How I Host My Videos

Published on May 26, 2010

Video Hosting Diagram

Now that video has exploded on the web, there are zillions of options for hosting your videos. I'm not going to try to tell you what the *best* way to do it is. I'm just going to share with you how I host mine.

Here are the details...

There Are Three Parts

The first thing to know is that I have three different parts to my system:
  1. Video hosting
  2. Website hosting
  3. Video embedding
Some services -- such as YouTube -- do all three of these for you. You can host a video with them, have your own channel (website), and they give you embed code. While I post videos to YouTube every once in a while, it's not my preferred method. It just doesn't give me the control I want. That said, for many people, this is a great option. It's just not how I do it...

Video Hosting

I host my videos on Libsyn. I've been using them for years. The service has been reliable, and it's affordable.

My favorite part? They provide unlimited bandwidth for media downloads. This is HUGE. Although bandwidth is becoming cheaper and cheaper over time, it can still be a big cost if you're pushing out a lot of video downloads.

So how much am I spending with Libsyn? I have three different accounts, one for each of my shows (Paperclipping, Rolling R's, and of course Izzy Video) that each cost about $60 per month. So I'm spending a total of $180 per month.

Wow, that's a lot (you might be thinking)! Well, yes and no. I looked at many other alternatives, and for the number of downloads I'm getting, it's very reasonable.

To give you an idea, I also looked at Amazon's S3 service. They're very well-known for providing inexpensive hosting and bandwidth. When I did the math, I figured I'd be spending more than $800 per month with Amazon S3. So... Libsyn was a great option for me. :-)

Website Hosting

This website and all my other sites are hosted on Dreamhost. I've used them for years. I started with them when I didn't know anything about building and hosting websites, but as I've learned more about this stuff, I'm happy to say they've provided great options even as I've become a little more advanced.

Are they the best? I don't know. I left them once and the new host was a nightmare, so I promptly went back. I've been with them ever since. I highly recommend Dreamhost for website hosting.

Embedding Video

Now you need a way to embed the videos from Libsyn onto your website. For this I use The Longtail Player. This allows me to embed the actual MP4 video file right into the website, so it's playable in the browser without having to leave the page.

And more good news -- they're about to launch a new version of the player that will be compatible with iPads, iPhones, and other devices that don't play Flash.


I've done some tutorials on exactly how I do my process. If you're a member, you should check out Izzy Video episodes 123 and 132 in particular.

And that's it. Like I said, I've looked at several different options, and this is how I've chosen to do it. What do you do? I'd love to hear your solutions in the comments...

* Some links are affiliate links.

This article was last updated on July 4, 2010


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