AWP: Video Embedding and Hosting


Part of the ongoing Advanced WordPress series. I recap and offer thoughts on topics that arise in the Advanced WordPress Facebook group.

Today’s topic is,

“Youtube vs Vimeo vs some other (free) service to host videos that will be embedded on your site, in terms of site speed. Client also doesn’t like that Youtube videos show related content at the end of the video, but I guess that can be removed. Any tips?”

YouTube:

YouTube is by far the most popular name in video. Their embed options cover the basics without being overwhelming. YouTube is also the king of social and sharing, and since it’s owned by Google, you’re sure to have better SEO than a competitor.

Embedding Options: Basic options include auto playing the video, hiding the controls, endless looping, hiding related videos, and hiding the video title. See the full list.

Pros: Built in audience and potential for viral/social sharing. Great SEO. Basic customization options.

Cons: Advertising. Only offers basic analytic reporting. Stuck with some YouTube branding.

 

Vimeo:

Vimeo is targeted at marketers and artists (ex. short films). There are multiple plans that cover different use-cases. If you’re looking at a commercial/business use, Vimeo’s terms of service require the Vimeo Pro plan..

Embedding Options: Vimeo gives you some decent options to customize the player. In addition to YouTube-esque settings, there are options to toggle the Like, Watch Later, Share and other buttons.

Pros: No video ads. Decent embed customization. A more professional atmosphere (feels more polished and business like).

Cons: Commercial use is not free. Less SEO and social traffic compared to YouTube.

 

Self Hosted:

Hosting it yourself can be a real pain. Unless you’re doing a lot of video, I try and avoid it. But if you must, two basic options include,

Amazon AWS

A combination of S3 (to store) + Elastic Encoder (to convert and encode) + Cloud Front (to serve) gives you everything you need to deliver large quantities of video. Paired with JWPlayer and it’s versatility, you have a pretty nice setup. There’s additional settings in AWS that allow you to control viewing rights, but building out the security from scratch is time consuming.

Standard Web Hosting

The easier solution if you only have a few videos and want to keep things in house. Depending on your hosting, bandwidth and storage space shouldn’t be an issue. The HTML5 video element makes setup simple (for anything IE9+), but each browser has its’ own file format preferences.

I recommend Miro Video Converter to export the WebM, OGV, MP4 versions you’ll need.

 

Other Solutions

Disclaimer: I haven’t personally used any of these on live projects. Content is taken from sources below and the service websites.

Wisita

Comprehensive analytic reporting is the key feature. Heatmaps, calls to action, email collection, viewing trends, etc. If you need a lot of data about how your video is performing, Wisita seems to be the best. Their platform is pay per video view (which could be great, or awful).

Their free plan includes 25 uploads to get started.

 

Vzaar

The top feature I’ve noted about Vzaar is security. They offer domain specific playback, download prevention, and HTTPS. This may be very important to you, as downloading a video from YouTube or Vimeo is very easy.

Their free plan includes 50 uploads to get started.

 

Brightcove

Enterprise solutions for enterprise customers. If you have the budget, Brightcove is solid. They focus beyond video hosting and offer the services a business needs to grow and really harness the potential of video (which is where I’m guessing their profit comes from, Amazon AWS could probably serve the same videos at a cheaper rate).

Free 30 day trial. Pricing unavailable (Google-fu estimates rates starting anywhere from $70 to $500/month).

 

Sources