Two of the most popular hosting platforms today are YouTube and Vimeo. They’re both great options for video hosting, but each one has some big differences. Your project goals will be integral in choosing the right platform because that will guide you to YOUR right answer.
Vimeo: Vimeo has a smaller community than YouTube, one that’s generally more supportive and less offensive. The lack of advertising leads to a cleaner look than Youtube. Vimeo offers four membership options: Basic (free), Plus), Pro, and Business; and they each have different levels of storage and support. Vimeo does offer a free membership with a limit of 500MB maximum storage per week which is fine for many users. Vimeo also allows you to replace a video after it has been uploaded without losing that video’s stats, so if you notice a typo a day later, you can simply replace the video. Vimeo offers password protected content which can be great if you are reviewing content with clients and want to keep it hidden.
YouTube: YouTube’s larger audience produces more content, but that doesn’t always equal quality! YouTube is completely free with unlimited storage but know that they make their money with advertising, not monthly or yearly payment plans like Vimeo, so you will always see ads. Videos uploaded to YouTube cannot be changed without completely deleting the file and re-uploading. This means that you will lose all of your views and stats in the process.
So…. Where Should I Host?
I decided to go with Vimeo on my site for a variety of reasons. I keep a consistently updated feed of timelapse videos on my front page. My main goal was to have an ad-free embedded feed that’s also clean. I am a plus member so I have the ability to customize my player and remove any vimeo branding. I don’t intend for people to view it on Vimeo so I don’t care about my view stats. The smaller community is fine for me because my content is not meant to be passed around — it’s just for integration into my site. They just added 360 video (yesterday!) so I am now ALL IN with vimeo. I like to keep my content organized and in one place, so I use Vimeo exclusively.
We are all unique little flowers and have different project goals but as long as you understand the difference you will know what to do.