Hosting videos

On my old site in its blog (using Eblogger) I used vimeo to host the video clips which I created and just linked them. Not that I like the constant advertising. With the site which I am in the process of building now, I am wondering what everybody else’s preferences are. Or what is the best policy in terms of loading times. Do you use something like vimeo or do you host them on your server? You see, at the moment I only have 50gb of web disk space on my current server here in Japan. Hosting videos on the current server at up to a couple of hundred megs would cause me to run out of disk space down the line. I have contacted the server and waiting on their reply as to what the next upgrade in disk space would set me back. Just wanted to get people’s opinion on the matter please? I add, that I wouldn’t be adding a huge amount of videos. Maybe one every 2 months or so.
Thanking you

I don’t really host videos, but here is what I think should concern you - others may have better advice…

You mention hosting space, but that isn’t all you should be concerned about. There is also a concern about your bandwidth - many if not most hosting accounts have bandwidth restrictions, so any popular site requiring a lot of bandwidth is going to pay a premium to enable that.

Then there’s the question of performance - how fast is the server? Not all hosting plans are equal and there are two things to think about when it comes to video - videos tend to be large and users won’t wait forever for a video to load so your webserver needs to supply that video file in a timely manner - cheaper plans mean speeds are generally lower and especially slow when many concurrent users are active. You won’t be replicating youtube or vimeo on a cheap plan!

Then lastly, many hosting plans are unsuitable for large scale video use, particularly for long videos, because they may not support streaming. Streaming means that the video starts playing without the whole film being loaded - the player keeps a buffer of video data to play and plays the video as it is downloaded. Many, if not most basic plans will not support this.

My understanding on this may be a little outdated - I used to do a lot of work with video back in the day with flash. Flash - remember that?

I use Vimeo. Also the added benefit of protecting your videos.

Thank you both. Then I am better off staying with the strategy which I am already using. I.e. Vimeo.

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I would still use Vimeo. Its a great service and is ideal for most video streaming functions that the average site may want. If you don’t want ads etc. Its worth paying about $6 per month for their basic premium service. This gives you about 5GB of storage and allows you to customise what gets seen by site visitors - including the removal of advertising. If you have a very requirement for storage you can always upgrade the premium plan later. It’s likely to be less expensive than upgrading a hosting plan to include video streaming.

I once used Vimeo and discovered it was causing a big slow down in page opening while they fetched their wretched analytics with no means of turning it off and this was after I had paid out for a pro account. For that and various other reasons I won’t use Vimeo now for streaming video.

One trick you can use it to add your site to Cloudflare and set the rules to cache all, which will then include the video, so that goes through their servers rather than yours. It adds some complication to your set up though and it only works for sites up to 100mb. Certainly not 50 gigs.

On a general level, unless you are seeing a significant number of visitors accessing video at the same time and causing slowdowns or hitting bandwidth limits I just find it much better self-hosting. Every situation is different but I certainly don’t have problems on any of my servers with HD videos for clients. It might just be a case of upgrading your web hosting if needed.

I use Cloudinary for most of my websites now, mostly to host all the website photos for each site, but it can handle video as well. The free plan is more than enough for most smaller websites, and I have never used more than few of the “free credits” each month on any site. You get up to 1 GB of storage and/or 1GB of bandwidth for free each month so your mileage may vary, but it doesn’t hurt to maybe test the useage by hosting even a few assets there to start.

If you plan to host video, don’t bother if you can’t stream that content.

I think the “average” web developer/client is mad to host their own videos when other streaming hosts such as vimeo and youtube are available. Hosting costs increase rapidly if you want to host a lot of video well.

I ran out of steam on my first post or I would have added my thoughts about using an existing service.

Again I think it depends on every case. I have certain clients who do not necessarily have a lot of visitors, but they still want a 30 second video trailer and I’ve seen the videos play fine without issues, even when a newsletter was sent out.

It’s not making any kind of major dent in my overall bandwidth allowance on the reseller server and I tell them it will have to be hosted elsewhere if it becomes a problem or I’ll increase their hosting costs. Hosting client sites makes me money, so I just see it as part of what I do. There are also customers with no video that don’t even have email on the server, which sort of balances things out.


Thank you everybody. I just checked my Vimeo account and am already paying for a “plus” account (5GB per week) which really is just about the size I need at the moment. I always uncheck all the options but thought it would be nice to go without the “vimeo” sign appearing each time a video is viewed. I am not a heavy user so 5GB per week suits me for now. I will wait for my hosting company to get back to me today with their suggestions about whether to upgrade our web disk space or not. But from what you have mentioned I probably will just stick to vimeo and put up with their self-advertising.
Thanks again

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Email can be worse than video. I had a client who I wasn’t hosting and his wife’s email account basically used all their hosting storage space, they wondered why they couldn’t even upload a pdf. :laughing: I try and push heavy users to office365. (which is actually a very good service. SharePoint is a great up sell for additional income, but can be time consuming).

And yes if it’s just a small clip I would host it with the website as well. I built a CMS site for a school that created video teaching content. Vimeo was excellent for that. In the event of a complete website rebuild down the track, all their videos are already categories and grouped in Vimeo.

Which worked out well actually, as I am rebuilding one of their other sites, and they are merging all that content into it. So I ended up saving myself a lot of work.

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Had a bit of a laugh today concerning this matter. Had a phone call from my provider concerning my email about whether to upgrade web disk space or not. He promptly tells me that I am currently only using .57 of 50GB. So no need to upgrade :blush: But will still stick to vimeo.

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