Adding Video to your Website

Often when creating a new website, I’m asked about the ability to include video in a website. I’m happy to say that this is actually really easy, much easier than the non-technical person realizes. There are a few ways to make it happen.

  1. Embed from a third party site (like YouTube, Vimeo, etc)
  2. Upload right into your site

For almost all situations, I strongly recommend using a third party video service for your videos, and I have a few reasons why. First, it saves space and bandwidth on your server. When you upload a video right into your site, it takes up space (possibly a lot depending on how big your video is) and it uses up bandwidth. If you have a shared hosting account, video views could eat up your bandwidth quickly.

Another good reason for your business to post videos on YouTube is because it’s an easy way to make use of the biggest social media platform. People often don’t realize that YouTube is actually a social media platform. If you are going to be creating and posting videos, use YouTube to increase your social media presence by first uploading to YouTube.

Finally, it’s just easier to share your videos from a third party service than to upload and post them on your own. You get choices for choosing thumbnails and editing your title, description and other settings.

How to Add Videos to Your WordPress Post or Page

This is so much easier than you realize. You simply can and paste the URL of your video right into the visual editor in WordPress and it will magically embed your video. I just paste the link and tada! my video is embedded right into my post.

This works with both Vimeo and YouTube. I paste in my Vimeo link and my video pops up.

Should you use Vimeo or YouTube?

This is a personal choice and there are a lot of opinions on this. Personally, I think whatever is easiest for you to manage is the one you should use.

A few reasons to choose Vimeo

  • Vimeo is often viewed as more prestigious.
  • It’s simple to use.
  • There are no ads, even at the free level.
  • You can password protect videos.
  • Really good video quality.

A few reasons to choose YouTube

  • It’s the biggest social media and has many more users.
  • It’s simple to use.
  • You can create unlisted videos, which are hidden from search but available via link.
  • YouTube is the second biggest search engine and it’s owned by Google – using YouTube has SEO benefits.
  • Offers more video editing options.

With Vimeo Basic (the free level), you are limited to uploading 500MB of video each week. There are no limitations on YouTube uploads. If you plan to upload more than one video a week, you may have to pay for the account.

YouTube has over a billion users and Vimeo has a much smaller community. This can be good and bad. Your video has much more competition in terms of general search, but much more mature viewers in Vimeo.

Why not use both?

Great question! WHY NOT? Load your videos onto both platforms to reap the SEO benefits of YouTube and the embed benefits of Vimeo.

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Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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