Choosing The Video Site That’s Best For Your Needs

video sitesWhen you are looking for a website to host your video content, the decision can be overwhelming. There are a huge number of sites where you can upload and share your videos, from YouTube to Facebook and everything in between. So how do you decide which video site is best for you?

What Are Your Intentions?

There are a number of factors to take into consideration when deciding where you want to upload your videos on the web. Before you even begin to think about creating an account at an online video site you need to figure out what your intentions are. Do you intend to upload home videos to share with your friends and family? Will you be uploading personal vlogs that you want to reach as many people as possible? Do you want to share your videos with a few close friends or broadcast them to millions? Do you want to make money off of your videos? All of these questions are important to consider.

Someone who wants their videos to go viral, getting as many views as possible, doesn’t necessarily need to sign up for the same video site as someone who just wants to share their home videos with a few friends.

The Viral Vixen

If your main objective in uploading videos to the Internet is to get as many views as possible then you should stick with YouTube, no doubt. YouTube is the largest and most well known video sharing site and offers up the most potential for getting a lot of views, if your video has that special something. DailyMotion and Viddler are also good places to upload your videos if you are looking to go viral, but YouTube is the best by far.

The Home Video Extraordinaire

If you are interested in uploading home videos for the sole purpose of sharing them with your friends and family then you will want to choose a site with a simple interface and high video quality. Vimeo, Viddler and Veoh are popular sites for home videos. If you are friends with all the people you want to share your video with on Facebook you can also upload your video there and share it will all of your Facebook friends and family privately.

Some people upload home videos in hopes that they will get lots of views. A lot of people want to be the next ‘Charlie Bit My Finger‘ or ‘David After Dentist‘. Again, if it is your intention to go viral then upload your video to YouTube.

The Web Video Entrepreneur

Most people upload videos to the web to share them with their friends and family or to promote themselves and get feedback from the world. However, there are also a lot of people who upload video because they want to make money. If you are looking to make money on your video content then there are a few video sites that you should look into. Revver, blip.tv and Brightcove all offer revshare programs, giving creators the opportunity to monetize on their web video content.

The Creative Genius

Animators, filmmakers, documentarians, music video producers and other creative types love Vimeo. Vimeo is great because, more so than other video sites, it serves as a creative community. Though you may not get as many views on Vimeo as you would on a site like YouTube, you will find a whole collection of users who are more than happy to give you feedback and constructive criticism on your work.

The Blogger

Many bloggers host their videos on an online video site in order to embed them within their blog posts. If you plan to embed videos on your blog then the most important thing to keep in mind is the style of the player. You want to choose a video site with a player that does not clash with the design of your site. Vimeo and Viddler are popular among bloggers, as their players offer simplicity and they also have very good picture quality.

The Niche Producer

If you tend to produce a lot of video content about one specific topic or niche then you may consider uploading your videos to a niche video site. For instance, if you like shooting news-related content then you should consider uploading your videos to CNN’s iReport. If you are a vlogger who likes to stream live then Justin.tv or Ustream are good choices for you. If there is not a niche video site for the niche you are focused on, just be sure to file your videos under a relevant category and relevant tags within the site you wind up using.

The Technical Stuff

Once you have narrowed down your selection of video sites based on your needs there are a few things that you have to think about on the technical side. Following are some of the most important technical aspects to look into.

File Size and Storage Space

Different video sites allow for varying maximum file size and varying storage space limitations. You want to make sure that you choose a site that will allow you to upload videos the size of those you want to upload, and one that will allow you to upload as many videos as you would like, without running out of storage space. You can compress your videos to make the file sizes smaller. However, you don’t want to compress them too much as the picture quality will be compromised.

YouTube sets a limit on the size of each video, accepting High Definition videos that are up to 2 GB in size and up to 10 minutes in length. Vimeo sets upload limits of 500 MB per week and one HD video per week on free accounts. However, the Vimeo Plus paid upgrade gets you 5 GB per week of upload space with no limits on HD. Therefore, if you are looking to upload large quantities of videos or very heavy files and don’t want to pay for a premium account then YouTube would be the better choice for you.

You can usually find information regarding file size restrictions and storage space on the upload page of the video site you are using.

Video Compression Quality

Most video sites re-compress your videos once they have been uploaded. Some sites are better at this than others. For instance, there have been a lot of complaints about YouTube’s poor compression quality. Though the site has made improvements, YouTube videos often look fuzzy and pixilated compared to Vimeo and Viddler, which offer clear, bright picture quality. If you can’t tell the difference then upload the same video to a couple of sites and compare. Choose the site that makes your video look the best.

Video Editing Capabilities

Some video sites only give you the option to upload completed videos while others allow you to edit your video once it has been uploaded. For instance, YouTube gives users the option to add annotations and captions and even swap out their audio after their video has been uploaded.

Why Choose One When You Can Have Them All?

It is important to keep in mind that you don’t have to restrict yourself to one video site. You can increase your exposure by uploading videos to multiple sites. Of course, it can be more difficult keeping track of views, comments and messages on multiple accounts but there are tools that can help you out. TubeMogul, for instance, is a great tool that allows you to upload and distribute your video to multiple sites at one time, track analytics and reach wide numbers of viewers.

Which video sites do you use and why would you recommend them?