Are you looking to show videos on your WordPress website?
Adding videos to your website is a smart way to capture your visitor’s attention and boost conversions. However, videos 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 will look at all the reasons why you should never upload a video to WordPress and also the best way to add videos to your website.
Upload vs. Embed (There’s a Difference)
Before we tell you why you should never upload videos to your WordPress website, let’s make sure that everyone understands that there is a difference between uploads and embeds.
Uploading or hosting a video means that the video files will be stored on your site, just as you would upload and store images using the WordPress media library. This is the method that we are recommending against.
When you embed a video, you first upload it to a third-party site like YouTube, and then you can easily embed it in your blog posts. The video can be viewed on your website but is stored elsewhere. We strongly advise people to embed videos whenever they can.
1. Easy Sharing
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.
2. Save on Bandwidth
Uploading videos to your website will cost you bandwidth. Higher-quality videos cost even more bandwidth.
If you allow your site visitors to embed your videos on their own websites, then that bandwidth gets multiplied each time the video is viewed there. You will probably also have to add more plugins to manage and display your videos.
These plugins could also increase your server load if they are 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.
3. 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 the viral popularity of your videos.
For example, on the WPBeginner YouTube channel, we have over 296,000 subscribers and get tens of thousands of new views each week.
4. 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 the user experience.
Many video hosting platforms also offer more features that you are 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 speeds, and some will even help you reach a whole new audience through their platform.
The video hosting service we use at WPBeginner is YouTube. Because it’s the world’s second most popular search engine after Google, it will help you attract even more followers.
They also have a Partners Program to help you make money online with your videos.
After uploading your videos to YouTube, you can use a plugin like YouTube Feed Pro or Envira Gallery to display YouTube video galleries on your WordPress site. For more details, check out our list of the best YouTube video gallery plugins.
If YouTube isn’t right for you, or you want more options, please see our list of the best video hosting sites.
We hope this tutorial helped you learn why you should never upload a video to WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to track visitors to your website or our expert picks for the best drag and drop WordPress page builders.