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Web Video Creation and Optimization Forum

This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39 ( [1] 2 > >     
For hosting videos: upgrade my own server ?
Or or go with video hosting service?

 10:07 pm on Oct 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm working on the first video for my site, which I hope will help draw visitors.

Anyway, I'm looking ahead to how to host the video, and others should I decide it's worthwhile to make them.

Is it better to go with a server upgrade with a faster processor, more RAM and more disk space, or is it still better to host the video with a video hosting service? As I look at the costs for separate hosting verus upgrading my own servers, the cost is pretty much a wash.

Thanks for any replies.


travelin cat

 1:51 pm on Oct 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would go with a video hosting service. I don't think the initial cost would be my determining factor, but the ongoing maintenance and possible bandwidth issues makes me want to go with a service specifically set up to handle video.


 11:34 pm on Oct 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks, travelin cat. The video services I've looked at tend to be very expensive, unless I'm not understanding their price structure correctly.

travelin cat

 11:44 pm on Oct 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

What are you looking for besides the actual hosting? Also, have you checked out Amazon S3?



 12:07 am on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Im not sure the kind of storage or bandwidth you need... but why not find one of the many "all in one" hosting companies out there and test the water first?

I use an unlimited ($15/mo) plan at one of the big cheap hosting companies with a cute little reptile logo. Unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, for hosting Camtasia created tutorials for out of state clients who need extra training 1 on 1 style.

My plan was just like yours... get a great server or host, to hold all my stuff. It turns out I didnt need that much, and the unlimited & affordable plan is more than plenty! If I find I need more, I will just upgrade when the need arises.

Just my .02


 3:03 am on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm just starting with video to see if I can draw more traffic with it, and for now just trying to figure out how best to host it.

My concern is that right now I have peak traffic times that just about max out my server resources. Even if I go to a cloud server with twice the processor speed and double or even quadruple the RAM, I wonder if a sizable number of people watching videos wouldn't eat up those server resources.

Amazon looked to me like it was something for people who are putting up videos for fun. Maybe I'm wrong.

Whether I keep the videos on my server or keep them elsewhere, I'd have a place holder image for the video that would call for the video to load from off the page, so it wouldn't affect page load time (or Google's perception of page load time).

Being new to the whole video thing, I get confused over terminology. When a video hosting company talks about a rate per stream, is a "stream" considered to be a single view of the video?


 7:55 pm on Oct 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Unless you are unaware there is two forms of delivering video, when you stream video you can FF, RW etc.

You can also deliver it as simple file download through a player, the user can't RR or FF unless the content has already been downloaded. The advantage is you could do this even with simple shared hosting plan. Might be something to explore if you just want to test the waters.


 12:33 pm on Nov 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I went through this same decision making process a year ago and decided to host videos offsite using amazon cloud services (it is very robust as it uses the same servers that amazon uses for its video on demand service) and to host downloads on my own server. So I upgraded to 400GB/month bandwidth to host the downloads.

Anyway, a year later, things have changed I host 120 videos offsite, but I still haven't started the downloads and I'm paying for the server(!). Luckily my only client sharing that server asked for an FTP server, so I was happy to give him some of my idle bandwidth and let him foot half the incremental cost :p

So I think the moral for me at least is, start out slowly because you're not sure where you will end up. You can put one video on YouTube and go from there. Or just get a host for $10 that has cheap abundant bandwidth and few other frills and put your videos on there until you know how things will turn out. By the way, I wouldn't recommend hosts who give you unlimited bandwidth, as that usually means low quality bandwidth.

One stream is one view to one web client (one viewer).


 11:04 pm on Nov 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies. For now I put the video (11 minutes, 138 MB's) on Amazon S3. I'll see how that works out.

Right now my regular traffic is taxing my server resources, so I'm probably going to have to shell out more $$$ for a cloud server with far more resources. Maybe I can host localy then.

I spent so much time shooting and editing the video that I didn't want to have someone downloading it, and I don't want to pay for someone hotlinking to it. Amazon S3 allows me to disable embedding, and I've encrypted the object embed code so there shouldn't be any hotlinking.

This was a lot of time spent to see if I can get new traffic from it.


 3:08 pm on Nov 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

I use an unlimited ($15/mo) plan at one of the big cheap hosting companies with a cute little reptile logo. Unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, for hosting Camtasia created tutorials for out of state clients who need extra training 1 on 1 style.

HostGator cap (restrict) the speed of served video, not to mention anything like archived files, on their shared servers. I tested .mp4, .wmv, .mov, .zip, etc, all capped to about 30 kB/s from memory.


 1:55 pm on Nov 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Interesting to read this, we are about to take delivery of a new video, our first and I am wondering about how to get it installed on the website.

So it is usual to host it on someone else's site and link to that from your own? Is that how it is usually done?

I have just been recommended blip.tv .. no idea yet about pricing.

travelin cat

 6:03 pm on Nov 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I can't say how these things are "usually done", but it is very common to host your videos on a third party such as blip.tv or YouTube.

I do not think that you will be negatively affecting your brand by doing so as people are used to seeing videos hosted by 3rd parties and embedded in other websites.


 4:51 pm on Nov 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well I am looking at blip.tv, may as well look at YouTube also as that seems to be an alternative.

A buddy seems to have done their one with a link to YouTube and it seems to work quite well. You can see the video in low res on his site and then if you want to see it high res it seems to go to YouTube.

Not yet sure how any of that works yet!


 4:37 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Does it cost anything to stick a video up on YouTube?


 6:19 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

YouTube videos are free to upload, and can be up to 15 minutes in length (as of July/10).

I've used YouTube on a commercial site over the last year, and with YouTube's "embed" code users don't have to leave the website to watch the videos. I've had good success using YouTube but having that "YouTube" logo in the lower-right corner may not be professional enough for some industries. (I'm in the Tech field, so YouTube is fine.)

Also, unlike watching videos on YouTube, when you embed them on your website there's no pesky 'Just watched' and 'Up next' video suggestions to guide users away at the end of the video - only a 'Replay' button.


 6:53 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

The other plus with YouTube is that when your video reaches a certain threshold of views they send you a nice email asking if you want them to put ads next to the video and earn some extra money. I say yes and the money earned isn't much but "every little helps" as the old lady said when she 'tiddled' in the sea!


 8:00 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Using Youtube can also work out well for getting an additional stream of viewers. People can find your video through searches on Youtube or Google serps. You may also appear as related videos. Just make sure you use the description area to provide a link to your website. It might also be worth while displaying the url within the end of the video.



 8:45 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Upgrade. Be independant. Pennies, sheesh.


 9:45 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would strongly advise aganist anything but Youtube, its what people expect , its free and its got SEO.


 1:34 am on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

And makes you look like a cheap amateur.

Not to mention fairly poor encoding quality for anything that's important from an artistic perspective.


 9:26 am on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well a competitor has just put a video on their site, and it is with YouTube. You can play it on their site with no dodgy moving of sites to see the video etc and the only reason you realise that YouTube are involved is that there is a small logo at the bottom right outside the screen.

I can live with that.


 9:37 am on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

For now I put the video (11 minutes, 138 MB's) on Amazon S3. I'll see how that works out.

So, how is the bandwidth quality of Amazon when it comes to streaming videos? Any complaints so far from visitors not being able to see the video due to technical issues?


 12:59 pm on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

We stream over 1,000+ hours of video regularly. We tried the cheap route at first, it didn't work, too much demand and not enough support. We now work with a third party provider who specializes in video hosting. They have the media servers, the storage units, etc. And no, it is not cheap.

We also use YouTube quite a bit for the shorter videos. In fact, all of them that are within YouTube specifications get posted to YouTube.

Did someone say that showing YouTube videos on your site is unprofessional? Oh come on, get real. What's unprofessional about it?


 10:06 pm on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

pageoneresults you are spot on. Youtube is fine and their latest upgrade of quality is impressive. we've been doing streaming since 12 years and have 1k vids on our servers. Now we are moving it all to the various tubes and use embedding.


 4:19 am on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

My day job is as a security administrator at a school district. Sites with video link to off site hosts like YouTube or Amazom can cause problems for your users if they have a filtered internet feed like most school districts are require to provide.

The main site may be allowed through the filter, but the video host may be banned which will display the page with the video, but the video never plays.

This can affect teachers as well as students. Just something to consider.


 11:57 am on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thats a valid point. Its mostly KS1 & KS2 (Under 11yrs) institutions in the UK but even some HEIs in the UK filter out these sites too. There are ways around it though. There are mashup sites setup specifically to bypass the social network and video content filters used in the education sector and only Palo Alto firewalls detect them at the moment.


 6:04 pm on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

To be honest unless these users are within your required demographic I wouldn't worry about them. In the scale of things they will only make up a small sector of your total users, and potentially they wont be customers.



 11:53 pm on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree with all comments here: 1) youtube is right for some sites, and certainly provides another opportunity to get clicked on in SERPs ... but it is not "professional" or within your control, 2) Amazon S3 and/or Cloudfront and a Flash Player or even some more modern iPhone/iPad compatible format work great, and are dirt cheap ... but provide little else, and 3) services that are designed to host videos cost a lot more, but you get cool stuff like analytics, heatmaps, and so on.

I would almost certainly use YouTube for a video I wanted the world to see. I would almost certainly use Amazon when I needed more control. I would almost certainly use an expensive service if that is what my customers expected. Depending on the site, I have found one or more of these methods useful -- there's no single right answer.

(Well, except for hosting streaming video because your cheesy self-hosting registrar account says for only an extra $20/month, you can :-)



 9:25 am on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Pitty that it is not allowed to mention names, but there is one well reputed large budget host with unlimited space / traffic that even provides flash encoders inside their panel. $10 per month. Never tested it, but it might be good.


 3:09 am on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Did someone say that showing YouTube videos on your site is unprofessional? Oh come on, get real. What's unprofessional about it?

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with it, with the exception of the uncontrollable automatic and low bitrate encoding that you get - which itself might well be a deal breaker depending on the content.

The real issue is how it's perceived by your audience, with the ubiquitous YouTube Flash interface and the logo overlay. YouTube is still the land of silly kittens and amateur jackass imitators, embedded on every 15 year old's blog the web over. Your choice if you want to be associated with that. I would suggest that Vimeo or other options, with semi-pro paid options, would be a better choice for anything commercial.

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