Adding videos to your website is a smart way to capture your visitor’s attention and boost conversions. But adding videos to your site can take up a lot of storage space and bandwidth, increasing your hosting costs and creating a bad experience for your visitors.
That’s why we recommend never uploading videos to your WordPress site. In this article, we’ll look at all the reasons why you should never upload a video to WordPress, and the best way to add videos to your website.
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, using the WordPress media library. 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 advise folks to embed videos whenever they can.
Embedding a video in WordPress is easier than uploading it. You can share a video uploaded on YouTube or other video sharing sites by just pasting the URL in your blog posts.
It’s also easier to manage a channel on YouTube. On the other hand, it’s not so simple in WordPress to create a video section separately from your images and other uploads. When you upload a video to WordPress, it will be mixed in with all your other media library content.
By uploading your video on YouTube and other video sharing sites, you make it easier for your viewers to share your video and even go viral.
Save on Bandwidth
Uploading videos to your website will cost you bandwidth. Higher quality videos cost more bandwidth.
If you allow your site visitors to embed your videos on their own websites, then the bandwidth gets multiplied each time the video is viewed there. You’ll probably also have to add more plugins to manage and display your videos. These plugins could also increase your server load if they’re not optimized for speed. 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
YouTube is the world’s second most used search engine and the number one 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. The social networking features of YouTube and other video sharing websites can trigger viral popularity of your videos. For example, on the WPBeginner YouTube channel we have over 200,000 subscribers and get tens of thousands of new views each week.
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.
Many video hosting platforms also offer more features that you’re missing out on if you just upload to WordPress.
For example, you can:
- Add auto captions to your videos for accessibility
- Earn money from advertising
- Get analytics on how many people watch your videos
- Create custom video thumbnails
…and much more.
What Video Hosting Service Should You Use?
Video hosting services offer many more benefits than solving all the issues above. A good video hosting service will automatically adjust video quality based on your visitors’ internet speed, and some will even help you to reach a whole new audience through their platform.
The video hosting service we use at WPBeginner is YouTube. It’s actually the world’s second most popular search engine after Google, so it will help you attract even more followers.
They also have a Partners Program to help you make money online with your videos.
If YouTube isn’t right for you, or you want more options, please see our list of the best video hosting sites.
We hope that this article answered the question on why you should never upload or host a video on WordPress. You may also want to check out our list of the best YouTube video gallery plugins.