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Pros and Cons of Self Hosted Videos

Following our recent blog about the importance of Video SEO, we’ve researched some of the different video platforms available. An increasingly popular alternative to YouTube, Vimeo and similar websites is to host your own videos.

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There are a number of reasons why people choose self-hosted videos, but before you follow suit it’s important that you take a look at the pros and cons. See below for more information:

Pros:

  • You have full control over your videos when they are self-hosted. You preserve the copyright over your video content. Nobody else can delete or ban your video. It is also harder for other people to download your videos from an independent site, rather than from YouTube, for example. You can also incorporate Google Analytics and tracking within your videos.
  • All of the video traffic belongs to you. When people link to your videos, they will be linking back to your website instead of to YouTube, Vimeo or another video platform website. This increases the authority of your website on the internet. The same goes for embedded videos – When you embed your videos elsewhere online, you can create backlinks to your own website. When you embed YouTube videos elsewhere, they automatically show YouTube branding and link people to your YouTube channel. This way, people are taken back to your website instead.
  • You don’t get any adverts. Although you are paying for hosting, you don’t get adverts or other external content linking from your videos. YouTube will sometimes make people watch advertisements before they get to see the video content they are looking for – a major deterrent for many viewers. By using self-hosted videos, people can jump right in without having to wait.
  • You can enrich the design of your own videos, in any way you like. You can add your company’s branding, your brand colours to the video player and more.

Cons:

  • You have to pay for hosting of your videos. Some online video platforms charge, but many (including YouTube) are free. You need to decide whether the benefits of using self-hosted videos outweigh the potential costs.
  • You do need to have some coding skills in order to use self-hosted videos. Whilst YouTube, Vimeo and similar websites are simple to use, self-hosted videos are a little more complicated. Of course, the level of complexity and skill required depends entirely on the video software you decide to use.
  • Self-hosted videos can mean slow video playback. If you have a small number of viewers, then this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. However, if you have large visitor numbers wanting to watch one video at the same time, this could prove to be somewhat problematic. YouTube, for example, uses a complex hosting and playback system, to ensure that videos play almost instantly, regardless of how many people are watching them.
  • You have no additional promotion with self-hosted videos. YouTube allows all visitors to search and browse all videos. Your audience would be limited to just the people who view your specific website. Self-hosted videos are also unlikely to appear within Google results.

For more information on Video SEO, the best video platforms for search engine optimisation and more, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the SEO professionals at Varn.