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Why You Should Never Upload a Video to WordPress

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Why You Should Never Upload a Video to WordPress

Images, audio, and video make the web rich. Adding videos to your website certainly adds value to your content and increases the likelihood that your audiences would react to it. However, you would notice that most people using WordPress prefer to use a third-party video sharing service such as YouTube or Vimeo to upload their videos. One of our users asked us, if they can upload videos on their WordPress site. The answer is yes, but we don’t recommend you to do that. In this article, we will tell you why you should never upload a video to WordPress.

Upload vs. Embed (There is a Difference)

Before we tell you why you should never upload or host videos in WordPress, let us make sure that everyone understands that there is a difference between upload vs. embed.

Uploading or Hosting a video means that you will upload videos on your site like you would upload images on your site. This is the part that we are recommending against.

Embedding a video means that you upload a video on a third party site like Youtube, and then you can easily embed it in your blog posts. We strongly recommend folks to embed videos whenever they can.

Easy Sharing

Embedding a video in WordPress is easier. You can share a video uploaded on YouTube or other video sharing sites by just pasting the URL in your blog posts. It is also easier to manage a channel on YouTube. On the other hand it is not so simple in WordPress to create a video section separately from your images and other uploads. You can take your video uploaded on YouTube to social media and reach out to a wider audience. By uploading your video on YouTube and other video sharing sites, you make it easier for your viewers to share your video. One of our other website has over 11 million video views on Youtube.


Uploading videos to your website will cost you bandwidth. Higher quality videos cost more bandwidth. If you allow users to embed it on their own websites, then the bandwidth gets multiplied each time the video is embedded else where. You will probably also have to add more plugins to manage and display your videos. These plugins will also increase your server load. If you are on shared web hosting, then chances are that your host will suspend your website and temporarily take it down.

Visibility and Traffic

According to Alexa rankings, YouTube is currently the world’s second most used search engine and the third most visited website. This alone compels many website owners to upload their videos to YouTube. Uploading a video on YouTube can bring more viewers than uploading it on your own website. Social networking features of YouTube and other video sharing websites can trigger viral popularity of your videos.

Video Quality Optimization

When you upload a video on sites like YouTube or Vimeo, they process each video for a better web experience. Viewers can choose whether they would like to watch your video in HD or on lower resolutions. Also these websites attempt to automatically detect a user’s internet connection and device type to play the video in a quality that is best for the viewer. If you upload your video on WordPress, then you are missing out on those optimizations and your video will display as it is, costing you more bandwidth and destroying user experience.

We hope that this article answered the question on why you should never upload or host a video on WordPress. If you have anything to add or have any questions, then feel free to leave a comment below.

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. Jeddyson chukwuma says:

    Thanks for the article, its kinda great,good bro

  2. Sarah says:

    Any suggestions on how to deal with the excessive load the the YouTube player causes on pageload time? It seems to add a huge overhead on, for instance
    I’ve been embedding videos for the reasons you suggest, but the youtube viewer seems to take an age to load too!

  3. Jos Schuurmans says:

    Hi and thanks, this is useful.

    My customer’s concern with uploading their video to YouTube is that at the end of the playback, the embedded screen will show thumbnails with links to other YouTube videos, distracting visitors and potentially drawing them away from the website.

    Fixing that would be a selling point for using YouTube to embed video, so I think it’s worth mentioning. I found at least one way to remove those related video links here:

    Is that all fine or is there anything else to take into account?


  4. Douglas Pratt says:

    The first thing you should have made clear is that you are talking about self-hosting a WordPress site on Bluehost or Dreamhost, et. al., as implied at the banner link, “Start your WordPress Blog in minutes.”

    Second, the problem with using a video hosting service is you are limited in what can be posted. If there is any doubt at all about copyright, for example, a video can be pulled and your account might even be shut down.

    Another option is to use Amazon Web Services. A basic S3 account is all you need, and it will cost extra, above and beyond whatever you pay for a Web hosting service, but unless you have an extremely busy blog — very unlikely for beginners — the expense will be nominal. Assuming the videos are MP4, making them compatible with HTML 5, a WordPress plugin for embedding video isn’t needed:

    • Got a question says:

      Hi I have a new blog. I used cloudup to embed a video into wordpress. I can view it on samsung phone, samsung tab, microsoft desktop computer, but my friends with iphones cant see videos.
      Do you have any solutions.
      Kind regards

  5. Duncan Pattinson says:

    Many thanks for this article. Just saved my bacon as we were about to upload video onto a website when it should have been an embed.

  6. Asad Ali says:


    Thanks for the article.

    I have one quick question: Which plugin would you recomment to embed videos on wordpress websites that can use a fallback mechanism? i.e., if a video is unavailable on one host e.g.,Vimeo, it should load the video from another source i.e., Youtube?and so on…

  7. Doug says:

    Thank you for clearly explaining the difference between upload vs embed. It’s helpful! Is there ever a good reason to upload?

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      In some cases, like when you are concerned about privacy and usage rights of your video content. But in most scenarios it is always better to use a video embed service like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Vine, etc.

  8. Emily Gowen says:

    Why Can’t free accounts have Video Press? I am using word press for a class and would like to put some music on my website, but can’t because Video Press isn’t part of the free plan, and I can’t afford the premium plan.

  9. Jenifer Disusa says:

    Hello to all.
    The above is very useful but I mean to add few more points for why not to upload video and rather to embed it.

    1. File Size Limits and Storage Space:

    Most web hosting providers limit the maximum size of uploaded files to 50 MB or less, prohibiting you from uploading video files that are longer than a few minutes or so in duration. Additionally, large media files may violate the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy with your hosting provider and result in your hosting account being shut down.

    If you’re able to upload large video files to your server on a frequent basis, you could eventually exceed the amount of storage space provided by your hosting account, especially if you regularly back up your site.

    2. Slow-Loading Video or Unexpected Pauses During Playback:

    If your video file resides on a single server with a limited amount of bandwidth, folks who attempt to watch your video may experience unexpected pauses during playback while their computer waits for the file to download or stream to their computer.

    3. Hope you like converting videos. A lot.:

    You’ll will want to deliver a large, HD-quality file so the users can watch it full-screen if they so choose. Generally, this means a 1080p or 720p file at a high streaming bitrate (5000 – 8000 kbps).
    But you’ll also want to encode a smaller, lower-resolution version for delivery to mobile devices like phones and tablets, as well as for slower Internet connections.

    Now you’ve got half a dozen or more individual video files for playback on all the major web browsers and devices. But how does your site know which of those files to serve to each person?

    4. Video Players

    There are dozens of excellent video players that will handle the video requsts nicely (like the SublimeVideo Player), but WordPress 3.6 will actually include a built-in video player that will eliminate the need for a third-party video plugin. That’s great news! But it gets a bit tricky…

    5. Cumbersome Code [or Shortcodes]

    Third-party plugins require you to create a bit of code to tell the video player which formats you’ve created, as well as their location on the server.

    There are more reasons also but I am finishing here.

    Janifer Disusa

  10. Tevya says:

    So how about a tutorial of how to remove .mov, .mp4, etc files from the acceptable file-types to be uploaded to WP? I see one for how to add new ones, but none for how to remove the core-default ones that are allowed.

  11. Franco says:

    Great article, however, if you want to keep your videos private, best is not to publish this on YouTube.

    If yo are looking to promote yourself your product or service, YouTube is the best platform to do this.

    Again thanks for the info.

  12. Ti says:

    this is so stupid , i want to own the video not youtube

  13. Dean Mickelson says:

    Is it possible to upload videos to sites such as YouTube and restrict viewing access except from my WordPress page. I shoot video at youth sporting events and would like to restrict access to parents and family by password protecting the videos from my site. Is this possible with YouTube?



    • Heather says:

      I am a newbie as well, but if there is a restricted page that is protected by a login, it may work. So, if the page is called “Videos” and the parents have to login on your page to access the page “Videos”, then you can post a link there. This may work with embedded videos as well, but I am not sure. When you create the video on YouTube, mark the video as “unlisted” and this will only allow those with a link to see the video. Therefore, you post a link to the videos on the “Videos” page and the parents have to login to get the link. I hope this helps.

    • Mike says:

      When you upload a video to YouTube, select the privacy settings to ‘Unlisted’. This means that YouTube and other search engines won’t index the video in search results. The video will be made visible only to people who have the link.

      The privacy setting ‘Private’ is also an option but each person will need to be given specific access

    • Carl says:

      I know you can add passwords to videos you upload to Vimeo.

  14. Brad says:

    Thanks for the great information. I am a beginner!!!!! How do I properly upload a video to a third party site like Youtube. Is there a right or wrong way of doing it.
    Also what format and file size or resolution is best so it will view well on computers and mobile devices. My research has found contradictory information.

    Thanks again, love your site

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