3 Reasons Why You Should Never Host Your Own Videos

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Here are 3 good reasons why you should avoid uploading video files to your own web server (particularly if your site is hosted on a shared server)…

1. Server Bandwidth

Video files can be quite large in size. Unlike images—which are typically measured in kilobytes—an HD video file can easily weigh in at more than 100 MB. Now, imagine what will happen to your shared hosting server when dozens of folks attempt to watch the same video at the same time.

Your web hosting provider allocates a certain amount of bandwidth and other resources for each server on their network, based on average traffic rates that do not include serving large media files to hundreds of individuals (or more) at the same time. Too many requests for a single large file will quickly exceed the limits of the web server on which your site is hosted, and bring your site—and any other sites that also “live” on the same server—to its knees.

But you may never even get that far, because of…

2. File Size Limits and Storage Space

Most web hosting providers limit the maximum size of uploaded files to 50 MB or less, prohibiting you from uploading video files that are longer than a few minutes or so in duration. Additionally, large media files may violate the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy with your hosting provider and result in your hosting account being shut down.

If you’re able to upload large video files to your server on a frequent basis, you could eventually exceed the amount of storage space provided by your hosting account, especially if you regularly back up your site. In addition to the amount of disk space your video files will occupy, backups will begin to take significantly longer to execute. More data requires more disk space, and takes more time to backup.

3. No Single File Format Standard for Web Video

The current HTML5 draft specification does not specify which video formats browsers should support. As a result, the major web browsers have diverged, each one supporting a different format. Internet Explorer and Safari will play H.264 (MP4) videos, but not WebM or Ogg. Firefox will play Ogg or WebM videos, but not H.264. Thankfully, Chrome will play all the major video formats, but if you want to ensure your video will play back on all the major web browsers, you’ll have to convert your video into multiple formats: .mp4, .ogv, and .webm

Now you’ve got three different video files to upload, each one potentially hundreds of megabytes in size.

(By the way, just how much bandwidth does your Internet provider allow you to use before imposing bandwidth caps? You may soon find out after you’ve uploaded several gigabytes of video files.)

If you need help adding video your website…
we should talk.

We can review your current website goals to determine the best game plan for delivering flawless video playback on your website.  Contact me to discuss this video development opportunity.

Kenneth Greenberg, 12 Fisher Avenue, Princeton NJ 08540