupal have built-in features that allow you to embed these videos on your page with ease.
Not only does this give you more control of your videos, but there are also a number of other advantages, such as:
You Own the Video
Unlike third party hosting that have complicated rights over who owns the content uploaded, self-hosted videos are safely stored on your server. This is the best way to store video content if you don’t plan on sharing them, or only want a selected few to view them.
Another advantage of self-hosting is that your videos can’t be reported and taken down. There are many stories of competitors reporting videos to try and get them taken down, so they lose traffic. By hosting videos on your own server, you’ll never fall victim to this.
A lot of third party video hosting website will put adverts on your videos, even if you don’t want them. Not only is this annoying and distracting for viewers, but it also makes your business look unprofessional. You wouldn’t want an advert from another company in your own promo video, right?
If you want to make sure no one’s putting adverts on your videos without you knowing, self-hosting is the way to go.
A major problem with many third party hosting services are that they are full of distractions. If you go on the YouTube website, you’ll notice there are sidebars with hundreds of endless videos.
YouTube also recently introduced a new feature, automatically playing another video when you finished watching one. These distractions mean your viewers are more likely to leave and end up on another video. Not cool.
More Traffic to Your Website
If you do decide to host a video on your own website, then this can do wonders for your website’s traffic. If your website is the only place where the video is located, then viewers will have to come on your website to watch it.
Once they’ve finished watching your video, there’s a good chance they’ll go on to explore other areas of your website. If you’re hoping to attract traffic to your website via videos, then this is a great benefit of self-hosting.
Third Party Hosted Videos
Now that you know the benefits of using self-hosting to host your videos, what about third party hosting?
Ever since the dawn of YouTube, millions of people have been uploading videos to third party video sharing services every day. There is currently over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute on YouTube. As you can see, YouTube is the number 1 choice for many users.
With so many advantages of using third party hosting, you can’t blame them.
Since third party video hosting websites host the video on their servers, you don’t have to worry about spending precious bandwidth.
Depending on how many videos you have and their quality, this can be a massive saving. 1 HD video can use up several gigabytes of bandwidth a month if lots of people watch it. With third party hosting services like YouTube and Vimeo, you don’t have to worry about any of this.
Social Traffic & Shares
Whoever said third party hosting was limited to just YouTube? Nowadays even Facebook is getting in on the video sharing action. Although you can already embed and share YouTube videos on Facebook, many users now just upload directly to Facebook.
By using social media and targeting the right people, there’s a chance your video could go “viral” and receive millions of views. Many users will watch whatever videos pop up on their newsfeed just because they are there. Instead of trying to get people to click through to your website where the video is hosted, uploading it to social media can significantly increase its number of views.
Easier to Find
If your website is relatively new, or you don’t do any search engine optimisation, then chances are you won’t be getting a lot of traffic. This means if you have videos on your website, they won’t be getting any views.
The beauty of third party video hosting services is that users can search the site for videos to watch using tags. Once they’ve found a video, the site will often recommend related videos as well. By hosting your videos on a third party video host, you significantly increase the chance of your videos getting views.
Have you ever had hardware fail on you or forgot to backup? Losing data can be a terrifying experience, all that hard work gone forever. If you want to make sure you never lose your precious videos, then using third party video hosting is a magnificent idea.
Many big video hosting services such as YouTube use cloud computing in order to host their data. Based on the architecture of the system, this means there is always a backup of your data and it’s practically impossible for your data to be lost.
Compare this to self-hosting where you are responsible to backup your data, leaving your videos in the safe hands of a multibillion-dollar video sharing website sounds like a good idea.
So now that we’ve covered both self-hosting and third party video hosting, which is the best?
As you can see, both have their advantages, but it’s really down to what you are trying to achieve. If you want to promote your business and get as many views as possible, third party hosting is the way to go. With social media and their own video networks, the chances of getting views is a lot higher than hosting them on your own site.
On the other hand, if you’re providing video content to clients in a professional environment, then self-hosting is the way to go. With fewer distractions, comments and no adverts, self-hosting does the best job of keeping your viewer’s attention.
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