Considering that videos drive 300% more traffic and help generate more leads, it should come as no surprise that businesses of all sizes would want to have them on their WordPress websites. Naturally, you’ll need a WordPress video player to do that. Luckily for you, there are over 50,000 WordPress plugins out there, dozens, or even hundreds of which can help you get your videos out there. But if you’re not well acquainted with website building and hosting, you might be wondering whether a self-hosted video player for WordPress is a good choice. Well, let’s get this question out of the way immediately — no, it’s not.
You should host videos, just like pictures and all other media files, off-site. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for that.
Media files (videos in particular) are cumbersome, so if you upload them directly to your site, you will increase your page size drastically. But what does that mean? Well, your website will take significantly longer to load, of course! That will negatively impact you in several ways:
And did you know that even one second of extra loading time reduces customer satisfaction by a whopping 16%? Yeah, so you’d better take our advice seriously.
By hosting your videos off-site, you’ll kill several birds with one stone.
Firstly, your videos’ performance will be significantly enhanced since video hosting services specialize in ensuring a lag-free viewing experience for your site’s visitors. Those hosting providers also take care of re-encoding your content to suit all modern browsers and devices. That means you won’t have to do it yourself!
OK, that seems straightforward enough, but what do you have to do? Well, you just need to embed your videos onto your site. Namely, all of these off-site video hosting platforms will make the process of obtaining that embed code seamless, so there’s no reason to worry. It usually takes no more than a few clicks of a button.
The answer to this question is ambiguous since various website-owners might have different definitions of a downside. An excellent example of that would be the following — when hosting your videos off-site, your visitors might get distracted by video ads. That, for some, would be considered a disadvantage. That’s because it could drive users away from their site. However, equally as many publishers would likely be thrilled with that because they’d be able to monetize their site’s video content. So you see, the answer to this question much depends on your perspective and business needs.
Another fantastic example would be that, with most off-site hosts, your video player would be branded unless you pay for a premium subscription. Again, that might not bother some site-owners, depending on what their business goals are. But if your videos are, for example, aimed at promoting your brand, an in-your-face name of another company on them could prove detrimental to your campaign.
We’ve already mentioned this, but it’s undoubtedly worth repeating — the easiest way to find off-site video hosting services is by looking for a quality WordPress video player plugin! And don’t worry; you won’t have to look elsewhere. We’ve prepared a list of seven best WordPress video player plugins for you:
So let’s get right to it!
VideoJS WordPress plugin acts as both a self-hosted video player for WordPress and an off-site host. It allows you to upload videos on your site using HTML5 either on your own or from the VideoJS library. Aside from that, this player even has Flash fallback support for those outdated non-HTML5 browsers. You can expect to get the following features with this plugin:
This player requires no complicated setup — all you have to do is install the plugin, and you can start embedding immediately!
MediaElement.js is an audio and HTML5 video player that sports a variety of features. This player also offers Flash fallback. Do note that it performs best in Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, while it may struggle to load in Firefox. However, the variety of features it offers makes up for that:
This player also supports a wide variety of audio and video shortcodes, which you can find more information on here.
This premium WordPress plugin lets site-owners play both video and audio content on their WordPress websites and supports many formats, including MP3 and MP4. This plugin also allows you to load any type of playlist and is compatible with Vimeo, YouTube, and HTML5. Aside from that, Ultimate Video Player also supports a plethora of shortcodes and comes with many notable features. Here are some of them:
This video player is fully compatible with all desktop and mobile devices. However, its price might be a significant deterrent for some.
This WordPress plugin is a Flash and HTML5 video player that allows secure handling and management of your uploaded or YouTube videos. The extensive control this player offers site-owners with its numerous features makes it one of the best choices on the market. Here are some of the most notable things features you’ll get with this player:
Unfortunately, the biggest downside to Spider Video Player is the watermark it comes with in its free version. Namely, you can upgrade to the pro version, but that will come for $240 for a six-month or $360 for a one-year subscription.
This WordPress plugin lets you easily upload videos from your Brid.TV CMS to your WordPress website. You just first have to create an account and sign in to the Brid.TV platform, and you can do so here. Don’t worry, you can do so for free, where you’ll be able to add some of your or YouTube videos. It might seem like an unnecessary hassle at first glance, but what this plugin offers more than makes up for it. Namely, with Brid Video Easy Publish, users can effortlessly monetize their video content with some of the latest technology available to advertisers. Here are some of the most notable features this plugin offers:
The only potential downside to this plugin is that if your hosting and monetization needs exceed the limits of the free plan, you would have to change to a higher, premium tier. However, this plugin remains one of the best ones for businesses focused on video monetization, so that is unlikely to be an issue. You can find out more about the available features here.
FV Flowplayer Video Player is a popular HTML5 player that has more than 40,000 downloads to date. It is an entirely free WordPress plugin that supports YouTube and Vimeo, self-hosted videos, and playlists alike. Aside from that, it even has Flash fallback if someone still uses one of the outdated browsers out there. This WordPress plugin also allows plenty of flexibility with its abundance of features. Here are some of the user favorites:
The most jarring downside of this WordPress plugin is, unfortunately, that most of its most sought-after features are restricted to the player’s pro version. And the price is quite steep if we may say so ourselves.
If you’re just looking for a straightforward, functional, and beginner-friendly player, then Easy Video Player is the one for you. This WordPress plugin covers all the widely used video formats like MP4, so you won’t have any trouble embedding your videos on your site. Here are some of the additional features this player offers:
Regrettably, if you are a business looking to monetize their content or require detailed video analytics or other advanced features, this player won’t satisfy your needs. But if you’re just looking for a sleek video player that allows for a seamless embedding process, then this plugin won’t disappoint!
Do you agree with our thoughts on self-hosted video players for WordPress? Did our article help you find the right WordPress plugin for your business needs? We’d love to hear your feedback, so feel free to write to us here or on social media!
Until next time, best of luck to you!