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Self Hosting Video vs YouTube

Where do you host your awesome demo video once is produced?

Some clients prefer to self host it to be able to have more control over the viewing experience.
The main argument to not host on YouTube is that when you embed a YouTube video on your site you see related videos at the end of your video which can divert traffic away from your site.

Considering how hard is to get anyone to watch your video in the first place many clients don't want to use any video hosting option that may send those viewers elsewhere.

Hosting on YouTube is then replaced by the second free option which is hosting on ones's own server.
However, unless you are well versed in the ins and outs of video self hosting I recommend you stay away from it.

When you host your own videos you suddenly are trying to compete with the performance and compatibility of a multibillion dollar platform such as YouTube.
You'll have to ensure your video is HTML5 friendly and that plays back fine on all browsers and mobile devices.
This will mean you'll need to encode your video on several formats like .mp4, .WebM or.OGV and test all those formats across all possible browsers.

Due to the bandwidth limitations of the typical shared web host, your video will load slower than if served by YouTube's robust content delivery network (CDN) with servers spread all around the globe.

Additionally, you'll lack all the free analytics provided by YouTube provides missing out on valuable information about how your viewers are engaged with your video.

Ok, so hosting on YouTube is better than self-hosting, but how do you get rid of the related videos and the YouTube branding on the player?

Keep reading my friend..

Removing Related videos and Branding in YouTube

To remove related videos at the end of the video when using YouTube just add parameter “&rel=0″ to the end of the YouTube Url.
You can also remove the YouTube branding by adding first parameter “?modestbranding=0″.

Using an “<iframe>” tag for embedding the video the HTML code would look like this:

“<iframe width=”536″ height=”302″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/6teBPUgz4Y8?modestbranding=1&rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”

The  ”<iframe>”  tag takes care of all HTML5 compatibility automatically too so it will play fine on all browsers and mobile devices.

If you have a bit of budget I recommend hosting on Vimeo, Wistia, or VidYard more maximum experience control. All those three hosting services cost money but come with many interesting features like player customization, in depth analytics, call to actions, and much more!

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  • Domingo

    I’ve used also Amazon Web Services’ cloudfront flash streaming, but you need to convert your video locally to flv before uploading to AWS. Also is not compatible with IOS devices. Just two cents.

    • Thanks for sharing Domingo

    • Akrur Nandi

      Have you tried JW Player or EasyFLV? I believe both of them supports the smart devices. Both being self hosted. Ofcourse every software has it’s own set of pros and cons.

  • Great post, I hadn’t heard of VidYard before, although they do look rather expensive but I like the call to action feature.

    Have you seen Sandwich Video’s Youtube player? That’s the best Youtube player I’ve seen so far and I’d love to know how they did that.

  • Great post! I hadn’t heard of VidYard before. They do seem rather expensive though, but I like the call to action feature.

    Have you seen Sandwich Video’s Youtube player? That’s the best looking Youtube player I’ve come across so far and I’d love to know how they did that.

    • There are many alternatives available to self-hosting. The main purpose of this article is to deter clients from self-hosting their videos and leverage the infrastructure of services specialized in video hosting instead.

  • Robert Ardell

    Oculu.com is also a great bang for the buck at $19. a month and uses Akamia and EdgeCast for it’s CDN and has a great little HTML5 player.

    • Thanks for sharing Robert, I’d never heard of Oculu and seems like an affordable alternative to self-hosting too.

  • A. Levin

    “This will mean you’ll need to encode your video on several formats like
    .mp4, .WebM or.OGV and test all those formats across all possible
    browsers.”
    You can try for example easyhtml5vide.com – it does that encoding for all browsers and devices .