Roslyn Zolandor Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : Web Development Online Trends Web 2.0

Should you host your own video or use a video hosting provider?

Roslyn Zolandor Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : Web Development Online Trends Web 2.0

Having video on your website can be a great way to increase your brand exposure and conversation rates.

So what are you options when it comes to putting video on your website?

You have two options either you serve the video directly from your website or you use one of the many video hosting providers such as YouTube to stream your video for you. Another consideration is what is the main objective of the video as one approach is slightly better suited than the other:

  1.  Enhance a users experience and understanding of your product or service or;
  2. Creating brand awareness, launching a new product, creating a community. 

1. Serving your own video

- Advantages

  • Full control over video player: by using Flash/HTML 5 you can have full control over your video players colour, size, ratio and controls. A good example of this is a website we did recently for In City Fashion whereby they have a video for each clothing product. It is a very simple player with just a play/pause, volume and length of video, just what we wanted.


  • Reduced maintenance: Having one place to manage all your content and depending on your CMS no HTML knowledge needed. E.g. to include video on your site your CMS allows you to upload a video using a standard file/upload functionality and you’re done. 

 - Disadvantages

  •  Increase hosting cost: Video files can be large depending on length and quality which in can add to your monthly download allowance and therefore hosting costs.
  •  Video lag: Video may lag due to either the hosting providers bandwidth, server performance and geographical location and/or the users own connection. This can sometimes be fixed/improved by reducing your video quality and length.
  •  Limited exposure: Video can be difficult for a search engine to find/index correctly though Google does offer a Submit Your Video Content service.


 2. Using a video hosting provider

- Advantages

  • Little to no extra cost: Depending on your chosen provider most offer a free service the most popular of these providers being YouTube. Also because the provider is serving the video there is no extra download used on your website.
  • Improved video delivery and quality: Most providers are built to handled servicing thousands of video a minute. This means they can offer video that is High Definition(HD), large file sizes (2GB) and longer (15 mintues).
  • Increased exposure: Having your video on a video sharing site allows your video to be shared, searched and rated by others. You can even create your own video channel where you can feature all your video along with your brand and links back to your own website. A good example of this is Coca Colas YouTube channel.


 - Disadvantages

  • Limited control of video player: With a provider you are limited to what they will allow you to customise. E.g. YouTube allows you to:
- Include related videos
- Show border
- Enable privacy-enhanced mode
- Play in HD
- Use iframe embed code
- Colour combination
- Size

But you can’t control:

- the controls that appear or how they are styled
- YouTube branding
- Limited colour combinations This does differ between providers. E.g. Vimeo gives you slightly different options. 

  • Increased maintenance: Video sharing sites require you upload your video to their servers. This means multiple places to maintain your website content. It also means for each video you have to insert(embed) the video code into the web page. E.g.


Video Hosting Providers

Here are just a few video sharing providers:

 For more see Wiki.