Videos have become the most popular form of content in the last few years. A majority of the internet bandwidth around the world is now consumed by video. It is more engaging, can convey more information and be more persuasive than a block of text. So, it is always good to have some video content on your site, along with written material. But owing to the size of the videos, and bandwidth issues, hosting them needs more attention than a static page filled with text.
Hosting a video is not like the regular website hosting. It is best done by either using a video hosting service like YouTube or if you plan to use it for business and marketing, a professional video solution.
If your videos are primarily related to friends and family and have little commercial value, YouTube is the best place to host your videos. They reformat your videos, making it lightweight and compatible across multiple platforms. And it won’t cost you any money.
If your content is good, and you send some traffic to the videos, it may be ranked higher and get more visitors from YouTube recommendations. And if you generate a sizable number of viewers, you can join their partnership program and make money from ads displayed during the video play.
Another option would be to use an ad-free platform like Vimeo. Their basic plan gives you a 500 MB per week limit and there is no bandwidth limitation. They give you access to basic analytics and format your videos cross-platform compatibility.
If you are using videos for Video Sales Letters, or if you need advanced analytics, CTA buttons A/VB testing etc, it is better to go for a paid option like Wistia. You can take a test drive of their system before committing to a plan. Their free plan gives you 200 GB bandwidth and 25 video limit. The paid options will give you an unbranded player, analytics like heatmapping, engagement graphs etc. Integration with MailChimp, WordPress and other tools is a breeze.
This is an ideal way to set up commercial video hosting. Vimeo also offers a paid service called Vimeo Pro. using this service, you can restrict video to a certain audience. This is very useful if you run a membership site. You get unlimited bandwidth, priority upload and conversion and advanced analytics.
The biggest advantage of using a professional service is that streaming is faster through their CDN than a website hosting. So even a HD video can be streamed effortlessly and without worrying about escalating bandwidth costs.
If you are a techie, Amazon web services offer multiple systems that can be used together to create your own video hosting system. But it is cumbersome and has too many moving parts to be used regularly. It is better to use a good video hosting site rather than a DIY setup using Amazon Web services. If you want to test drive the whole video hosting, you can always start for free with YouTube.