When you want to add video to your website or blog, the video has to be hosted somewhere – it needs somewhere to live!
At some point you will have to upload your video from your computer to a server where the video will be ‘served’ from, which is basically a big hard drive somewhere out there on the planet.
This will allow your video to play back on your website or blog anywhere in the world.
In reality you have a few choices of how to do this, but the 2 main, easy, consumer options are:
1) Upload the video directly to the server on your own hosting account. I know this sounds tricky, and it can be depending how your website and hosting is set up. But if you use something like WordPress for your websites then it is quite easy to do this through the user interface.
The other way to do this is through FTP software like the free and easy to use Filezilla, where you can literally drag and drop your files across your screen from your computer hard drive to some big hard drive in the sky.
The downside of hosting videos on your own server is that
- You may be limited by the size of video file you can upload e.g. there is a limit with WordPress
- If you get a lot of people watching your video at once, it can take up a lot of your bandwidth (how much data you can have going back and forth on your server) which could slow video playback down or even crash your website!
2) The other option is to use a hosting service like Amazon S3 which is basically ‘unlimited’ hard drive space for you to store as much video (and other) data on as you like and ‘stream’ it smoothly to as many people as you like.
There are some things you can do to make video playback smoother wherever you decide to host them.
Here are my recommendations:
1) break your videos into 15 minute chunks max
– people perceive 4 x 15 min videos to be less effort than a 1 hour video
– shorter videos are likely to have less upload / playback issues
– plus if there are problems loading it is quicker and easier to deal with shorter videos
2) if you’re going with Amazon S3 I recommend you use
– Firefox browser with
– S3 Organiser plug in
(great for managing multiple file uploads – cue ’em up and leave overnight)
– EZS3 for your video players
a: you can play all types of videos formats with these players
b: combination of Amazon/EZS3 very reliable for playback
EZS3 is EZ2 use!
Setting up your Amazon S3 account can be a headache – lots of big log in details / passwords and more – I have some videos on it somewhere which I’ll upload soon
EZS3 is a monthly fee – maybe $20 – and definitely worth it for all the hassle it saves