Screw YouTube: The Best Business Video Hosting Alternatives for WordPress Reviewed

Screw YouTube: The Best Business Video Hosting Alternatives for WordPress Reviewed

It wasn’t too long ago that YouTube was synonymous with online video. I mean, YouTube was THE place to host videos, right? But times, they are a changin’, and there are new kids popping up on the block faster than you can say “Gangnam Style.”

First there was Vimeo and then Wistia (which we use here at WPMU DEV), and now a whole bunch more hosting services are helping ensure videos are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined.

Hosting your videos externally is the best way to go if you want to ensure your site remains speedy and you don’t run into bandwidth issues. But as our in-house video expert Joshua Dailey explained in part one of this video series yesterday, it’s important to find a hosting option that not only meets your business’ current needs, but can and will meet your future needs.

So in this post, we review six popular video hosting services – Wistia, Vimeo, YouTube, Dailymotion, Sproutvideo and Vidyard – and scrutinize their price, usability, support, speed and features. We’ve even named our top two, so scroll to the bottom for the full comparison results.

This is part two of a two-part series. Check out part one: The Ultimate Mega Guide to Using Video With WordPress.

You can scroll through the reviews or go straight to them now:

Wistia vs Vimeo vs Dailymotion vs Sproutvideo vs Vidyard vs YouTube

Let’s take a look at some of the top video hosting services compared, based on price, usability, customer service, speed and features.


Wistia

Wistia Reviewed

We use Wistia here at WPMU DEV.

Price

There are three main plans to choose from that run on a monthly subscription:

  • Free – Includes space for 25 of your videos, basic analytics, basic custom video tools and a branded player.
  • Basic, $25 per month – Includes the features of the free plan with the exception of an added unbranded player and storage space for 100 videos.
  • Pro, $100 per month – Includes all the features of the previous plan, but also includes advanced analytics, lead generation tools, marketing integrations and room for 1000 videos.

When you upload a video, it comes with 200 GB of bandwidth. If you go over during the month, it costs a flat rate of 33 cents per gigabyte, although, there is a discount for enterprise plans. On free plans, the video is made unavailable and you are given the option to upgrade.

The Enterprise plans are also structured as a subscription:

  • $300 per month – Comes with one terabyte of monthly bandwidth and costs 18 cents per gigabyte for extra bandwidth.
  • $750 per month – Five terabytes of monthly bandwidth are included in this plan and overages cost 15 cents per gigabyte.
  • $1500 per month – This plan includes 15 TB of monthly bandwidth and 10 cents per gigabyte of bandwidth if you go over.
  • $3000 per month – A whopping 50 TB of monthly bandwidth is included and overages in bandwidth cost six cents per gigabyte.

Features

When considering premium services, it often comes down to price and how much you get for your investment. Wistia offers many features that are important for making each of your videos count.

With their analytic tools alone, such as their video heat map feature, you can improve your videos down to a science since you can see exact viewing habits to help you understand your customers better. Every view generates a heat map, which shows exactly which parts of a video the viewer watched, skipped, and rewatched. Meanwhile, Trend Graphs let you track how your entire video library performs over time.

Wistia can generate heat maps.
Wistia can generate heat maps.

On top of that, you can add email capturing and calls to action directly in your videos to ramp up your videos’ engagement potential for pro and enterprise plans.

The only issue in price could be bandwidth since it’s not unlimited. If your video suddenly gets popular, you may find yourself needing to quickly upgrade to avoid a potentially high bill.

At the same time, a base of 200 GB of bandwidth is included for free plans. For a short five minute video, you could roughly squeeze in over 6500 views. Not bad.

Wistia’s free plans include these features:

  • Video heat maps and viewing trends
  • Video embeds and sharing buttons
  • Fully responsive and accessible
  • Encoding and device detection
  • Customizing the video player
  • Engagement graphs
  • Video featured image

Their premium plans offer even more:

  • Calls to action and email collectors
  • Viewer history tracking
  • Team collaboration – Share internal or private videos, and collect feedback
  • Integrate with HubSpot, MailChimp, Marketo, Pardot, WordPress and Google Analytics
  • IP Filtering of Video Data
  • Unbranded Player
  • Restrict the domains where videos can be embedded
  • Video SEO and sitemaps

Usability

It was really easy to get started since options and features were well laid out and easy to view thanks to the Wistia website’s clean and crisp layout.

Video actions menu
On your video’s page, you also have access to many options from the Video Actions menu.

All the options for your videos are centralized, making uploading and customizing videos as easy as, well, moving your wrist a tiny fraction of an inch to click a few times.

It was so well-organized, I was starting to think they were skimping on features they promised, but I was wrong. It really was all there ready to go. The setup is compact, efficient and feature-rich.

You also can view many extensive video series and written documentation in the help section to teach you the basics and even more advanced topics.

Customer Service

I put Wistia’s support to the test by signing up for a free trial, then waited for it to expire. After business hours, I asked how to access a feature that could be found in 30 seconds. I received a detailed response in 16 hours.

Wistia support site
Wistia’s support was quick and the answer was detailed and specific.

Not only was the turn-around time quick for a free user’s question, the answer was also kind and informative.

Instead of giving a generic answer such as, “Look in our documentation” or “Here’s a link to a post where we merely mention it,” the response included each step I needed to take to find and make use of the feature I had asked about.

I was also given a few links to articles about the specific feature I was asking about with the extended details of how to use every nook and cranny of the tool. I expected at least a little bit of crankiness given the circumstances, but I received none.

A business’ customer service is only as strong as their support for their least likely customer. If a business can rock a support ticket from an indefinitely free user, they have a team that can pass the test with any customer.

Based on my test, Wistia passed with flying colors.

Speed

Videos upload really quickly to Wistia’s server. I was able to upload a 4MB video in just 10 seconds. The video uploaded so fast I was panicking to start my timer!

Videos played on a desktop browser were just as fast as on a mobile device. There was a bit of buffering action going on when I tested the video on my phone, but it only lasted for about a second or two, which is pretty typical for me when watching videos on a mobile device.

If I experienced buffering on my desktop browser, I didn’t notice, it was minimal to non-existent.

The Good

  • Free accounts are possible with many valuable features.
  • The quality of customer service is great.
  • There are many valuable features such as adding calls to action and email capturing.
  • It's really easy to get started and use.

The Bad

  • Prices can get quite high if you go over on your bandwidth limit.
  • Free accounts come with mandatory Wistia logo on all videos.
  • Not all social media sites are supported for sharing features.
  • Privacy settings are a premium feature.

Video Hosting on Wistia

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Vimeo

Vimeo Reviewed

Vimeo

Price

Vimeo offers a basic, free membership that lets you upload a little, but is mostly focused on giving you access to the many thousands of videos other members uploaded in the community.

Upgrading to a premium plan, on the other hand, provides a lot more storage for uploading videos along with many professional capabilities. It’s a mix between professional video hosting and a social media site.

There are three plans to choose from with differing features including privacy settings, customizations and statistics, to name a few.

  • Vimeo Basic, free – Includes the option to upload up to 500 MB per week for a total of 25 GB a year. You also get basic privacy settings and statistics along with email support.
  • Vimeo Plus, $9.95 per month or $59.95 per year – You can upload five gigabytes a week up tp 250 GB a year. Priority email support and advanced privacy settings, support, stats and customizations are also included in this plan.
  • Vimeo Pro, $199 per year and billed annually – With this plan, you can upload 20 GB of video a week up to a total of 1000 GB per year. You also get all the features of the Plus plan, with even more privacy settings, customizations, statistics, VIP support and advanced distribution options.

The free plan isn’t a free trial. You are free to upload videos and enjoy the benefits of the Vimeo community without paying anything.

Regardless of what plan you choose, your uploaded videos appear ad-free, are available across many devices including mobile ones, Xbox 360, Roku, Apple TV and connected TVs.

Your videos also don’t have a bandwidth limit. There are no limits on the file size or duration of the videos you upload, either, as long as it’s within the storage range for the plan you choose.

Upload quota
Pro plans allow you to upload an ample amount of video.

With a Plus plan, you could upload an HD video about 10 minutes long, four to five times a week to finally reach your limit. For Pro members, you have a lot more wiggle room with the ability to upload about 19 to 20, 10-minute videos every year.

Bundle in the unlimited bandwidth, ad-free hosting, and you have yourself a great deal.

Features

Uploaded videos can also be easily shared with integrated social media options or you can password protect video you’re not ready to share. You can also change basic display settings for the video player and basic video statistics.

Adding captions and subtitles are also a breeze, too. If you want to know how many times you video was watched or liked, then you should be happy to know that this is included as well for all members.

Although their premium plans have advanced statistics, they’re not all that comprehensive. You can see live graphs of your video’s number of plays, likes, comments and how often the video was loaded on the page, but not necessarily watched.

Vimeo stats page
The yearly statistics page for some private videos that were shared internally.

While you can also see how many viewers watched a video from beginning to end on different devices, how many times a video was downloaded and the geographic location of your viewers, that’s pretty much all the data you’ll have available.

Some of the Vimeo settings
Vimeo has a great selection of options for privacy for premium members.

Even with analytics that leave a lot to be desired, premium members do have a lot more control over their content such as the ability to display videos only on specific domains and the option to choose what displays when a video finishes such as links, text or related videos.

Another great feature is their worldwide distribution options.

With the Pro plan, you can choose to sell your videos by letting customers rent, buy or pay for a subscription to view all your content. You can also set your own price and choose where in the world you would like videos to be available for purchase.

Above all, Vimeo also has a great reputation for high-quality content so your professional videos should feel right at home, especially since they’ll be ad-free.

Usability

I found Vimeo to be well-laid out and easy to use. While I had difficulties locating the analytics at first, I still found the information quickly enough on the individual pages Vimeo creates for your videos.

Other than that, I was able to get started quickly and even felt like enough of a pro to start downloading multiple videos at one time.

Customer Service

Email support comes with the Free plan, too, but has a three-day response time since premium members take priority, but there are many helpful videos in their video school. It’s a rich resource brimming with information on how to create stunning videos from start to finish with beginner to advanced tips.

Plus members can get an email response time of four hours on weekdays while Pro members get this time is dramatically reduced to one hour. Both have access to support 24 hours a day on weekends.

When you're in need the help center has all the answers.
When you’re in need the help center has all the answers.

When I tested out their support, they were fast, friendly and provided all the information I was looking for, including solving my technical issue fully. They also kept me up-to-date on the fix as it was being worked on.

I was left feeling impressed and happy that everything was solved quickly and politely.

Speed

Uploading a video 8MB in size took 19 seconds and the conversion after that took 45 seconds. Overall, it was pretty fast but to be honest I expected better.

Upload speeds are not bad.
Upload speeds are not bad.

Buffering on videos on average was about 2 seconds on a moderate internet connection and jumping to different points in the video only resulted in about a single second of buffering.

The Good

  • Your videos can enjoy unlimited bandwidth.
  • There is minimal buffering.
  • You can choose to sell or rent your videos
  • All accounts are ad-free for uploaded videos.

The Bad

  • There isn't a whole lot in terms of analytics, even with premium accounts.
  • Larger, high definition videos can take take quite a bit of time to upload.
  • There aren't that many more benefits over completely free video hosts for the price.
  • Members with free accounts can expect a long wait time for customer support.

Video Hosting on Vimeo

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Dailymotion

Dailymotion Reviewed

Dailymotion

Price

Dailymotion is kinda like YouTube. It’s free to set up an account and upload videos. You can also choose to apply to their official partner program for free to earn money from the ad revenue earned from your videos as well as received increased exposure on the Dailymotion site.

It doesn’t get any better than free, but the service is only worth it if you can get the features that matter to you most. If you’re looking to share videos on a site where you can see the highest number of views, Dailymotion may not be the best choice.

The most popular videos range an average of 10,000 to 150,000 views which is considerably less than YouTube’s list of most popular videos.

Most popular videos and their views
Apart from one video with a few million views, most of the popular and trending videos had significantly less views.

Even still, while Dailymotion does serve up ads with uploaded videos, they are placed at the end of the video which is a lot less invasive than YouTube’s current structure.

The community isn’t typically huge when it comes to commenting, but when they do, it’s usually positive, although, spam is known to happen from time to time.

Sometimes less it may be more, especially if you consider a few positive comments better than receiving tons of spam and rude ones.

At any rate, you are able to embed uploaded videos to any other site on the web so you can add your videos to your WordPress site and rely on your own popularity and the comment system built into your site. It can be a cost-effective way to share videos on the web without tons of ads and spam.

Features

Ads are usually displayed at the end of a video, but when the monetizing option is enabled an ad is also played before the video begins as well as one in-line on the video.

The in-line ads usually take up about half the screen, inhibiting the view of whatever is playing.

Dailymotion analytics
The analytics aren’t too detailed so it may not be sufficient for many users.

The ads may border on excessive at times, but storage and bandwidth are unlimited. It’s not all good news, though, since video files are limited to 2GB and can’t be longer than 60 minutes in length.

The analytics are also limited so if this is an important feature for you, it may be a good idea to search for a different option.

Here are some more features for free users:

  • A resolution of up to 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)
  • Videos are limited to a frame rate of 24, 25, or 30 FPS, non-interlaced
  • Automatic encoding
  • Sharing buttons
  • Basic analytics
  • Email support
  • Ability to upload multiple videos at one time
  • Can apply for OpenVOD to sell your videos

Dailymotion partners can expect more data when it comes to analytics:

  • Views, shares, favorites and comments
  • Minutes watched
  • Subscribers
  • Video Performance
  • Geographic Data
  • Domain Data
  • Device Data
  • Audience retention
  • Social network traffic breakdown

Usability

I’m not too sure if uploading a video can be any simpler since all it took was a few mouse clicks. The Upload button is displayed prominently on the menu.

Upload buttons
Uploading videos to Dailymotion is straight forward and easy.

Next, you click one more button to select a file from your computer and away it goes. You can even drag and drop your video file. As your video uploads, you can add a title, description, tags, basic privacy settings, enable comments and add monetization if you’re a partner.

After clicking Publish, you’re done. No messy or confusing options and no need to scratch your head to find additional hidden settings.

Customer Service

I experienced a technical issue and emailed the support team. I seriously did a double take when I looked on my phone and saw a reply within 5 minutes. It wasn’t even an automated response, but a real person offering a solution.

While this isn’t always the case, the Dailymotion support team is consistently excellent at responding promptly.

Dailymotion help center
Help is easy to come by whether you want to submit a ticket or search the documentation.

It was easy to submit a request with the button displayed clearly in the menu along with a search bar to try your hand at finding your answer in their documentation which is quite helpful and includes everything from how to watch and upload videos to troubleshooting and encoding guidelines.

While their documentation isn’t always helpful, there are still many posts full of detailed, step-by-step instructions.

I noticed a bug on the site and while it wasn’t fixed within 5 minutes, I was offered a workaround while they sorted things out on their end. Of course, this wasn’t an ideal solution, but it’s not quite practical to expect a bug fix to be completed within minutes!

The response I received was also polite and also short, but in a good way – no one likes reading huge, winded email replies, anyway.

Speed

When I uploaded my first video to Dailymotion, it completed so fast I thought it must have been a fluke. But several uploads later, I could see that speed was certainly not a product of luck or chance.

An eight-megabyte video loaded in just 10 seconds and processed in five seconds on a moderate internet connection. Although high peak times cause slower upload times, it usually isn’t slower by a completely unreasonable amount.

The same principle applies to buffering. During peak traffic periods, buffering tends to take about 15 to 30 seconds on a standard internet connection, but typically, no additional buffering occurs while the video plays.

During off-peak traffic periods, users may still see a buffering time of five to 15 seconds and no buffering during the duration of the video.

The Good

  • All account options include unlimited bandwidth and storage space.
  • Customer support is regularly lightning fast.
  • Uploading videos is incredibly fast, easy and straight forward.
  • It's completely free and you can even apply for ad revenue sharing.

The Bad

  • There is a file size limit of two gigabytes, which is not enough for a 20 minute HD video.
  • Videos can't be longer than 60 minutes.
  • The video analytics are incredibly basic, even for partner accounts.
  • The dailymotion community isn't nearly as evolved and engaged as most other social media sites.

Video Hosting on Dailymotion

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Sproutvideo

Sproutvideo Reviewed

Sproutvideo

Price

Sproutvideo is another professional video host with tons of available options from security to engagement tracking and lead generation. Some of the other professional hosting services offer free accounts, but Sproutvideo doesn’t, although, there is a 14-day trial available. They have plan available at a monthly subscription.

  • Sprout, $25 per month – 150 GB bandwidth, 100 GB storage, $1/GB overages, all features except engagement metrics
  • Sapling, $50 per month – 300 GB bandwidth, 400 GB storage, $0.80/GB overages, all features
  • Tree, $100 per month – 600 GB bandwidth, 800 GB storage, $0.60/GB overages, all features
  • Grove, $200 per month – 1200 GB bandwidth, 1600 GB storage, $0.40 /GB overages, all features
  • Forest $400 per month – 2400 GB bandwidth, 3200 GB storage, $0.20/GB overages, all features

Features

Despite the huge list of features, I can’t help but wonder if the prices are  justified. Don’t get me wrong, Sproutvideo offers a wonderful service, but the offerings are quite similar to other less expensive video hosting options with the same feature base.

Features list
This is only about one third of the total features list for Sproutvideo.

Sproutvideo does offer more features than the competition, but many simply have more to do with aesthetics than practical things like analytics or marketing tools. With this in mind, if you find the other video hosts are hugely lacking when it comes to player customization, then Sproutvideo is definitely worth considering closely.

Features

While there are bandwidth and storage limits, you can upload any file size up to the limit your plan allows. All videos are encoded for you automatically and you can rest easy knowing there are no ads or logos that will be placed on your videos or the player.

There are so many features, it’s difficult to keep track of them all. Sharing buttons are standard along with heatmaps, and closed captioning and subtitle capabilities.

Here’s only about a quarter of what Sproutvideo has to offer:

  • SSL embeds
  • Heatmaps and graphs
  • Videos are set to private by default
  • Total impressions and plays
  • Location and domain data
  • Track and tag every viewer
  • Average video engagement
  • Integrated lead capture and calls to action
  • Email marketing integration
  • Custom player size and colors
  • Multiple video page layouts and themes
  • Unlimited players
  • API options

It’s easy to see exactly how engaged viewers are, the region where they lived and plenty of accurate data about the devices used to watch the videos. The stats were visually displayed in a clean and eye catching way that was easy to quickly understand.

Usability

Overall, the features were quick to find, thought there were some options that weren’t immediately obvious. When you log in, you’re brought to a page with a list of your videos and a menu on the left with many popular options for quick access.

Theme options
With so much going on when you log in, it can be easy to miss a whole host of customization options that are available.

This was a good thing, except I didn’t realize immediately that there was another menu at the top of the page with all the available options. It’s not the most confusing thing in the world, but it did take me a while to figure it out.

That being said, once I learned my way around, it was incredibly easy to adjust all the options that it seemed fool-proof – a close second to Wistia in this category.

While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with the layout of the user dashboard, I think a few tweaks to make it easier for first-time users could vastly speed up the inherent learning curve.

Support

Support is included in all plans with your choice of live chat or email support. There’s also an extensive help section full of most information you would likely need.

When you sign up you receive an email from a member of the support staff, introducing themselves and offering a helping hand should you have any questions or run into difficulty. If you aren’t sure about something, it becomes easy to ask for help and guidance.

Help page
It’s quite easy to get help if you need it.

When I tested their support team, I mean I really tested their support. I asked a simple question that I had already found an answer to in their documentation after well under a minute of searching. I also emailed them at night, well outside of office hours.

I even signed up for a trial to see how well they treated non-paying customers with no interest in upgrading. I received a reply in 10 hours. Given their office hours, they responded within two hours since after their official work day started.

Their reply was kind, enthusiastic, helpful and on point. If their support team could be this kind to a free user with no intention of upgrading, it stands to reason that their premium customers would receive premium-level support.

Speed

Upload speeds were quite fast and closely related to Wistia’s upload speed, Sproutvideo being a teeny bit faster. A 4MB video took 25 seconds to fully complete. The analytics were also nearly completely live with only about a 30-second delay.

A video uploading
Uploading was slower than some of the other options, but was speedy when it came to playing the video.

Buffering was nearly non-existent throughout a 24-hour testing period, which means speed was consistent even at potential peak traffic periods. I was also able to skip to different parts of the video quickly with buffering occurring at only a small fraction of a second.

The Good

  • Huge feature list that holds a lot of value.
  • Strong customer support team.
  • Video upload and viewing is fast and reliable.
  • All plans include an unbranded player and no ads.

The Bad

  • The plan prices are quite a bit higher than comparable options.
  • Their member dashboard isn't quite as intuitive initially.
  • Plans don't offer more than 2,400 GB of bandwidth and overage fees are quite high.
  • There isn't a free plan available, only a free trial.

Video Hosting with Sproutvideo

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Vidyard

Vidyard Reviewed

Vidyard

Price

As a professional video hosting service, Vidyard offers an ultra premium plans to fit your needs exactly, packed to the brim with features. Pricing and plans are based on your specific needs. Vidyard works with you to figure out what you need and builds you a custom plan on a monthly subscription.

You pay for exactly what you need instead of tons of features you might not ever use, but would pay for, anyway.

These custom plans start at $1,250 a month for a total of $15,000 per year.

With such a higher cost than any other service in this post, it’s difficult to reward a high score in this category.

Video settings
Viral sharing included.

Still, with its sheer volume of features the large number begins to make sense.

Even a small fraction of the available features can help boost user engagement and ROI (return on investment) with tools that make it as easy to communicate with viewers and convert them to customers as a couple clicks of your mouse (and I don’t mean figuratively).

If you’re 110% dedicated to increasing user engagement with video and just as serious to increase sales with videos like it’s going out of style, Vidyard has an enormous amount of tools that can be at your disposal to make it happen.

Features

Creating a Call to Action
Creating custom calls to action for videos is quick and simple.

Your basic settings are included such as an unbranded player with no ads, automatic encoding, sharing buttons, choosing thumbnails for your videos and basic analytics, but Vidyard goes so much further.

Here’s a list of only the most relevant features to WordPress users. In reality, this list only scratches the surface when compared to the huge list of every single available feature.

Video A/B testing
You can enable A/B testing on multiple video thumbnails at one time.

You’ll be able to do A/B testing for multiple video thumbnails, view analytics down to the individual, view the history for each viewer and even their engagement and attention span.

You can also choose to have access to an automatically generated list of video assets that contribute to ROI, lead generation and calls to action and detailed heatmaps and graphs.

Here’s a short list of even more of the available features:

  • Seamless integration with social media
  • Large list of customizable players to choose
  • Exact and accurate domain referrers
  • Automatically populated lists of:
    • Contacts who watch specific videos
    • Identified interests of most qualified prospects
  • Filter views by player, video chapters, embeds, countries and emails
  • Ability to send your data to third party services to immediately translate video data to use immediately for increasing sales, communication and engagement
    • Eloqua
    • Marketo
    • Salesforce Sales Cloud
    • Salesforce1
    • Chatter
    • Hootsuite
    • Google Analytics and more

Usability

Regardless of the long list of settings and options, Vidyard is quite easy to navigate. When you log into your account, you’re immediately met with what matters – analytics, user engagement, data, data and more data.

Dashboard analytics
When you log in, you have immediate access to to the most important data.

The menu with access to all the available features is easy to navigate to find what you need. With visual editors, comprehensive search boxes to pinpoint anything you’re specifically looking for, it’s not a difficult service to use, although, it may seem a tad intimidating at first.

Customer Service

Support is available for each plan at different levels depending on your needs. Once you inquire about a trial or demo, you’re teamed up with a customer service rep to provide you with all the information you need and then direct you to the appropriate contacts within the company, as needed.

I spent a lot of time emailing the support team back and forth with replies flying in within minutes nearly every time. They knew I wasn’t going to purchase a plan, but they still gave me the time of day anyway.

Other than a fairly lengthy period of two weeks where no one got back to me due to an irregular rise in customer requests, my emails were returned after their influx of emails and they were keen to make things right.

Their response times resumed to minutes and when I pressured them to contact me as quickly as possible, they were able to set up a phone appointment immediately and not more than 10 minutes later, the phone call was under way.

Everyone was kind and courteous throughout the experience and many apologies were made for the period of silence.

There’s also a wealth of knowledge available on their support site full of past issues that were solved. You could also contact them directly if you don’t find what you need from searching.

Support site
Their support site holds all their closed tickets for reference.

Overall, they were extremely helpful and accommodating, even though they knew they would get very little – if any – value from helping me so much.

Speed

If fast videos are important to you, then Vidyard won’t disappoint with videos playing faster than the speed of light, well, not literally of course, but close enough! Their servers must be powered by Zeus himself because there was absolutely no buffering at any point during a video, even when you click at different points throughout the video quickly.

A large majority of viewers and customers alike won’t wait for videos to load if it takes longer than six to 10 seconds according to a study by KISSmetrics. If you’re serious about closing the loading gap as much as possible to retain users’ attention, then Vidyard may be a viable option for you.

The Good

  • Plans are tailored to your specific needs to prevent you from over paying.
  • Video speeds are blazing fast.
  • There's a huge number of features available to choose.
  • Even with an extensive feature list, the dashboard's user experience is great.

The Bad

  • Plans are pricey and can exclude many people from choosing this service.
  • While customer support is dedicated, there's a lot of room for improvement.
  • A free trial is not available instantly.
  • The Vidyard website is quite vague and doesn't offer enough information.

Video Hosting with Vidyard

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And… YouTube

YouTube Reviewed

YouTube

Price

Uploading videos onto YouTube is free and does not have any additional costs associated with it. This is in addition to the ads displayed on the video page. For some people, it may be a small price to pay to be able to upload videos for free.

If you meet the criteria to become a YouTube Partner, you can start earning money from the ads that are displayed on your videos. You can apply on the settings page of your YouTube account fairly easily, but you will need a landline or cell phone to verify that you’re a real person.

A free video hosting solution sounds enticing especially if you can earn money from your videos, but does it actually work well? Let’s take a look at its performance by reviewing its price, usability, customer service, speed and features.

It doesn’t get any better than free when it comes to price, but it does come limitations. YouTube runs ads either before the start of your video or as an overlay on top of your videos.

Often times, the ads are as long as one minute. Sometimes they can be skipped manually after five seconds of viewing, but it depends entirely on the advertiser since they can choose to remove this option.

YouTube ad
Sometimes ads can be skipped.

This can be a problem for businesses and anyone who wishes to appear as professional as possible since you don’t have a choice in which ads are displayed in your video. Although ads are shown based on the tags you provide, accurate ads still may not be shown.

Even worse, if the ads are accurate, business can be taken away from you instead of driving it toward you since viewers may be enticed to click on the ad and at the same time, away from your video.

YouTube is one of the highest ranking sites which is fantastic since it also doubles as a social media destination. This means your videos have higher potential exposure, especially on Google, without doing anything extra.

As for their partner program, unless you post regularly every week and your videos are pulling in at least 100,000 views each, you won’t see a significant revenue stream.

Features

While bandwidth and file size is unlimited, you can only upload videos shorter than 15 minutes. If you become a partner, this video duration limitation is removed.

You can also expect to have access to:

  • Sharing buttons
  • Branded embedding
  • Basic analytics
    • Total views
    • Views by geographic location
    • Link referrers from YouTube, “direct or unknown” and “other”
  • Encoded and responsive videos
  • Messaging, liking, rating and commenting system
  • Basic video editing
    • Annotations
    • Links to other YouTube pages or videos
    • Trimming the beginning or end
    • Simple filters
    • Free music library (may need attribution)
  • Partners can offer one-off fees or paid subscriptions
  • Live streaming events

The best features YouTube has to offer is their unlimited bandwidth, and notable status and popularity among the internet, users and search rankings.

This is especially true since their analytics are minimal, but enough to get by on if your needs aren’t complicated.

Analytics sample
YouTube offers basic analytics.

Usability

I found YouTube to be easy to use, but some of the site’s features can be hidden and difficult to find at times. All your videos, messages, comments, analytics and settings are stored and organized in your Creator Studio, but it can be difficult to see what you want.

Creator Studio menu
It can be easy to forget where prominent settings are located.

I have posted videos regularly on YouTube for about three years and even after visiting the creator studio regularly, I still found it difficult to get around since the layout isn’t all that intuitive with the most prominent features not easily accessible.

I also found that I didn’t receive alerts or emails for several messages and comments on a regular basis.

I would receive at least a dozen Facebook messages and emails on any given week asking if I had seen a message or comment the user sent months ago. As it turns out, I wasn’t notified and many of my fellow YouTubers explained to me that they were experiencing the same issue, among others.

Overall, the user experience from a video creator standpoint is just okay.

Customer Service

Another huge problem many content creators seem to face was that many videos were being falsely accused of copyright infringement by YouTube, when in reality, there was none to be found.

YouTube help pop-up
Documentation is limited and lacks detail.

At one point, I received several complaints every month for almost a year. I was able to stop the issue from occurring by quitting as a YouTube partner.

The customer service team at the time informed me my only option was to put up with it with no other explanation as to why it was happening.

Though their past customer service has been largely inadequate, currently, it’s nearly non-existent. There is only limited support documentation available at this point in time.

Speed

Videos play fairly quickly during times of low traffic, but during high peaks, expect to wait at least a minute for your video to start – not including the wait time for the ads.

For the most part, buffering can occur and last between 15-30 seconds or less for modest internet connections, but for faster connections, it isn’t usually a big problem.

Uploading videos also a time-consuming process. I used to regularly upload videos that were 15 minutes in length and on a blazing-fast internet connection, on a good day, it took an average of about three hours to upload and two hours to process until the video was ready to go.

The Good

  • Free to use and upload videos
  • Potential to earn money with ad revenue sharing
  • The sheer popularity of YouTube can help get your videos noticed
  • Unlimited bandwidth and views

The Bad

  • The ads displayed on videos can be disruptive to your message
  • Customer service is nearly non-existant
  • User dashboard isn't intuitive and easy to get around
  • Video speed can reduce dramatically during high traffic peaks

Video Hosting on YouTube

  • Price:
  • Usability:
  • Customer service:
  • Speed:
  • Features:
  • Overall:

Video Hosting Services Compared

At the end of the day, the video hosting option you choose really depends on your needs. If you have a small site with minimal needs (and a minimal budget), a free option may suffice. But for business sites with heavy traffic, and in particular sites that require detailed analytics and customizations, premium options are the way to go.

While your needs are subjective, facts aren’t so based on the reviews above, here are the video hosts ranked from best to worst.

The Verdict

  • Wistia:
  • Vimeo:
  • YouTube:
  • Dailymotion:
  • Sproutvideo:
  • Vidyard:

And the Winner Is…?

It’s a tie between Wistia and Vidyard. They both offer intense value and while Wistia is the clear affordable option of the two, Vidyard does have a long list of useful features that well surpasses Wistia.

Wistia and Vidyard come out on top!
Wistia and Vidyard come out on top!

Bottom line – if you’re on a budget, Wistia offers the most value for money.

But if you’re okay with spending more for an intense increase in value and ROI, then Vidyard is a service to consider, too.

If you need social media and community to be at the heart of your videos, Vimeo offers more bang for your buck, a professional and creative atmosphere with plenty of sharing capabilities.

Summing Up

Whether you decide to self-host your videos or use a video hosting service, we’ve reviewed the top hosts to help you make the best decision for your site or business.

If you’re interested in learning about a couple ways you can start integrating video into your WordPress site, check out these other posts: Support Your Clients With White Label Videos and Awesome Tutorials and Using Appointments + to Setup and Streamline Client Consultations.

Do you agree with these results? Who is your clear favorite? Feel free to share your vote in the comments below.