Videos capture your visitor’s attention a lot faster than written material. They are more engaging and have a higher chance of going viral than other types of content. This is why most savvy marketers, as well as regular folks, use videos on their websites.
Thanks to the popularity of smartphones, now anybody can create a video. But where do you host these videos? Should you use your website hosting to store them?
It is not a good idea to use website hosting to store your videos as they eat up a lot of bandwidth and become costly very quickly.
There are two ways to host video content.
The free method
You can host your videos for free on YouTube, the world’s biggest video platform. Once you upload the video to the site, they will format it to make it cross-platform compatible and viola, it is ready to be viewed by anyone. YouTube also gives you access to basic analytics to help you figure out how many views you’ve got, where your audience is coming from, etc. You can also make your videos private, allow or disallow embedding and exercise other controls.
If you want to show the videos on your site, add them to YouTube, and embed it your site and you’ve got the cheapest way to host your videos.
Alternatively, you can use Vimeo, another video platform. Vimeo has a limit on how much video you can store per week, but no bandwidth limitations. They are also ad-free. But since it is not as popular as YouTube, you may not get many visitors from their platform.
The paid option
There are several paid options available if you want better control over your videos. Vimeo Pro is a subscription service that gives you better analytics and control over your videos. You can even password protect or restrict your videos to show up on certain sites. This is very useful if you run a membership site.
Another alternative is to use Amazon’s S3 buckets to store your videos. You can encrypt the videos and make them available only when using a specific key and use a video player to show the videos on your site. Amazon has a service that can convert your videos to make it playable across different platforms. Mix this with their CDN and you have a well-protected and nifty service. But all of these are paid services, so be mindful of how much it will cost you at the end of the month. Almost all Amazon services are pay as you go and have very reasonable charges.
You can also opt for a professional service like Wistia or Brightcove if you use videos for business purposes. Both of these services offer lightning fast delivery of video content and detailed analytics support. This is a better option if you need a professional setup with minimal interruptions. Plus you don’t need to worry about community guidelines or other things that come with the free platform.