Can My Website Host Videos?

So you are interested in placing a video on your website or blog, but you are unsure of the best way to do it? Assuming you have already handled the video production and prepared the file, you now have some options. Each of the three options has some benefits and drawbacks.

The first option is to upload the video to a YouTube account and then embed the video into your website with the YouTube embed code. Under each YouTube video there is a button labeled embed video. Clicking this button will bring up some options, including the ability to copy the embed HTML code directly. This code should then be placed into the HTML area of your site where you want the video to be displayed. YouTube also has some sizing options below the HMTL code if you’d like to resize your video. Be sure to click on the size you want before copying the code. The default size is 560 by 340 but play with the sizes to see what works best for your site. YouTube has other options that allow you to change the design of the video player so that it matches your site branding, but they are a bit limited.

There are three main benefits to using YouTube to host your video. The first is that YouTube is super easy to use because all it takes is creating an account and uploading the video. The second benefit is that YouTube is free and handles all of the hosting of the video. So you don’t have to worry that you’ll have a gigantic bandwidth bill if your video get’s a million hits. The final benefit to using YouTube is that it is the second largest search engine next to Google so you have more of a chance that your web video is found in YouTube first. This can drive more traffic to your actual site. The drawback of using YouTube is that you have some limitations on design and people may just watch your video in YouTube instead of on your site.

The next option you have to host videos on your website is to use an open-source flash player. An open-source flash player is one that you download off of the internet for free and place into your site code. Then you can use this play to play whichever videos you would like, as long as you have the completed video file. Free downloadable flash players are all over the web but I recommend the player called, Flowplayer. Flash players are easy to manipulate to match your design. Much better than using the YouTube video players. The one issue with using your own player is that you are hosting the video on your servers and must account for bandwidth costs on your own.

The final option is to hire a professional video production company that can create and host your video and player exactly for your website. The is obviously the best option in terms of matching your site branding and design needs. It also gives you unlimited options for video creation and playback. Most web video creation companies can handle any options you may require. The only drawback of using a video creation company is the cost. Basic packages start in the hundreds to just embed your video into your site and can go up in the thousands of dollars if you require help in creating the video. This is the most custom option however and may make sense if the benefits of having a professional video that fits your site perfectly outweigh the cost of creation and placing on-site.

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