Videos are an important part of most online training courses. Hosting videos for online courses is an important decision in your course planning.
Note some of the 3rd party training platforms like Teachable and Thinkific host your videos as part of the service. Make sure you check with your host if you’re using a 3rd party platform to see if you need to purchase an outside service.
If you follow me, you’ll know that I teach that a course must be more than a video. This isn’t just a YouTube channel. A full course requires more interaction and should include ways to reach the student through a variety of styles such as video, text, images, and quizzes.
Video is, however, one of the most powerful of those styles. Whether you are creating screencasts, live videos of yourself or an automated slideshow you will need a place to host your videos.
Most web hosts are not configured to host videos. Streaming technologies take more resources and bandwidth than rendering a standard HTML web page. Unless you are working with a host specifically configured to deliver video, uploading your videos to the host to embed into your courses, posts, and pages will usually result in long load times and very slow playing. Some may not play at all, and if you are charged for bandwidth over a specific minimum, you may find yourself facing high charges.
The good news is that there are services specifically designed to host your video in the best way possible.
Hosting Videos on YouTube
Almost anyone familiar with the Internet is familiar with YouTube. YouTube allows you to upload and display videos. These can be for teaching or entertainment and are easy to embed in most courseware platforms and in WordPress.
YouTube hosting is completely free and is usually seen as the perfect solution for all free and marketing videos. The benefit of placing free videos on YouTube is that they can be indexed by the search engines and help you find an audience as well as deliver to your current audience.
YouTube does allow some privacy options in that you can set videos to only be seen by those who have a link.
And you can also create private videos that are protected by access. To grant access, you must use a person’s gmail name.
Hosting Videos on Wistia
Wistia is a premium video hosting service with a wide selection of plans.
I am not currently using Wistia, but understand that their service is wonderful. The pricing on Wistia is a combination of monthly fees and bandwidth allotments.
Monthly fees range from free (for up to 3 videos a month uploaded) to $100/month for uploading up to 500 videos. Enterprise packages can be quoted for larger accounts. http://wistia.com/pricing
The one thing to consider when planning for a Wistia account is that the number of videos on the account is the number you can upload in a 1 month period. Each account comes with 200GB per month of bandwidth. All bandwidth over 200GB is charged, and the price as of this writing is $0.33/GB.
Each time a video is played, bandwidth happens. This means that if you have a lot of evergreen videos, as you load more videos each month, if people are watching all of them your bandwidth could go crazy.
Wistia does have a bandwidth predictor. Although it’s not guaranteed 100% accurate, Wistia gives you this calculator to predict the bandwidth your site will use.
Hosting Videos on Vimeo
Vimeo provides private video hosting with several options for configuration and security. For $199 a year with unlimited videos but limited to up to 20GB of uploads per week, it is my favorite way to get started with a video host for my courses. You are not charged for the bandwidth with Vimeo only for the uploads.
I have been using Vimeo since 2013 when I found them while trying to solve this issue as I delivered an Introduction to WordPress course.
Coming Soon. How to using Vimeo to host your online course videos.
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