Ways to Put Video on a Website

Video content enhances the experience of visitors to your website

Cartoon image of Happy audience enjoying watching entertaining video on website using computer as movie theatre
Elly Walton / Getty Images

There are several ways to put a video on websites. The best choice for you depends on your technical savvy, your goals for the video, and your budget.

Understand Your Website

Before you can put a video on your website, you must:

  • Have access to your own website: If you work with a website designer or developer, you might need them to set the proper permissions.
  • Know how your site works: Content management systems and free blogging platforms such as WordPress and Weebly likely have built-in, well-documented procedures for uploading videos. If you host or manage your site, you should have some knowledge of web programming, or access to someone else who does (such as your web designer, web developer, or hosting provider).
  • Know the costs: Some managed platforms charge extra to upload large files. Check with your hosting provider or in the platform's help files.

Choose Your Video Hosting Method and Provider

To serve up your video, make it available to your site. The two basic methods for video delivery online are embedding and self-hosting.

  • Embedded videos are stored on an external site, such as YouTube or a content delivery network, and code is inserted in a web page that tells your site to load the video from the external site.
  • Self-hosted videos live on your server and are coded directly into your site.

Embed YouTube Videos on Your Website

Using YouTube or another free video-sharing site is the easiest way to put a video on your website. Most of these sites offer free accounts and let you upload an unlimited number of videos. YouTube generates a code to use to embed your video on your website or blog.

Screenshot of the YouTube upload page

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for Website Video

Content delivery networks upload, convert, host, and stream your website videos, plus a lot more beyond that. You can customize the look and behavior of the video player, automatically insert ads into your web videos, or charge users to download your video content.

A content delivery network serves content to website visitors

Many CDNs include customized video pages and websites, too, so you don't have to worry about the technical aspects of putting a video on your website.

One advantage of using a CDN is speed. A CDN-hosted video loads faster than one stored on your server.

Visit Lifewire's guide to content delivery networks for more info.

Host the Video on Your Own Web Server

If you purchased server space to host your website, you might be tempted to host the videos there—but this is the least attractive option. You'll need coding skills and access to your website's back end. The chances of something going wrong are higher because of ever-changing online technology and protocols. For example, Adobe will no longer support its Flash Player after 2020. Outside services like YouTube typically update and adapt continuously to such changes.

If you choose to host on your own website, you may need to use HTML5 to display video in a web browser.

Check with your hosting provider to make sure you have plenty of storage space and bandwidth to handle the extra traffic from the videos.


Here are some things to consider before you upload videos to your website:

  • Even if you use a content delivery network or self-host your videos, upload the videos to YouTube and other video-sharing sites. It's a free, easy way to increase the exposure and audience your video receives. Moreover, storing important files such as videos in more than one place is a good practice.
  • Use smart video SEO tactics when titling your video page, video file, and tags and meta information to increase your video's ranking with search engines.
  • Don't self-host anything you hope to make into a viral video. If the video becomes popular, you might crash your server and make it impossible for anyone to watch. Use YouTube instead. It has the platform and the audience reach needed for viral success.
  • Customize the video settings if you embed video. Video-sharing sites usually let you customize the embed code to influence the behavior of the video player. You can set it for autoplay, HD or standard, enable or disable social features, and control the videos that are displayed afterward.
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Siegchrist, Gretchen. "Ways to Put Video on a Website." ThoughtCo, Nov. 18, 2021, thoughtco.com/putting-video-online-1082273. Siegchrist, Gretchen. (2021, November 18). Ways to Put Video on a Website. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/putting-video-online-1082273 Siegchrist, Gretchen. "Ways to Put Video on a Website." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/putting-video-online-1082273 (accessed June 8, 2023).