What Every Website Content Manager Should Know About Video Publishing

You've created a great video, and you'd like to share it with the world. What is the best way to publish video on your website?

Getting Started

You’ve created a great promotional video, or maybe a video training series, and you’d like to share these videos with the world at large. What is the best way to publish video on your website? And what’s the best video hosting option for your needs?

Accessibility Compliance

All video content must conform to accessibility best practices, with few exceptions. Captions are required, or a separate transcript (yuck). Is someone else producing your video? Make sure to communicate this requirement early in the process.

Captions aren’t just a good idea for accessibility, they’re also a good idea for everyone in your target audience. These days, many people watch video content with the “mute” button on. If your video isn’t consumable without audio, you’ll lose a lot of viewers.

Use a Video Hosting Service

You may be tempted to upload the video file directly into your website’s Media Manager. Most of them will let you do it without complaining, and when you try to view it yourself it will probably work. However, there are several problems with this method:

  • Storage and bandwidth are expensive, and video files are enormous compared to any other type of media. Depending on your hosting environment, you may find yourself facing unexpected cloud services costs, or grumbling from your IT department.
  • Website hosting platforms are not optimized for video delivery. It takes a lot of specialized infrastructure to deliver stutter-free video experiences. There’s a surprising amount of stuff going on behind the scenes when you view a video on YouTube.
  • The video file itself isn’t optimized for visitors on different networks or device types. When you upload media to a video hosting service, it is typically translated into multiple formats, each one specifically optimized for delivery to various types of devices or network conditions. A copy of each variation is then distributed to various datacenters around the globe, literally bringing the video closer to viewers.

The above issues are why even the largest companies in the world use third-party video hosting services. If you’re an Elev8 Web studio customer, you’ll have to host video with one of these services.

Video Hosting Options

So what are your choices? While there are a lot of video hosting services out there, the two most popular video hosting platforms are YouTube and Vimeo. Deciding which one is the best for your situation is straightforward, and boils down to an evaluation of cost, your target audience(s) and customizability.


YouTube is the largest video platform in the world. If your target audience is spending time there, you should be there, too. You can pick up viewers organically through YouTube’s search and recommendation engines. Best of all, publishing videos and managing a basic channel is totally free. In WordPress, you can embed individual YouTube videos directly on your website with a simple copy and paste of the video URL.

There are some gotchas with YouTube that make it less ideal in some circumstances:

  • You may see ads at the beginning, middle, and end of your video. Depending on your intended audience, this may be undesirable.
  • Lots of advertising trackers come along with embedded YouTube videos, which may impact your Privacy Policy.
  • When embedding video on your website, you can’t customize the video “player” to match your brand or fit your specific viewing preferences. Your visitors will see the YouTube logo and its buttons, options, and colour choices.
  • YouTube’s recommendation engine may suggest your competitors when viewers watch your video in the YouTube app or on the YouTube website.


If your target audience is not spending time on YouTube, or if you want a customizable, ad-free video experience with no extraneous advertiser tracking, Vimeo is the best choice.

It’s simple and easy to embed Vimeo videos on your website. Simply copy and paste the video URL into the WordPress editor and you’re good to go.

In addition, Vimeo allows quite a bit of customization of it’s Player interface. You can change colours to match your brand and add your logo. You can even decide which player components to include or exclude. Therefore, if an on-brand video experience is important to you, Vimeo is the preferred option.

Vimeo is not free, however. Paid plans start at just $9 USD per month.