When searching for a video website for hosting your content, there are many sites to choose from. How do you decide which video website is the best place for you?
Your primary consideration should be the technical features offered by various video websites. The following criteria should help you narrow down your choices and find some video websites that fits your needs.
After you find some video websites with the technical features you need, it's time to consider the other benefits and features offered by various video websites.
Video Website File Size Limits
Video websites have varying limits in the size of the video files they allow you to upload. Generally you’ll have to compress your video before uploading so it meets the file size requirements of the video website. If you have to compress it too much, your video may not look very good by the time it’s playing on the web.
Some video websites have no file size limits. It's nice to have the ability to upload your master video file, but this can take a loooong time.
Video Website Storage Space
Does the video website limit how many videos you can upload to your account, or how much storage space you can use?
Some video websites will allow you to upload an unlimited number of videos, while others will only give you a certain amount of storage space. If your storage space on the video website is limited, you'll have to delete old videos before uploading new ones, create a new account for your new videos, or, sometimes, pay for additional storage space.
Video Website Uploading Formats
What formats does the video website accept?
Most video websites accept multiple video formats, such as Quicktime, Windows Media, MPEG etc. You can even find sites that allow you to upload directly from your camcorder or cell phone. If this is important to you, make sure that the web video hosting service you choose to use offers these features.
Video Website Viewing Formats
What format do the clips on the video website play in?
Flash is the standard for most video websites, because it is installed on most computers and plays quickly and easily. However, some video websites offer other video formats, in case you want to share your video on a site that doesn't use Flash, such as iTunes.
Video Website Compression Quality
Video websites will re-compress your video before publishing it. Some sites do this better than others. One of the biggest complaints about YouTube, for example, is the site's poor compression quality.
It's impossible to know exactly what your re-compressed video will look like, but you can get an idea of how well the compressor works by looking at other videos on the site. Are they fuzzy and pixelated, or clear and bright?
Video Website Downloads
Because of copyright issues, many video websites do not allow users to download copies of the videos on the site. There are some sites though, such as Google Video and iTunes, that allow users to save copies of videos to their desktop or portable video player.
Video Website Editing Capabilities
Many video websites now offer editing features. YouTube gives you the ability to remix your video or add titles, narration or photos.
These come in handy if you ever need to change anything in your video because you can do it right online, instead of editing it on your desktop and repeating the entire upload process.
Other Features for Video Websites
Besides the technical features, there are many other things to consider before choosing a video website. Factors such as site demographics, search capabilities and privacy should also influence your choice of a video website.
These issues are explored in Part 2 of this article.