If you’re reading this, you either use video on your website or are thinking about it. Either way, you want to know which hosting solution is the best for your situation.
What’s the problem with video hosting?
Video files tend to large so using a standard hosting package and hosting the file directly on your website means your bandwidth and storage space will be used up pretty quickly.
This decreases page loading speed which directly affects your website organic ranking in search engines.
The solution is to use a dedicated video host who provides an embed code for you to paste onto your website wherever it’s needed.
Is video hosting worth the money?
We all know that having videos as part of a website gives the visitors a better experience. It’s also beneficial to the company brand and any message you’re trying to put across. It, therefore, makes sense to increase the benefits to your company by using a hosting plan specifically designed for video.
If you aren’t already convinced, SocialMediaToday.com states that using video on a website increases web traffic by 41%. Just imagine the number of conversions that will produce.
So, where do we go from here?
How do I choose the correct platform?
Videos are extremely greedy when it comes to bandwidth, file storage and CPU time. So, to host videos properly you need a provider with huge resources available for your use.
Choose a host with cloud servers, VPS and dedicated server packages that allocate large resources to your data. You should also look at hosts that offer video CDN (Content Distribution Network).
You’ll find there are many different providers out there some are free to use while others cost hundreds of dollars a month to subscribe. The type you choose will ultimately depend on the purpose for which the video is to be used. Remember that if you use a free video host such as Youtube the host makes money by inserting adverts. Paid subscriptions, therefore, may be better for hosting business videos where you want to keep viewers on your site to make a purchase. After all, one of Youtube’s adverts might be paid for by a competitor!
What video hosting platforms are available?
Once you know what your pre-recorded video is going to be, you can then start looking for suitable hosting platforms.
No prizes for guessing that this is the most popular video hosting platform around. Its monthly viewing figures are about 1.5 billion active users. It’s used for just about everything from DIY tutorials to privately released music to Vlogging entrepreneurs. Just listen to a few of its benefits:
- Youtube is the second largest search engine next to Google, so if you have properly optimized videos, you’ll have huge SEO value.
- Embedding YouTube videos into your website is really easy.
- Create playlists of your other videos to help your viewers find them easily.
- Easily shared with social media platforms.
- Make extra revenue through the YouTube ads platform.
- Free hosting for creators and viewers.
This platform looks more professional than YouTube. Although you can’t upload as much content as you can with YouTube, there are far better analytics and customization resources. And, for those that want it, there’s more of a community too.
- If you’ve got a paid account, you can upload unlimited video length. This is great for online conferences, seminars, and courses.
- Vimeo has higher quality video playback than some other platforms especially if you want to view on large screens inside offices, lecture halls or schools.
- No adverts and no pop-ups.
- Vimeo has a dashboard tool for advanced analytic resources.
- Accounts start at $7 per month.
Online entrepreneurs and content creators like this platform as it’s specifically designed for business owners. It has relatively high subscription rates but it’s one of the best options available.
- It produces really detailed analytics. With heat maps, video engagement metrics and many more analytic resources, Wistia is probably better than any other hosting platform for this.
- You can adjust the display dimensions to make it easier to view your website from mobile devices as well as desktops.
- Opportunity to password protect videos.
- It can include keywords in the video descriptions and titles for SEO purposes.
- Free account for less than 3 videos, otherwise $99 per month for 10 videos.
This platform is also specifically designed for businesses and in fact, is a top choice for some high achieving companies. The servers are optimized for speed and for advanced live streaming.
- Used by some of the world’s top companies.
- Initially, use the 30-day free trial to test it yourself.
- Customize the hosting and it supports plug-ins.
- Brightcove uses servers around the world to provide smooth service 24 hours a day.
- Very powerful customer support team.
- Contact the sales team for customized plans after using the free trial.
How will your viewers interact?
Let’s think this through, if you have a pre-recorded video, viewers can watch it at any time that’s convenient. If it’s live video, then the viewers can interact with each other. They might even be able to communicate with the person hosting the show. These factors will also influence the hosting platform.
Brightcove offers live video streaming as does YouTube Live and Facebook Live. If you don’t want adverts however, choose a company like Dacast whose prices start at $20 a month for a Starter plan all the way up to their Premium plan at $390 a month.
How much will it cost?
Putting aside the cost of hosting for now, you can start using video with almost no budget at all. It’s important to have a professional-looking production, so your viewers are satisfied you know what you’re doing. However, many video creators get great results with something as simple as a smartphone, so expensive equipment isn’t really necessary.
Eventually, when you’ve made a few videos and you’ve proven that your website traffic has increased, you can then invest in a decent camera, good microphone, and proper lighting. Not before!
Hosting prices, however, can range from nothing (if you’re prepared to put up with adverts) and then go from about $100 per month upwards. The actual cost depends on the amount of usage, what features are needed, and the size of the company. There are also enterprise-level plans that come with a one-off startup fee, usually around $2000 followed by a monthly subscription. You will probably find that most providers won’t disclose their prices unless you actually get in touch and state your requirements.
Finally, after reading the information here, you’ll see that the bottom line depends on whether you want to have a business-like approach to your videos or whether you’re happy to put up with adverts, possibly from competitors.
You must also decide what resources you require and whether you intend having a chat and comment facilities. This also ties into whether the video will be prerecorded and available for viewing at any time or whether you use live streaming.
There is a vast array of different resources available for video hosting. It’s up to you to decide what you want and choose the correct provider to supply your requirements.
Don’t just take my word for it, do some research. Treat the problem just like any other important business decision. Do your homework and implement the plan. It will be worth it in the long run.