Should I Link to My Videos On YouTube, Or…

I received this question today. “Should I embed YouTube videos on my site or is it better for people to see them over on YouTube?”

Tom Stier

Tom Stier

YouTube’s decision long ago to make their video embed-able was brilliant. It meant that any website page could have playable video just by using YouTube’s simple iFrame code snippet.

By giving away a little, YouTube got a lot.

The benefit to YouTube was that their videos could appear on millions of other websites besides YouTube, with each video having a prominent link back to YouTube ;).

The benefit to website owners was that they could have video on their website without dealing with complicated video code or having to support the potentially high bandwidth and storage needs of running video from their own server.

You want to embed video on your site because it is always better to lure people to your own website and have them stay there for as long as possible.

Visitors can stay on your site while watching the video, and see other content and products on your site pages.

I am still occasionally asked to add a video which is not embed-able and not available on YouTube.

For a WordPress website owner, this could mean that they would need to install a video player Plugin and upload the video to their own server.

If the site is on a shared hosting account, the strain of serving a popular video could cause their site to violate a webhost’s terms of service, and be suspended.

If you did not make the video, you would also need to have permission of the video owner to store the video on your server. That would be possession.

When you embed a YouTube video, permissions are all YouTube’s problem.

“OK, great! I’ll make a page on my site and embed all my videos on it!”

Hold on there, pardner! I don’t advise doing that.

A page with all your videos will be cumbersome and not at all suited for sharing on social media. That’s because each video won’t have it’s own discrete url (web address).

If your goal is to have the videos grouped together on another page of your site, there are ways to do this in WordPress by using Post categories and Post thumbnail listing plugins.

Happy video posting!