A major key to success on the Internet, particularly the mobile Internet, is User Experience (UX). We also know that the wheel doesn't need to be reinvented every day.
Embedded audio and video are part of user experience, but that doesn’t mean you need to be hosting them yourself. There are more video hosting services than you could count with all your fingers and toes, why not let them do the work? Below are 5 reasons why the IT consulting experts at Savvior’s Pittsburgh office recommend using services such as Youtube and Vimeo rather than hosting your own video content.
1. Server Bandwidth and Storage
High Definition and Ultra-High Definition (4K) video take up massive amounts of storage space -- and anything less than HD might as well not exist. Thirty seconds of 1080p playback alone can use more than 200 megabytes of storage! That typically works out to be more than a website's HTML and Images combined.
It takes a very high-end connection to the Internet (or multiple connections) to deliver this video to viewers at a speed that makes the video instantly watchable. Videos with frustrating buffer times, choppy streaming and poor video quality will start to chip away at UX, which then chips away at website traffic and -- eventually -- business success. The IT consulting experts in Pittsburgh recommend you avoid putting your website through this unnecessary burden.
2. There is No Single Video Format that Satisfies All Web Browsers
The wonderful folks at Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple, and Google have all done a wonderful job making their respective browsers capable of audio and video playback, but unfortunately they can't agree on what format is the best.
You could upload and embed your MP4 or MOV file and embed it within your website, but that will most likely only satisfy a hypothetical 34% of the users visiting that page. In order to ensure the video can be viewed by the highest percentage of visitors possible, there are a minimum of three different video formats that must be created and uploaded. Think back to that whopping 200 megabytes of storage it took to host a single video. Triple that, and you’re somewhere near what you’ll need to be doing to host your own video content. Proper video hosting will only drag your sight down and reduce UX.
3. Increased SEO Presence
SEO -- for those unfamiliar -- stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s king when it comes to your business’ online presence. It’s the 21st century; if someone has to click the second page of a Google search to find your webpage, you might as well not even be there. SEO is all about getting you to the tippy top of that search result list, and using popular sites like Vimeo and Youtube can help you get there.
Youtube is the most popular video hosting platform in the world. People around the globe flock to the site for product reviews, tutorials, entertainment, videos of slime, everything! Uploading your content as publicly indexed videos can only increase a company's visibility and reach. This applies to other services such as Vimeo as well.
These services even let the content creator set a custom title, description, and category tags to help ensure that it will appear in relevant search results.
Also -- since they're owned by Google -- Google includes Youtube video results within search results.
Subscribers, views, likes, and comments come free and standard from Youtube, Vimeo, and other services. These turn into crunchable numbers for the ROI on a marketing investment. They also make for valuable feedback on a product, webinar, or announcement. There are also subscription-based video hosting services that offer even more comprehensive analytics.
Hosting your video content on your page gives you none of this without putting the work in yourself. Here, with Youtube and the rest, you have a free personal marketing analytics team. It doesn’t take IT consulting experts from Pittsburgh to tell you free analytics are the way to go.
5. Interoperability (Youtube and Vimeo)
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter both allow for Youtube and Vimeo videos that are included in a users' posts to be opened in an inline fashion. The users don't even need to open a new browser tab or window, or leave a mobile application, to view the linked video. This means easier video access, better UX, broader reach and appeal -- all of these things add up to your business having a better, faster and stronger online presence than it would had you hosted your video content yourself.
We here at Savvior have been in the business of building solutions for our clients for nearly two decades. If none of the recommended services fit what a client is looking for, then we will either find one that does or discuss what a customized solution would entail.
Youtube has always been our primary suggestion for video hosting -- with Vimeo following closely behind. Youtube may not be brandable experience, but the potential exposure they can generate a company is invaluable. Both of these services also feature closed captioning for videos to assist deaf, hard of hearing or headphone/microphone impared users. All of this only helps to build UX and your business’ success. Our own products -- such as SavviCMS -- have been optimized to work in a user-friendly fashion with Youtube.
For brandable, ad-free UX, we recommend Vimeo Plus, or alternatively Wistia and vzaar. These offer advanced integration with native iOS and Android applications, marketing tools, and can integrate with other services such as Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and more.
For customized experience or specialized integration, we tend to lean towards Amazon Web Services (S3) for video hosting, with a video player developed in-house at Savvior.
The bottom line
As our IT consulting experts in Pittsburgh have said: hosting your own videos has the potential to both be more expensive and negatively impact UX. In turn, this can lower your traffic and exposure and reduces ROI. For these reasons and more, we strongly suggest using a video hosting service rather than a customized solution.