Ways to Put Video on a Website

Video content enhances the experience of visitors to your website

Cartoon image of Happy audience enjoying watching entertaining video on website using computer as movie theatre
Elly Walton / Getty Images

Using video on websites is a common practice for everyone from mommy bloggers to Fortune 500 companies. There are several ways to put a video on websites. The one you use depends on your technical savvy, your goals for the video, and your budget.

Understand Your Website

Before you put a video on your website, you have to understand how to alter content on your website. If you're working on a blog template or have a simple content management system, you should be able to put a video on the website yourself. Some of the free blogging platforms, such as WordPress and Weebly, require you to purchase a premium package to host video, but the process itself is simple and recommended for beginners.

Otherwise, you need some knowledge of web programming or professional help to put a video on your website.

Choose Your Video Hosting Provider

When it comes to choosing a hosting provider for the video on your website, you have three basic choices: host the video on a free site such as YouTube, sign up with a content delivery network to host your video, or host the video on your own web server.

Embed YouTube Videos on Your Website

Using YouTube or another free video-sharing site is the easiest way to get video on your website. Most of these sites offer free accounts and let you upload an unlimited number of videos. The video-sharing sites then convert your videos to Flash and give you the code you need to embed it on your own website or blog.

Use a Content Delivery Network for Website Video

Content delivery networks upload, convert, host and stream your website videos, and they let you do a lot more beyond that. With a content delivery network, you can customize the look and behavior of the video player, automatically insert ads into your web videos, or charge users to download your video content.

Many content delivery networks include customized video pages and websites, so you don't have to worry about many of the technical aspects of putting a video on your website, but you can also embed a video on existing web pages.

Host the Video on Your Own Web Server

If you've purchased server space to host your website, you may be tempted to host the videos there. Before doing this, check with your hosting provider to make sure you have plenty of storage space and bandwidth to handle the extra traffic from the videos.

If you choose to host on your own website, you'll need an SWF player. If you know Flash, you can design the player yourself. Otherwise, use a free player like the JW player. Then convert your video to Flash, upload it, and insert the necessary code (JW offers a setup wizard that generates the code for you).

Tips

  • Even if you use a content delivery network or self-host your videos, upload the videos to YouTube and other video sharing sites. It's a free and easy way to increase the exposure and audience your video receives.
  • Use smart video SEO tactics when titling your video page, video file, and any tags or meta information to increase the chances of your video showing up in search engines.
  • Don't self-host anything you hope to make into a viral video. If the video does blow up, you might crash your whole server and make it impossible for anyone to watch. Use YouTube instead. It has the platform and the audience reach you need for any amount of viral success.
  • Customize the video settings if you are embedding video from YouTube or a similar site. Video-sharing sites usually let you customize the video embed code to influence the behavior of the video player. You can set it for autoplay, HD or standard, enable or disable social features, and control the videos that are displayed afterward.