You have two big choices when it comes to embedding video into your WordPress websites: you can use a 3rd party video service like YouTube OR host your video somewhere like Amazon S3 and use a video player plugin like Spider WP Video Player.
Pros and cons of DIY Video Hosting.
The DIY model makes it more difficult for others to embed your video on their website and it may keep someone on your site longer if they are not tempted by YouTube to look at another video. The biggest problem with the DIY model is troubleshooting problems with the video playing not working correctly on all the different browser options available.
Pros & Cons of YouTube video Hosting
YouTube has many advantages including:
- Ease of use
- Lots of “eyeballs” i.e., people already on YouTube
- YouTube videos show up in search engine results
- The opportunity to reach a new audience
- Price (you can’t beat FREE)
- No bandwidth restrictions
- It works on tons of devices,
- And looks great EVERYWHERE.
Unfortunately, if you have a YouTube video embedded on your website and your potential customer clicks the “view on YouTube” button then they will leave your site and may or may not come back. One click and they could be gone forever!
Also others can download the video and/or copy your video link and embed it on their own website. If you don’t care, fine. However, if you are creating training videos you want people to pay you to watch. Having your videos on a public YouTube channel defeats your purpose.
Remember YouTube’s job is NOT to give you a free player, it’s to collect and retain as many viewers as possible for themselves.
Another small irritant with YouTube is that you can’t customize the way the video player looks on your website.
A Hybrid Solution
FWDesign has a highly rated plugin available for $20 via the Envato Market called the Ultimate Video Player.
This player is packed with tons of features like responsive layout, shortcode generator, multiple playlists (including YouTube playlists!), external API, optional deeplinking, flexible skin, embed and share, and social media share options.
Pros & Cons of Vimeo
The best part of paid hosting services like Vimeo is your beautiful video is free of those irritating ads Google serves up. While Vimeo has a free version it’s fairly limited. The “Plus” version is $10 a month/$60 a year and their “Pro” version is $199 a year. Like YouTube, it works everywhere and the HD quality is great. With Vimeo’s domain-level privacy option you can prevent embedding on other sites. You get customer support with both of their paid versions and with their pro version you can add you logo to the video player.
Pros & Cons of Wistia
Wistia is definitely a high-end video hosting service, and probably better suited for larger firms. They have a free version, but their “Business” plan ($100 per/month) includes several cool marketing tools like clickable-call-to-action and email opt-in forms. The in-depth analytics include a heatmap which shows exactly which parts of the video your viewer watched, skipped, and rewatched.
If you are interested in learning more about video production check out the FREE training videos on their website!
I hope you found this brief summary helpful. There are other paid and free video hosting services out there, but these are my favorites and this is my blog, so there you go.
The bottom line is choose an option that fits the functionality you need and remember you are not limited to one option!
Also published on Medium.