Should I upload videos directly to my website?

We get this similar question a lot…

  • Can I upload videos to my website?
  • How do I add a video to my website?
  • What’s the best way to add a video to my WordPress site?

The answer?

In short, yes, you can add videos to your website, of course.

But, you should not simply drag/drop it into your media library and try to add it to a page.

The best thing to do? Embed.

Upload the video to a service such as YouTube or Vimeo and then embed the video into your website.

YouTube is the service we suggest because it’s simple/free.

Why shouldn’t you just upload a video to your website?

Server Space / Bandwidth

While this isn’t a big concern if you’re talking about a few small videos; the space requirements for videos can certainly pile up over time as you add more and more. If you’re looking to not max out your hosting account, simply don’t self-host videos.

If your web hosting package is limited by bandwidth, that’s another very good reason Not to self-host your video, as video can easily eat up all of your bandwidth.

Slow / Freezing Videos

If the file is on your web hosting, you’re going to be serving every single visitor the exact same version of the video.

While this may not be an issue if you have someone on a desktop computer with a very fast internet connection, users with slower connections or smaller screens can start to run into issues.

When you upload the video to a service like YouTube or Vimeo, you upload the very highest quality version of the video. The video service then automatically optimizes that video for different devices and internet speeds. When a user starts to load up the video, they automatically give the user the best version of the video. This lets them not just ‘watch’ the video, but gives them an optimal experience.

Video Format Issues

Not all video formats are going to work in all browsers on all devices. Certainly, some video formats are more widely supported than others, but when you self-host the video, you may run into issues where a user cannot watch the video.

Piracy

When you self-host your own videos it makes it a lot easier for someone to simply copy/save your video to their computer.

There’s no perfect solution, you cannot expect someone to never be able to download your content, but hosting the video on your website makes it easier for someone to download.

Still getting stuck? Feel free to contact our dedicated WordPress support team for any further assistance.
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Updated on September 4, 2021