Visual content has become quite important these days, as it makes it faster and easier for people to comprehend new information. Videos in particular have become the dominant content. This is why, you should consider adding video content to your website if you don’t have any yet.
There are two ways to add a video on your website – to upload it to your hosting account and add it to the site, or to upload it to a video sharing platform and then embed it. We will look at the two options, so you can choose the one that will be more suitable for your site.
As you will notice, we have listed only the advantages of either option, but no disadvantages. The reason is that the advantages of one are usually the disadvantages of the other, so there is no point to list the same things twice.
What does uploading a video mean
Uploading a video means that you will upload the video to your web hosting account (File manager, FTP, web application), and then either add a video player to the site that will play the video, or rely on the visitor’s web browser to play it. Any video you upload to your account will take some space and will count as a file, just like any other file that is a part of your website.
- Privacy. The video will be hosted on the servers of your hosting provider, so you will not share it with a large corporation. Even if you find a small video sharing platform, you will have to rely on them to keep your videos private, and some people feel uneasy about that.
- All site content is in one place. Your text, images, and videos will be managed in one place, so you can easily edit any of them. If you create a backup, it will include everything, so you will have a complete backup no matter what.
- Pretty sharing link. If you want to share only a particular video, you can send a link to it that includes a specific URL of your choice with your domain name. You don’t have to send a link generated by another platform where people will see other related videos, some of which may have been uploaded by your competitors.
- No advertisements. If you upload a video to your website, people will watch only that video and will not see any ads unless you want them to. In comparison, depending on the video content and the location of the visitors, some video sharing platforms will display between one and four video ads before the actual video starts. More ads may be displayed on top of the video as well.
- Downloadable. You can usually download a video from a website, or there may even be a download link in different formats or resolutions. In contrast, video sharing platforms do not allow users to download a video or ask for money for that as a part of a premium plan. If you embed a video that is intended for download, people may have to use a browser extension or a third-party website with questionable reputation to download that video.
How to add an uploaded video?
If you use a platform like WordPress or Joomla, you can simply upload a video to the media gallery and either use the built-in player, or install a video player plugin/extension. If the application you use doesn’t offer such an option, or if you use a custom-made website, you can upload your videos using FTP and then add a video player to your website by adding some HTML code.
You will find a number of players online – both free and paid ones. A few examples of such players are https://plyr.io/, https://videojs.com/ and http://clappr.io/. For any of them, you can get the HTML code, and you can customize various options. Here is one very simple example of the code you need to add a video with Clappr:
Of course, you may have to add some CSS code to make sure the player fits well on your website.
What does embedding a video mean
In short, embedding a video is uploading it to a video sharing platform, and then adding some HTML code to your website so that the video plays from the video platform. The video will be accessible on your website, but it will appear in a frame, and the content of the frame will load from the platform, not from your hosting account.
- Save bandwidth. Your videos will load from the sharing platform, not from your hosting account. This way, you can save a significant amount of traffic, especially from automatic bots that may be loading your videos. Even if a video is in standard quality, it can be significantly large, so if your account has a traffic cap, you can reach it pretty quickly. Even if the traffic is unlimited, though, there is usually some hidden limitation that will prevent you from streaming large videos, not to mention that there may be a file size limit that can prevent you from uploading your videos in the first place.
- Save disk space. You can upload videos of almost any size without any restrictions. You will not be limited by the provider how much space your videos can take, so you can add as many videos as you want. In contrast, hosting providers always have some sort of limit, even if they offer “unlimited” disk space. By embedding your videos, you can use your hosting space only for website files and emails.
- Use any video format. Embedded videos can be played in any web browser and on any operating system, regardless of the video format you have used to upload the video to the sharing platform. Devices use different formats for video recording, so if you use a camera and simply upload the video to your website, it is possible that the player you use does not support this particular format. In such a case, you will have to convert the video using additional software. Even if you do that, however, different browsers may display your videos differently – something you can easily solve if you upload the video to some sharing platform and embed it on your website.
- True streaming is supported. Video streaming requires a lot of system resources. In addition, certain software must be installed on the server. If you use a standard hosting plan with (almost) any hosting provider, it is very likely that your account does not support streaming. Instead, many providers support the so-called progressive download – when users open a page, the video starts being downloaded in the browser. Playback is possible only in the part that has been downloaded, so users cannot click on a random moment of the video. With embedded videos that are hosted on a video sharing platform, users can click on any random moment as these platforms support true streaming.
- Universal video player. Video sharing platforms will make your videos accessible in any web browser and on any platform. You will not have to worry if the videos will load for all site visitors, or just for some. The latter often happens if a player uses a technology that is not supported by some browsers.
- Better quality. There is no file size limit for the videos you add to a video platform to embed, so all your videos will always be available in the best possible quality depending on the Internet connection of your site visitors. People will be able to choose the quality they want to see – from standard to HD, or even UltraHD quality if the video you have uploaded was in very high resolution. You will not have to upload multiple copies of your video with different quality.
- Responsive design. Even if your website is responsive, a video player you have added on it for uploaded videos may not be. Video sharing platforms are fully responsive, so if you embed a video, it will always be displayed in the most suitable size for the particular page it has been embedded on.
- Better site loading speed. If you embed your videos, they will play from the servers of the platform you have selected. Video platforms have multiple servers around the world and their network is designed to offer the best possible loading speed. As videos will not load and play from your own hosting account, the overall loading speed of your website will be much better.
- Additional traffic to your site. Uploading your videos to a video sharing platform and leaving them public means that people may come across them as they browse the platform. If your website is mentioned in the videos, or if you add a link in the video description, you may get some additional traffic to your website.
How to embed a video
The universal way to embed a video is to add some HTML code to your website so that the video from the platform you have selected plays in a frame within your site. Usually, video platforms provide the code you need, so you should only copy and paste it in an HTML block. Some applications make things easier and only require a link to the video, and then do the rest automatically.
Here is a simple code that will allow you to embed a video from YouTube, but it will work for any video from a platform that allows embedding:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oySOxKSp0x4" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Alternatively, you will find a number of online generators that will give you the code you need if you simply paste the link to the video.
If you use our Website builder, you can embed a video from Content -> Apps -> Video. You can add a link to a YouTube or Vimeo video, and our software will do the rest. You can choose different styles for the frame of the video. To add HTML code to embed a video from a different platform, go to Content -> Apps -> Custom HTML Code.
WordPress is another example of an application that makes embedding a video really easy. Using the block editor, you can choose to add a platform-specific block for YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, Animoto, Flickr, and more. If you use a video platform that is not listed, you can simply choose to embed the generic “Video” option and WordPress will add the code required for the video to appear on your site.
For Joomla, you can copy the code provided by the video sharing platform or create the needed code, and then paste it after you select the Insert media icon in the text editor. Other popular extensions may have a built-in option, or you may have to add a module/extension to be able to embed a video.
Adding videos to your website is not a necessity, but they can surely make your site more appealing to visitors. Visual content can really make a difference, so no matter if you have a travel blog, a recipe website or a local news portal, you should consider adding videos. There are two ways to do that if you want the videos to be displayed on the site – to upload them to your account, or to upload them to a video sharing platform and embed them.
Either option has its pros and cons. If you prefer not to share your videos with a third-party company, and if you want to allow people to download them or to watch them without any third-party advertisements, you can upload them to your hosting account and add them on the site using a video player. If you want to save space/bandwidth, to keep the load your site generates low, and to make sure that visitors will be able to view all your videos on any device and with the highest possible quality, then you should use a video sharing platform and embed your videos into your website.