If you want to have videos on your website, you have two options: using video hosting services or self hosting of videos.
Video Sharing Services
The number one reason many people prefer not hosting their own videos is because of the huge server resources videos need. Video sharing and playing are server killers and by using places like YouTube or any other video sharing services, the load on the server is reduced. This becomes even more important if you are using shared hosting, where you will have to ensure that the resource usage is low.
While resource management is one reason, the other advantage of using video sharing services like YouTube is to get more eyeballs on your videos. If you look at the traffic that YouTube attracts, you pale in comparison, even if you have a highly trafficked website. By hosting your videos on YouTube, you can take advantage of that unlimited traffic.
Towards this end, you can:
Create and upload videos that people are interested in
You can include a link back to your website and also your brand name in the video
This way, you would be creating another traffic stream and diverting people who otherwise know nothing about your website, to your site. Video sharing services can be your major marketing tools, if used properly.
If you still feel that you’d rather self-videos on your website because you have a dedicated server and you don’t have to worry about server load, you can look at this option and what it entails.
You can use a Flash FLV video format which is a great way to add videos to a website. Flash Player works on Windows, Linux and Mac OS. It works on Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and Firefox.
The disadvantage is that Flash is not completely open and you will have to buy it. There may be other free alternatives, but none of them are as good, to really be able to let you operate a trouble-free video website.
If you do decide to have Flash video on your site, you are looking at paying extra towards bandwidth consumption.
This is the reason why many webmasters tend to use the free video hosting services, such as YouTube, StreamLoad and Google Video, which will host your video and handle all the video conversions too. But of course since they are doing it free, they will be promoting their business.
These are great for beginners as they can get their websites in front of thousands of users without having to spend money or do any promotion.
The decision to host your videos or use the free video hosting services will get easier if you understand what each option entails. Remember, hosting videos on your website takes effort and if you are a beginner, you might want to start off using the free services initially, to get a better understanding of how things work.