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You’ve got a fantastic new website built on a content management system that is simple to use.  You’ve decided that posting videos would be an excellent way to attract customers.  Uploading images using your spiffy new CMS is a breeze.  Why not upload videos the same way?There are a few reasons why you should use a video hosting service.

SERVER BANDWIDTH

Unless you are paying for a premium hosting environment, your website is not optimized for hosting video.  Video files are large and take up a lot of bandwidth.  Too many requests for a large file size can quickly exceed the limits of your web server and reduce page load time to a slow crawl.

HOSTING RESTRICTIONS: File Size Limits and Storage Space

Most web hosting companies set limits to size of uploaded files, disk storage, and monthly data transfer.

For example, godaddy.com limits upload file size to 2GB.  This can equate to one 10 minute long HD quality video.  The basic Linux hosting on hostmysite.com offers 10 GB of hard disk storage and 500 GB of monthly data transfer.  That is a very limited capacity for video hosting.

VIDEO FORMATS and DEVICES

If your target audience is viewing your video from a laptop or desktop, you’ll want to deliver a large HD-quality video.

But browser statistics show explosive growth in web page browsing from tablets and mobile devices.  Don’t forget that audience.  You’ll want to encode a smaller, lower resolution version for delivery to those folks.

And, finally, you should offer a low resolution option for slower internet connections.  YouTube offers six different resolution settings.

VIDEO FORMATS and BROWSER COMPATABILITY

The current HTML5 draft standard does not single out a file format that all browsers should support.  (w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/).  As of this writing, the major browsers support these video formats.

Browser H.264, .mp4 WebM, .webm Ogg Theora, .ogg
IE yes no no
Safari yes no no
Chrome yes yes yes
Firefox no yes yes
Android yes no yes

To support all the major browsers, you’ll need to convert the video into three separate formats.  Multiplying that by different resolutions, we are up to at least six video files.  Does anyone at your company have time to devote to formatting videos?

TRAFFIC and VISIBILITY

According to Alexa traffic rankings (alexa.com), YouTube is currently the third most visited website in the world. This potential audience compels many website owners to upload their videos to YouTube.  A video uploaded to YouTube can find a bigger audience that on your own website. Social networking features on YouTube and other video hosting websites encourage sharing of those videos.

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