Are you looking for a way to host your video and streaming video on the web, but you don’t know where to start? Do you want to host your video files or your streaming videos so your audience can tune in live? You can host your standard video files likes .mov and .flv files for on demand viewing by your online audience, and you can also host videos for live streaming.
There is sometimes a lot of confusion when it comes time to host your videos online. A lot of people are not sure whether they need a full dedicated video streaming server, if there are cloud server solutions, if they will be able to host their videos on the same server as their website, or whether it is even possible to host their videos from a regular apache server.
Define Streaming Video for Yourself
If you stream live then you’ll need a VPS, dedicated server, or a provider that can give you streaming software such as wowza. If you want to host videos that can be watched on your page in a video player then look for a host with FFMpeg support. Any shared hosting with FFMpeg installed should do just fine for most people’s needs.
Streaming Video Hosting Options
If you want to host streaming video you don’t necessarily need a specialist server to get the job done well. It is possible to host streaming video through a normal dedicated or VPS server, but it mainly depends on your traffic. If you have a lot of traffic you might not be able to host on a VPS server.
A VPS server is a good option though since it guarantees resources and lets you scale up dynamically as your needs increase. You can easily host both your video and website on a VPS too. A new service by Amazon lets to you host live streaming videos on the cloud, and you only pay for the amount of resources you use too.
For live streaming you could also consider using a site like ustream.tv instead. You won’t have as much control over your videos, but you can simultaneously stream your video and sites like ustream will save your show on their servers for users to view later.
Non-Streaming Video Options
If you don’t need live streaming video and you just want to host your movie files such as MP4s or FLVs then use something like JWPlayer to integrate and play them on your site. You can host them on your regular server but if you want to super charge your speeds and user experience you can make use of a Content Delivery Network. Don’t lose your audience due to slow downloads and extensive buffering.
Also don’t get too intimidated by all the available options for hosting your videos. If you’re having trouble finding the appropriate hosting option then ask a friend or somebody else who’s hosted videos how they do it. Whatever type of video you want your audience to see there is a way to host it. Everyone else is doing it so there’s really nothing stopping you from figuring out how to do it too.
Will Cochrane is a freelance writer, web designer, and marketing coach.