We are often asked whether videos for your website should be uploaded and hosted on your own website and server or if they should be uploaded to a social website such as YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook and then embedded. As with anything on the web, there isn’t a straightforward answer - however we’ve tried to help by outlining the the advantages of each below.
- You own the data - The video is hosted on your site, therefore the video data is 100% yours. No one can get your video banned or reported. It’s also harder for the average user to download your video.
- More direct traffic - If someone wants to share the video, the only place it exists is on your site - this means all the traffic to watch the video will be directed to your site
- Control over the design - If your video is self-hosted, it means you get 100% control over how the player looks. This means no third-party watermarks.
- No distractions - It’s all too easy to click through to a video on Youtube and, once that has finished, end up watching videos about a dog that can’t catch food. If the video is on your own site, the user can’t get distracted and can continue to consume your content.
- No adverts - Video hosting websites are renowned for making the user wait for the content, but having it hosted yourself means people can dive straight in.
Third Party Hosting
- No worrying about bandwidth usage - Every time someone watches a video, it uses up bandwidth which could be a problem if yours is limited.
- Small file size - Video uploading and hosting tends to be all these services do so they are excellent at compressing the file to a much smaller size, making the page load lighter and quicker.
- Device optimisation - Different devices and browsers require different file formats. Third party services are capable of converting and serving the file required.
- Easy to use - Third party websites make uploading and embedding a video very easy, whereas self hosting requires some coding skills, or your CMS to allow you to upload your video directly.
- Social traffic - As easy as it is for your user to get distracted after watching your video, the same can happen for others stumbling upon yours while searching for a competitor.
- Simple player - Most third party vendors allow some customisation over their embedded players. This includes removing most branding and altering colours to match your website theme.
- Annotations - It’s quicker and easier to add annotations and comments to your videos on a dedicated platform, especially if it’s an afterthought.
As you can see, there are many benefits to either solution and there isn’t a magical answer as to where you host your video. Ultimately, it entirely depends on your situation and requirements. I hope this post has helped clarify which option is best for you.