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2016 . August . 6
Sherwin Arnott

When folks ask me about publishing video to their website, I nearly always recommend Youtube or Vimeo.

It is possible to make a video and uploading it directly to your website. But it’s not straight forward and one of the central challenges of publishing video directly to your website is the impressive variety of file formats that video comes in. Common file formats for video on the web, include .mpg and .mpeg, .avi (Microsoft), .mov (Apple), .swf (Shockwave/Flash), and .rm or .ram (RealVideo). These are just the common video file formats on the web. For a complete list of file types check out the Wikipedia list.

If you’re feeling committed to hosting your own videos, we recommend mp4. Plus, hosting your own video can be taxing for your server. So, I generally recommend using a third party service.

Get a third party to host your video

There are lots of good reasons to let a third party host your video. Generally these organizations have excellent technical capacities and have made their videos capable of playing well across browsers and devices. Unless you know what you’re doing with your video, it’s easy to make a video that isn’t compressed or that streams well or looks or sounds good online. But when you use a third party service, they convert your video when you upload it, into a web-ready file. Once the file is uploaded, you can tag your video, provide keywords for searchability, and add a description. Also, services like Youtube have excellent captioning tech and will help you to make your video accessible to people.

By hosting your video on Youtube (or another) you can also improve the reach of your video. Your Youtube channel can become a social media outpost just like Facebook or Twitter and users can actually find you there and end up on your website.

How to embed

There are many options for embedding video in your pages and posts. However, these days, the easiest way generally, is to copy and paste the URL of the Youtube or Vimeo video into your page or post.

To make sure the Youtube video is responsive and looks good on any device, I will generally check on multiple devices to make sure the video shrinks down to fit on my screen. If it doesn’t, let me know and I can help you get it sorted.