How to Add Video to a WordPress Blog the Easy Way is slowly turning into a very popular post. A reader left an excellent question in his comment, and I wanted to write a post about it instead of just reply in the comments.
I want to add my own video clips (aka video blog); would it be easier to put them on YouTube and then create the links in my blog posts as per your steps, or is there a way to link to them from my PC? Â I do have access to my webserver’s directory; can I load them into the blog folder there and link to them, or is via YouTube a better way to go?
There are some great questions in here that I’d like to answer for everyone’s benefit.
Roll Your Own Video
There is no way to link to the videos from your PC, but you certainly can upload videos to your web server and then embed them in a post. Here’s what’s involved in that:
- The video has to be in the right format. While there are embeddable players that will work with multiple video file types, there are some file types people may have trouble with, or that will take a lot of storage space and bandwidth. The format often used for this is called FLV, or Flash video. You can take a video you create and convert it into an FLV, upload it to your web server, and then embed it, which leads me to…
- You need an FLV player. There are WordPress plugins that provide media players for this sort of thing, such as the An-Archos Anarchy Media Player or PodPress.
As you can see, this is fairly involved. Are there any compelling advantages to doing this? There are, but how compelling they are depends on your situation:
- You control the content totally. You’re not dependent on the availability or whims of another service which may suffer outages, have slow periods, disappear entirely, or suddenly find your content offensive for some reason and remove it.
- If you ever want to put your content behind a wall, such as charge for it or create a member area, then you don’t want your content proliferating all over the net where people can openly access it.
- You can customize the player and other technical/design issues to a high degree.
- You want people to come to your blog to watch the videos.
There are disadvantages to this, too. Let’s take a look:
- It’s a hell of a lot of work.
- It’s technically demanding. Getting this stuff to work right isn’t always easy.
- If you have decent traffic, the bandwidth from the videos may exceed your hosting service package limits, creating extra charges.
Using a Video Service
Using a free video service such as YouTube or Viddler is as simple as creating an account, uploading videos to it, and then embedding the videos in your blog posts as I specify inÂ How to Add Video to a WordPress Blog the Easy Way. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons here, starting the positives:
- It’s really, really easy: just upload, create a description, and when you’re done, copy the embed codes to paste into a post.
- The service eats the bandwidth costs (they make their money from advertising).
- There is a social component to using these sites: you create friends, leave comments, and subscribe to the videos of other users of that service. This drives traffic back to your blog.
- There are blog SEO benefits to using YouTube in particular. You may have noticed that YouTube videos often appear in Google’s Universal search results. This also drives traffic back to your blog.
- There are branding advantages to using Viddler. In How to Sell from Your Blog (The Ultra-Basics), I used Viddler. Check out the custom colors and the logo “bug” in the bottom right corner! Check out what happens when you click on it. That’s cool.
- Basically, your profile on a video service is another form of social media and serves as a portal or gateway to send traffic back to your blog.
- Videos on YouTube can “go viral,” but if you’re not on YouTube, it can’t ever happen (slim chance, anyway, but still).
Here are the negatives for using a video service:
- You don’t have much control: it’s their service. Their terms. Their restrictions on quality, size, format, and content. They can decide they don’t like the look in your eye and yank you down.
- It’s another social media channel to manage.
- Sometimes the service is down, slow, or implements changes you don’t like (like that stupid search bar on YouTube videos, which you can get rid of).
The Final Verdict
From where I’m sitting, the video services win. I’m not in a situation that needs the particular advantages of self-hosted video (at least, not with Remarkablogger), so for me the choice is clear: video services totally win. That doesn’t mean they’re right for you, so think carefully before deciding.