The Best Video Hosting Platforms
Videos on social media garner more engagement than any other medium, and the same goes for your website. If you’re not leveraging video marketing to drive clicks and sales, you’re missing out on a chunk of the market.
But before you race to add videos to your website, you’ll want to take steps to keep your site performance at an all-time high. The best way to do that is with a video hosting platform.
We’ll be outlining seven of the top video hosting solutions for your website.
What is a Video Hosting Platform?
Video hosting is the practice of storing your videos with a third party instead of personally hosting them on your web server. Video hosting platforms are the services that allow you to upload and share your visual media—either for free or via paid subscription.
Some platforms only host live or pre-recorded content, while others offer a combination of both. In short, a video hosting platform acts as a vehicle for effortlessly delivering videos to the public.
Why Use a Video Hosting Platform?
The simple answer is that videos are the largest file type on a traditional website, and size is the enemy when it comes to loading a website.
When someone visits your site, their browser loads all the assets on the page—text, photos, videos, and other content. The average web page with text and video is only a few megabytes; one minute of HD video is almost 90MB in size. The more data to be transferred, the longer it takes to load the page. And because slow websites lose out on conversions, it’s in your best interest to increase speed.
How? With a video hosting site. These platforms allow you to embed a link to a video hosted on their server rather than try to handle a massive video file on your server.
In addition, video hosting platforms can save you money. Because web hosts usually limit daily or monthly bandwidth (especially on budget plans), hosting data-heavy videos is not the best use of your resources. By using an online video platform for hosting, you won’t have to upgrade to a higher-bandwidth plan.
The Best Video Hosting Platforms
While all video hosting platforms are designed to simplify adding video content to your website, they’re not created equal. There are countless options available across the Internet—some of which you’ve already heard of.
To help you narrow down your search for the best video platform, we’ll discuss our seven favorites (in no particular order).
When it comes to free video hosting, few video sharing platforms have as much staying power and name recognition as YouTube. This recognition is one of the top reasons to use YouTube as your video hosting platform—it’s been a familiar, trusted service since 2005.
Some of the other benefits of YouTube are:
- Unlimited storage space – Upload an infinite number of videos, including 12-hour long masterpieces and 128GB files.
- Built-in audience – YouTube isn’t just a place to host your videos—it’s also a social media platform. With over 2 billion monthly users, you can reach new customers organically without them even visiting your website. And if you want your videos exclusively on your site, you can make content unlisted or as a private video.
- Take advantage of Google Analytics – Because Google owns YouTube, you can leverage Google’s robust video analytics to measure how much traffic your site is getting based on how many users have clicked on links from your YouTube video.
Because YouTube is a free service, you’ll have to put up with a few downsides, including:
- Embedding limitations – There are only a handful of ways to display YouTube videos on your website, and all of them come with a watermark—which isn’t ideal for businesses.
- Unwanted competition – Ads from your competitors could appear on your videos, and the “Recommended Videos” list that comes up at the end can draw customers away from your content.
Overall, YouTube may not be the most professional option for businesses, but it’s a terrific free platform.
Hosting videos on YouTube is 100% free, with no hidden costs.
Vimeo is another free hosting option, and YouTube alternative, with more of a narrow audience. The platform is geared more towards professional videography than everyday content. You can upload any video you want to embed on your site, though it may not perform as well on Vimeo itself.
Here are some reasons to try Vimeo:
- Sleek video embedding – The service allows you to customize the look of your embedded videos. Edit the player’s appearance, choose what happens when a video ends, and display multiple videos at once.
- Ad-free – Unlike YouTube, there are no ads before, during, or after your video.
- HD Video – Your viewers can enjoy up to 1080p quality uninterrupted HD videos.
Vimeo’s drawbacks include:
- Free account limits – The free option is powerful, but you can only upload 500MB of video per week and 5GB total.
- Niche content – The platform seems to focus on streaming short films and music videos, so more candid-feeling videos don’t tend to reach a large audience.
- Not much traffic – If your goal as a content creator is to generate traffic to your site, don’t expect much traffic from Vimeo. Although Vimeo has 100 million subscribers, sadly, that still pales compared to the number of YouTube subscribers. Another factor against Vimeo is Google. This may not be confirmed, but some content creators suspect that Google favors YouTube videos to appear in its search results.
All in all, Vimeo will satisfy most businesses, but prolific posters and those who want to use video streaming will need to pay for an upgrade.
Aside from the free Vimeo Basic option, Vimeo offers five plans with increasing benefits:
- Plus ($7/month)
- Pro ($20/month)
- Business ($50/month)
- Premium ($75/month)
- Enterprise (Custom pricing for large-scale operations)
Though Facebook rose to fame as a social media platform, it can also function as a video hosting solution. Uploading videos to Facebook and linking them to your website requires no prior experience.
Facebook is a worthwhile video hosting platform, thanks to:
- Social media integration – The ability to easily share videos with your Facebook followers is the best part of using the platform for hosting. Facebook Live allows you to broadcast and interact with your followers in real time.
- Unlimited hosting space – You’ll never run out of storage again!
The following areas could use improvement:
- Below average video quality – Resolution is generally limited to 1080p or below.
- Unskippable ads – Your customers may see ads on your videos, even when on your website.
Facebook wins out for familiarity and ease of use, but it’s not the most professional option.
To use Facebook for video hosting, all you need is a free account.
Like Vimeo and YouTube, Dailymotion is a social video platform that doubles as a hosting solution. You can upload your videos to the service and embed them on your website while reaching Dailymotion viewers organically.
If you’ve never heard of Dailymotion, here’s where you’re missing out:
- No storage limits – Your total video storage limit is infinite (though you can only upload two hours of video per day).
- Easy signup – Start uploading content in minutes, with options to sign up with Google and Facebook.
The platform falls behind in a few areas, such as:
- Ads – Ads will play before, during, and after videos, even when embedded on your site.
- Upload limitations – Videos can’t be longer than an hour, and the maximum file size is 2GB.
Dailymotion is an excellent free option, but don’t expect YouTube-level amounts of organic reach.
There’s no cost—Dailymotion is a free service.
Brightcove is a video platform that blends hosting with innovative marketing tools. Video hosting is only the beginning; the service is about creative delivery and integration with other platforms. When you use Brightcove, you’ll join companies like Wendy’s and Hugo Boss.
It’s no wonder world-famous organizations use the platform, with advantages like:
- Detailed analytics – Brightcove’s video insights are best in class, with comprehensive data on users, devices, view-time, and much more.
- No limits – You can upload files of any size and quality. Storage is dictated by your plan.
This premium video hosting site has one major drawback.
- Steep startup fees – The cheapest option is $199/month, with higher tiers available.
Brightcove is probably the best video hosting platform on the market—if you can afford it. Small businesses should look elsewhere.
Brightcove’s pricing is customizable but fairly opaque. The only way to receive a quote is through a contact form.
6. Hippo Video
With Hippo Video, you can manage video for sales, customer service purposes, and marketing. Choose one or all three, then start sharing your video content with the world.
We like Hippo Video for several reasons, including:
- Advanced marketing campaigns – On top of hosting videos for your website, Hippo Video also lets you send video in emails, create CTAs, and receive comprehensive analytics.
- Built-in video editing tool – While it may not be as powerful as a professional editing program, it’s still helpful to have the ability to trim and crop videos easily.
There are a few aspects that might hold you back, such as:
- Bandwidth caps – All plans come with a 200GB bandwidth limit.
- Limits on video size and length – Videos are restricted to 1GB and 30 minutes on the cheapest plan, and 3GB and 120 minutes on the best one.
If you’re looking for a video hosting solution, you’ll likely choose from one of the Marketing plans:
- Starter ($23/month)
- Pro ($49/month)
- Growth ($99/month)
Businesses of any size can benefit from SproutVideo’s range of features. Whether you want social media sharing capabilities, forms for generating leads, or live streaming, you’re in good hands.
A SproutVideo subscription is worth it due to benefits like:
- Customizable video players – When embedding videos on your website, you can personalize the video player differently each time, matching videos to individual web pages.
- Complete control over videos – Create video playlists to tell a story without worrying about disruptive ads.
SproutVideo users may notice the following downside:
- Learning curve – The lengthy feature list comes with a steeper learning curve, especially for beginners.
Ultimately, SproutVideo reaches a nice balance between affordability and advanced capabilities.
Pick one of four cleverly-named plans:
- Seed ($24.99/month)
- Sprout ($59.99/month)
- Tree ($199.99/month)
- Forest ($499.99/month)
Choose the Best WordPress Solution for Your Video Hosting
Once you’ve selected the best video hosting platform for your website, it’s time to start hosting your WordPress site with WP Engine.
When you sign up for one of our managed WordPress hosting plans, you can increase your website load speed by 40%. Customers will be enjoying your videos in record time.