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A question that often comes up from clients who are managing their own sites is “What is the best way to add video to my website?”

While adding video to Wordpress is quite straightforward, and Divi makes it very easy to do, our general recommendation is to embed it from a third party site, like YouTube or Vimeo whenever possible.

There’s a few reasons we recommend this approach:

Video Optimization: Often times when clients send us a video to add to their website its gigantic.  50MB in size, 100MB in size, or even larger.  If you place a video of this size on your website every person who views your site needs to download that entire video.  That may take a long time and chew up their data limit if they’re on a cell phone.

Hosting Account Bandwidth and Storage Space:  It may also impact your web hosting account.  Most accounts have a bandwidth limit – that is an amount of traffic the account is permitted per month.  When the limit is reach the account may be suspended or additional billing may apply.  If you have 1000 people view a 100MB video, thats a lot of bandwidth – about 100 GB.  You also need to store the video in your account, and there is likely a limit on your storage space as well.

What can you do?

Reducing the size of the video isn’t too difficult if you have the software and are familiar with the process (we use Handbrake for reducing video size).  If you’re receiving the video from a studio you can ask them to prepare a web version of it for you.

If you don’t want to worry about that though, you can upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and it will take care of the optimization for you, automatically adjusting the quality of the video based on the viewing conditions/speed of the person watching, and I can’t think of anytime it will send out a 100MB video.

YouTube is a free service, and if you don’t have one already you can create a company channel where all your videos live.  This can provide an additional means for new clients to find your business.  Did you know that 3 billion people search for videos on YouTube each month?

In summary:

The reasons we recommend embedding video from YouTube or similar instead of placing it directly on your website are:

  • you you reduce the effort of optimizing the size of the video
  • you’re not taking up storage space in your hosting account, potentially saving money
  • you’re not consuming bandwidth displaying the videos, also potentially saving money
  • not mentioned above:  YouTube, Vimeo, etc. stay on top of technology changes, so if new video formats come out your videos are automatically adjusted to them (for example, when mobile)
  • most importantly: you may well be giving clients a more satisfying experience on your website.