To Use Self-Hosted Video, or Third-Party Video? That Is the Question

As any blogger or small-business owner knows, one of the most important things that you can do with your website is to provide visitors with valuable content that is both enjoyable and understandable.

Video marketing is a compelling way to achieve this. You can use video to promote services, create tutorials, tell success stories, and further engage with your fans.

So, what is the best way to manage video content? You have two options: upload your video to your own site, or embed it from a third-party video service like YouTube or Vimeo.

Self-hosting video means uploading it directly to your WordPress.com library and inserting it into your page. Alternatively, when you use a third-party service, you upload a video to that service’s page, and then embed it onto your site using code (which is typically provided by the third-party itself) that you can copy and paste into your editor on WordPress.com.

Which option should you choose? It really depends on your personal preferences and business needs. Below is an overview of the pros and cons of each option so that you can decide which approach is more suitable for your website.

The benefits of self-hosted video

One of the primary benefits of hosting your video on your own site is having full control over your content. This means that you don’t have to worry about another platform’s terms of service. Self-hosting also prevents advertisements from playing at the beginning of your videos. You’ll provide viewers with a clean interface, free of a third-party’s logo or formatting.

By uploading your videos, you will also avoid the suggested content that is displayed at the end of most YouTube videos. This translates into better user experiences for your audience, as they won’t be inundated with an overwhelming amount of similar content.

Likewise, you can use your video content to help meet your long-term goals — not those of a third-party platform. While third parties attempt to guide users to their websites with other suggested videos, you will keep viewers on your own page, encouraging them to spend more time exploring the content across your entire site.

Your website will directly benefit from the sharing that video content encourages. WordPress.com’s video-hosting service provides viewers with a way to share videos, which inspires them to spread your content across their own social media pages, drawing more eyes to it.

People love interacting with videos — as HubSpot reports, 43 percent of people want to see more online video content, and a large portion of that video content is shared across social media platforms. Making your own content shareable will help increase your site’s reach and draw in new fans.

Choosing a third-party service

With billions of hosted videos out there, sites like YouTube and Vimeo are popular video-hosting platforms. This is primarily due to their cheap and user-friendly options for hosting and maintaining videos — requiring almost no technical knowledge.

Additionally, there are certain categories of blogs and businesses for which a maximum number of video views are the ultimate goal. If your end-goal is to grow a subscriber base for your cooking vlog with viral videos, you’ll want to reach the widest online audience possible. This requires hosting your videos on a popular platform like YouTube, and linking them back to your WordPress.com website.

Not too long ago, powerful servers and technical skills were required to host your own video content. This made third-party hosts the easiest route for most site owners to take. Nowadays, platforms like WordPress.com offer built-in tools for video hosting, offering users a reliable alternative to third parties.

How to upload videos on WordPress.com

If you want to host videos on your WordPress.com site, you can use VideoPress, the hosting solution that offers full HD support, a user-friendly interface, and complete control over your content.

VideoPress comes with any WordPress.com Premium or Business plan. If you have one of these plans, VideoPress is automatically available in your media uploader. Click on the Add Media button in your editor, and select Add New to upload your video. Once the upload is completed, click Insert to add the video to your post or page.

The right choice for you

Video can be a great way to take your site’s content to the next level; however, before you start creating video content, decide how to host it. If you want to reach a wider audience without too much effort, or if you don’t have the budget for a Premium or Business plan, YouTube or a third-party platform is likely the right choice.

If you want to use video to increase engagement with your visitors while retaining full control over your content, uploading videos to your own site is the way to go.