Hosting videos for your eLearning (LMS) course?

Are you building an online course, a membership site with video, or a larger LMS? If so, you likely get to the question everyone does.

Where do I host my videos?

Hosting videos for your online course can get tricky.

YouTube

Everyone talks about how big YouTube is, and they're right. But you don't necessarily want to use YouTube if you are trying to protect the video from unauthorized use.

Amazon S3

Another often discussed option is Amazon S3 – which offers very inexpensive hosting. And MemberPress, for example, integrates with it, so that you can easily host video files there. But some people may find that S3 is a bit more complicated than they're excited to use. The interfacing can be intimidating.

Two other options for hosting videos

So if you're not going to use either of those options…you've likely heard of these two options.

Vimeo Pro

While there is a $200 cost, it's for the whole year, which isn't bad at all. The benefit of Vimeo Pro is that there are no ads (unlike YouTube) and the interface is really easy (unlike S3). It's a professional solution that let's you protect your files so that they can't be seen on Vimeo.com or be downloaded or embedded on an unauthorized URL.

VideoPrivacy

Wistia

If you've never seen the cool stuff that Wistia does, you'll be pretty amazed. And they deliver some of this value for free! You can see a sample of the data metrics you can get (seeing engagement diminish over the length of your video, for example).

wistia-data

But there are bandwidth limits to each account. And that can mean that you get an email telling you that you owe them more money.

Here's what I do

This may sound crazy but I use both Wistia and Vimeo to my advantage.

So what I do is upload a video to Wistia if I really want to know about the engagement stats of a video. I leave it there for a month or two. This is often more than enough time to get a sense of whether I need to adjust something or cut a video short.

Then….

Then I remove the video from there and move it to Vimeo Pro (changing the embed source on my site, of course), because it's a lot cheaper to host it there than on Wistia.

But that's only for online courses and membership sites.

You know what I do with videos for my blog? I host them on YouTube.

That's right, at this point I have 30 videos on Vimeo Pro, another 200 for my blog at YouTube, and 4 or 5 still being tested at Wistia.

But that limits the cost of video hosting, while making use of each platform in the way they work best.

Where do you host your online course videos?

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Chris Lema
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.