As the old adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Imagine how valuable a collection of pictures would be.
We live in an era where infotainment is incredibly popular. Be it a product or service, a travel vlog, or a random video, you can watch as many videos as you’d like on any number of sites. From a marketing perspective, it has opened up a whole new venue for communication between sellers and consumers.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about different video hosting options – specifically, self-hosting versus using a video hosting service – that are at your disposal. We will also cover why using a video hosting service can be convenient and explain how you can best meet your requirements when going solo.
If you’re all buffered up, then let’s press play!
A Note on Adding Videos to WordPress
Before you can begin adding videos, you’ll need to take a step back and think about the storage capacity on your WordPress site. For storage, you have two options. Self-hosted videos are the ones that get stored on your server. This means that they will use your server’s resources. On the other hand, hosted videos will get stored on a different server and you can link to them from your site or embed them directly into your website.
For the former, there are three different kinds of setups that you can opt for:
- Shared Hosting. With shared hosting, you’re allowed to upload videos up to a limited quality, size, and duration. Adding high-quality video content with this option can be difficult.
- VPS Hosting. VPS hosting allows you to upload high-quality videos. Although most VPS hosting services will let you store quite a few videos, you’ll have to keep in mind that the storage space isn’t unlimited and you will run out of space sooner or later.
- Dedicated Hosting. Dedicated hosting is a flexible video hosting option that allows users to upgrade their plan when they run out of storage space.
If you decide to go the self-hosted route, there are a few factors that you’ll need to keep in mind. For instance, if you will be uploading high-quality and high-definition videos, then you’ll need a lot of storage space. The number of expected visitors can help you determine the bandwidth allocation for your hosting package. Besides this, the server that you are using for hosting must have a decent amount of RAM and processing speed to ensure that your site doesn’t slow down.
However, if your server is low on bandwidth, speed, or storage space, then you can always spring for a video hosting service instead. Here are a few more reasons why you might want to give video hosting services a shot:
Large File Size
Hosting videos can be complicated at times. For instance, say you have to upload a video in HD, with a duration of 5 minutes, encoded in standard video format (let’s say MP4), with a file size of 1000 MB. Using a plugin, you can embed the video in a player on your site and upload it to your server. When you watch the video using a browser, it downloads the 1000 MB and plays the video.
But what happens when 15 people try to watch your video at the same time? A 1000 MB file gets downloaded to 15 different computers and the server uploads 15 GB of data. Now imagine if 500 (or 1000) people decide to watch your video at the same time. This will make it difficult for the server to respond to every new viewer, causing it to slow down and potentially increase your site’s bounce rate.
Codec Fragmentation Issues
Watching videos online isn’t limited to personal computers only anymore. People access video content on the web using smartphones, tablets, televisions, gaming consoles, and other devices. A different platform means you need to offer support for different types of browsers to accommodate different users.
A few years back, Flash and QuickTime were used to display videos on sites. Ever since Flash got replaced by HTML5, each browser has its own respective codec format. Simply put, different devices use a different video language. As a result, if you upload videos in a single language, then anyone using a browser that speaks a different language won’t be able to recognize it, or in this case, view it. So, if you want to host your own videos, you will have to upload them in different codecs (e.g. WebM, H.264/MPEG-4, Flash).
WordPress allows certain video file extensions by default. Some of these extensions are .MP4, .M4V(MPEG-4), .WMV, .AVI, .MPG, and 3GP. There are also a number of file types that WordPress does not support right out of the box, and it’s better not to use them. However, if you absolutely must, then you can add them to your active theme’s functions.php file.
Now that you have an idea of what to expect if you choose to self-host videos on your WordPress website, let’s take a look at some of the most popular video hosting options with embeddable players that you can use to keep things simple.
5 Best Video Hosting Options With Embeddable Players for WordPress
To ensure that your site doesn’t run into bandwidth issues, using a video hosting platform is the best (and most hassle-free) available option. It’s important to keep in mind that you should opt for a video hosting provider that will meet your long-term video hosting requirements.
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In this section, we’ll put some of the best video hosting providers through their paces and evaluate them based on their interface, usability, speed, features, and pricing plans.
Wistia’s organized interface makes for a clean and crisp layout. With a free account, you can easily get started with this platform and begin uploading videos. Its centralized video options make uploading and customizing videos a breeze. Wistia’s server allows you to quickly upload videos so your site visitors can view them on a desktop browser or other devices.
- Use heat maps and viewing trends to understand user behavior.
- Encoding and device detection makes viewer responsive and accessible.
- Embed and sharing buttons make it easier to add videos to your site.
- Customizing the video player is easy.
- Allows you to enable featured images for the videos.
- Integrates with Hubspot, MailChimp, Pardot, Google Analytics, and WordPress.
- Offers call-to-action and email collector options in the video.
You can choose between two monthly subscription plans. With the free subscription plan, you are able to upload a maximum of 3 videos. With this plan, you also get access to basic level analytics and custom video tools in addition to a branded player. The Pro subscription plan will set you back $99 per month. It offers advanced tools and unbranded, embeddable video players.
If you are looking for a professional video hosting service, then Vidyard is definitely a top contender. It offers powerful marketing tools for increasing your sales through product videos. The interface is incredibly user-friendly and, even with a long list of features, it offers a unique experience. With Vidyard, you can focus on reducing the overall load time to retain customers. The videos upload and play at fast speeds even if you click through different points while it plays.
- Allows you to A/B test video thumbnails.
- Enables you to view the history and engagement span of your viewers.
- Integrates flawlessly with social media.
- Choose from a variety of customizable video players.
- Enables you to filter views based on the player, videos, embeds, country, and emails.
- Immediately send video data to third-party services. This data gets analyzed and can help in increasing sales, communication, and engagement.
- Offers populated lists of contacts for watching specific videos and identifies the interests of the most qualified prospects.
Vidyard offers an ultra-premium plan that can be tailored to fit your requirements. Basically, you pay for what you use. For $1,250 a month ($15,000 a year), you can take advantage of its custom plan. The service is expensive but it’s well worth the features and speed you get.
YouTube is the biggest free video hosting service and offers phenomenal exposure. All of the available video options are organized under Creator Studio and are easy to use. Although the bandwidth speed is fine during low traffic, it goes up significantly during high traffic inflows. That said, this usually isn’t a problem for speedy internet connections. On average, it can take anywhere from two to three hours to get a high-quality video up and running.
- Using basic analytics, you can access total views, views by geographic location, and link referrers.
- Offers social sharing buttons.
- Enables viewers to message, rate, like, and comment on videos.
- Comes with basic video editing components such as annotation, trimming beginning or end, simple filters, and much more.
- Allows live streaming of events.
- Offers unlimited bandwidth.
YouTube is a free video hosting service and the ads displayed on the embeddable video player are a small price to pay for free hosting. Plus, with YouTube’s Partner Program you can earn money from the ads that get displayed on your videos. A free video hosting service that lets you earn money isn’t a bad deal!
Uploading a video is pretty straightforward using Dailymotion. Its intuitive interface allows you to access prominent features with ease. In addition, you can also drag and drop videos in the uploading area, add titles, description tags, and manage privacy settings. And once you’re done with that, you can click on the Publish button and you are good to go. Although high traffic inflows might slow down the uploading times, it never becomes unreasonably slow.
- Offers 4K Ultra HD resolution with 24-30 FPS non-interlaced videos.
- Enables you to sell videos by applying for Open VOD.
- Allows you to upload multiple videos at the same time.
- Offers unlimited bandwidth but the video size should not exceed 2GB or a maximum length of an hour.
- Use Analytics options such as domain and device data, video performance, and much more.
This is a cost-effective service to share videos without a ton of ads or spam. You can also choose to become an official partner of the program, which gives you access to advanced functionality. Dailymotion also lets you earn money from ad revenue and your selling videos.
Vimeo’s user interface has a clean look and feel, which makes it easy to get started. You can access features and information related to the uploaded videos on individual pages. Uploading a 10 MB video takes less than a minute, and buffering one on a modest internet connection takes about 2 seconds. If you jump through different points during a video, it can take around a second on average to buffer.
- Using social media integration, you can easily share videos with your social media following.
- Allows you to password-protect videos that are not ready to share.
- View live graphs and data related to the number of times the complete (or partial) video was viewed.
- Videos are ad-free.
- Offers worldwide distribution options.
- Display videos on specific domains.
- Choose what is displayed at the end of the video, such as related videos or links.
- Offers unlimited bandwidth and there are no limits on the size and duration of the videos.
Using the Basic membership plan, you can upload videos and access thousands of videos uploaded by other members. Its premium plan is a hybrid of a hosting service and a social media site.
With the Vimeo Basic free plan, you can upload up to 500 MB every week – that’s a total of 25 GB a year. This package includes basic privacy settings and statistical tools, along with email support. Vimeo Plus starts at $9.95 a month and allows you to upload 5 GB each week,or up to 250 GB a year. This plan also lets you use advanced privacy and customization options. Vimeo PRO starts at $199 a month, which enables you to upload 20 GB worth of data in a week. You can use special features like VIP support and advanced distribution options using this plan.
By opting for a video hosting provider, you don’t have to worry about storage space, bandwidth, or speed. Instead, you can focus entirely on creating high-quality video content to embed into your WordPress site and share with your viewership.
Which video hosting option are you leaning towards and why? Let us know in the comments section.