Using a third-party service for embedding videos is better than self-hosting

Published on September 22, 2019
Last modified on February 23, 2021

Video content is an essential product and brand marketing strategy because it is more appealing than text-based content. However, no matter how good the video content is, users will not appreciate it if they cannot watch it seamlessly (e.g. the video stops playing after a few seconds, there is too much buffering, the video won’t play on mobile devices).

There are two ways to place videos on a site:

1. Self-hosting means the video files are uploaded to the same web server where your site is hosted

2. Embedding a video can be done with the use of a third-party service

  • First, the file is uploaded to a third-party video hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Then, the video URL will be copied and pasted into a web page.

Here are some of the reasons why embedding videos is better than self-hosting:

1. No bandwidth issues.

Uploading videos in your own server can take too much server space. If many users attempt to view a video, it can severely slow down the site.

On the other hand, when a video is embedded to your site, it does not take up resources from your own web server because it is being streamed from the video host’s server instead.

2. File size limits will not be an issue.

Most web hosting providers have file size limitations on video uploading. The duration and quality of your video may be affected because of your server’s file size restriction.

In contrast, third-party hosts have a bigger server storage space. Therefore, you can upload longer and higher-quality videos without worrying about its file size.

3. Video quality is better on embedded videos

Major browsers support different video file formats – MP4 for Safari, Ogg or WebM for Firefox, while Chrome supports all the major video formats. If you want to make sure that your video will play on all major browsers, you have to convert it into multiple formats. The conversion process may lessen the video quality.

Whereas when you embed a video, you don’t have to worry about the video file format. Further, third-party services like YouTube or Vimeo process the uploaded videos for better user experience. These services 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.

Users can also choose if they want to watch the video in HD or lower resolutions. You can also customize your video by adding captions – this is an excellent approach to reach an audience who watches videos with the audio off.