Looking for a way to host videos on your website? Though you could upload the video directly to the host server, it’s not always the best way to do it. In fact, you’d be better off hosting your videos on a free or paid site and embedding them on your website.
It just works better. It’s faster, more responsive and less demanding on your budget. After all, you’ll have to pay for extra bandwidth if you’re allowing customers to watch videos that are uploaded on your site.
- The problem with hosting your own video
- What to look for in a video host
- Best free video hosting
- Best paid video hosting
How Do I Host Video on My Website?
There are two ways to put videos on your website: embedding and uploading.
When you embed the videos, you’re linking to the video on a different site. All you have to do is copy the video’s URL and paste it on your blog or product page. That’s it.
Customers or visitors can see the player, watch the video and even click on it to go to the site that’s hosting it, such as YouTube. It’s the easiest way to place videos on your site.
The second way to host videos is to upload them yourself. Whether you’re using WordPress or another content management system, you can upload the videos just as you would any image to your site. Though it’s easy to do, it’s not the most efficient or visitor-friendly way to do things.
The Problem With Hosting Your Own Videos
Uploading your own videos may sound like the ideal thing to do, but it’s going to cost you more money in the long run and possibly prevent your visitors from actually watching your videos. Here are five reasons why we think hosting your own videos is a bad idea:
- Server Bandwidth: Your web host provides you with a certain amount of bandwidth to use each month. Videos, especially very long ones, can eat up that bandwidth and bring your site to a crawl even on the best web hosts.
- Slow Loading Times: When you upload your video, it will most likely sit on a single server. Hundreds or even thousands of people may try to view your video at once. However, they’ll have to wait because too many people will be accessing it at the same time and cause it to load slowly or to freeze while playing.
- Storage Limits: Your web host will have a limit to the number of files you can upload. If not, it will at least limit the size of the files. If you have a video that’s 100 MB but the host limits videos to 50 MB, you’re out of luck.
- Different File Formats: Not every browser will play the same video formats. Therefore, if you upload a video to your site, you may have to create several formats to make sure that it works on all the major browsers.
- No Social Sharing: Hosting your own videos takes away the social element of it all. Unless you code in sharing features, only the people who visit your site will see the videos. When you upload your video to a site like YouTube, you will expand its reach and possibly bring more people to your site.
What to Look for in Video Hosting Services
You don’t want to start uploading your videos to the first free or paid hosting site that you find online.
It could set you back later when you find something better and have to move all of your videos to a new host.
Not all video hosting companies are the same. Some offer free services; others want you to pay for specific features. When you start comparing your options, check to see if the host offers:
- Unbranded video players
- Ad-free video hosting
- Analytics tools
- Embed codes
- Thumbnail creation
Some of these features may not be as important to you as others would be, such as unbranded video players. If you decide to host your videos on a site like YouTube, you probably don’t care if the player has a YouTube logo in the corner.
For paid hosting services, you’ll want a player without someone else’s branding. It all depends on what you want and if you’re willing to pay for it. So let’s dive into the best free and paid hosting services for your videos in 2019.
The Best Free Video Hosting Services
When you have videos to share with the world, you may want a free video host to launch your brand. After all, the less money you have to pay upfront for your business, the better. Following are the best free video hosting platforms where you’ll be able to embed your videos on your site without having to pay for extra bandwidth.
YouTube is the most popular video hosting and sharing platform in the world. It has more than a billion users and content creators who make careers out of recording videos. Google owns YouTube, both services offering the most-used search engines online.
When you host your video on YouTube, there’s a chance that millions of people will see it, share it and visit your website depending on how much they like the content. It’s the go-to video platform for bloggers, gamers and even small and large businesses.
- Google displays YouTube videos in the search results.
- It’s easy to embed the videos on your website.
- You can create playlists for your visitors.
- Viewers can share the videos on social media.
- You can implement ads for extra revenue.
- People can steal your videos and upload them to their sites.
- You have to be careful about copyright infringement.
- The recommended video section may lead viewers away from your videos.
You might not know about Vimeo, but it’s widely used and a preferred video host for those who want to stay away from YouTube. It comes with many of the same features as YouTube and has a large community. Videos on Vimeo also show up in Google’s search results, and the analytics tools are second to none.
- Viewers aren’t disrupted by ads.
- It’s a popular video platform for filmmakers and vloggers.
- It has an easy-to-use interface for uploading videos.
- You can easily copy and paste the embed code on your site.
- It has good privacy options.
- It doesn’t compare to YouTube in terms of exposure.
- It requires a monthly fee to access advanced features.
- There’s a limit to the uploads.
Dailymotion is another YouTube competitor and offers very similar features without the need to pay for a monthly subscription. It’s a popular choice for people who want to create a channel for spreading their brand and earning money from their videos. You can link and share videos to social media and edit them easily with the included tools. However, you’ll have to become a verified partner to get the most out of the site.
- You can drag and drop videos and playlists onto the site.
- It allows 96 video uploads each day.
- There’s a free partner account for earning money on your videos.
- You can easily share your videos on social media.
- It offers unlimited storage on all free and paid plans.
- Most advanced features, such as analytics, are only available to Dailymotion Verified Partners.
- The site restricts video playback to two hours per day.
This recommendation might make you pause for a second, but it’s not bad for hosting free videos whether you’re blogging about your site or running a business. Facebook gives you the freedom to upload and host videos right on the platform, allowing you to share them with the embed feature. If you have a large community of followers on Facebook, hosting your videos on the site is a no-brainer. All of your followers can easily see your newest videos and share them with their friends and family.
- You can run your business and host your videos on a free platform.
- Your friends and followers see your videos as soon as you post them.
- You can turn successful videos into Facebook ads.
- It’s easy to upload videos from your computer or phone.
- You can upload videos that are up to 240 minutes in length.
- Your videos aren’t really exposed on Google search results.
- It’s a confined ecosystem.
- Not everyone who will want to watch your videos has a Facebook account.
The Best Paid Video Hosting Sites
We’ve looked at the top free services, now let’s dive into the best paid video hosting services. There are a lot of advantages to paying for video hosting, such as customer support, security and other advanced features such as custom branding. Paid video hosting is the way to go when you want to deliver the best product to your viewers and to have the most control over everything from branding to revenue.
Wistia provides a clean, slick interface with easy-to-use features. Though it offers a free plan, you can only upload three videos. It’s considered one of the best video hosting for businesses by reviewers, and the paid service is where it’s at, giving you total control of your content creation. You don’t have to worry about someone else’s branding, rude spam comments from visitors or recommended videos pulling your visitors away. It’s the premium offering in paid hosting for videos.
- It’s specifically designed for businesses.
- It has several embed options for maximum customization.
- There are no ads in the customized video player.
- It’s focused on business video marketing.
- It offers an advanced video analytics dashboard.
- The first 10 videos are included in the Pro plan, but you have to pay 25 cents per video afterward.
- Videos won’t receive the same kind of exposure as they would on YouTube.
Price: The Pro plan costs $99 per month.
Vidyard is very similar to Wistia and offers paid video hosting plans for businesses. The plans are customizable, allowing you to pick only the features you want. It’s like an a la carte, so you won’t have to pay for what you don’t need. Vidyard is all about increasing the overall value of your videos, from greater conversions to more viewer engagement.
- It supports 4K and 360-degree videos.
- The Starter plan includes 20 videos.
- The player includes interactive calls to action.
- It has a very customizable video player.
- It’s easy to share and embed videos on your site.
- It’s a little costly for new businesses.
- It’s not transparent about enterprise pricing.
Price: Plans start at $150 a month.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (hence the S3) is created for businesses that need a more manageable storage solution. With this service, you can store and retrieve your data from anywhere thanks to the cloud. This data includes videos, giving your business a scalable way to store more and more videos off-site. There’s a free tier for service, but you’ll get more out of S3 if you pay for storage.
- You only pay for what you use.
- There are no minimum fees.
- It’s easy to upload your video, to create a link and to make it public.
- You can get the link to your video and put it into any video player on your site.
- It’s a low-cost alternative to other paid hosting sites.
- It lacks an intuitive user interface.
- It doesn’t include marketing tools to increase views.
Price: S3 Standard Storage starts at $0.023 per GB.
Jetpack is the low-cost alternative to Wistia and Vidyard and the ideal WordPress video hosting platform. It offers a free plan to get you started, but the service starts to come together with the Personal Plan. Some of the features that you receive with the paid plans include automated backups, downtime monitoring and unlimited file hosting. It also includes WordPress themes in the free and paid plans, making it perfect if you use WordPress as your CMS.
- It’s made for WordPress sites that need video hosting.
- There’s no cap on storage with the Professional service plan.
- You can easily host and embed videos on your site.
- It’s ad-free and optimized for WordPress.
- You can customize the player with CSS.
- You have to install a plugin on your WordPress site.
- Jetpack has a bad reputation for slowing down websites.
Price: Paid plans start at just $9 per month.