When it comes to uploading videos online, YouTube and Vimeo are the two most popular platforms on the market. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. This is why many often wonder which is better and which to use when integrating with a WordPress website.
In this article, I will compare YouTube and Vimeo by sharing their strengths and weaknesses to help you choose the best video platform to embed and integrate videos with WordPress pages and posts.
Why Choose Platform Outside WordPress for Videos?
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. And accordingly, it is one of the most common options to build a website. This way of creating an online presence for your blog or e-shop is possible even if you are not an expert in design. It would help if you were technically inclined, and, in return, you will get a website that provides a lot of flexibility.
Although it has an option of uploading videos directly to it, WordPress is not designed to play videos. Most WordPress hosting providers do not offer servers optimized for video streaming because videos are large files.
What most commonly happens is that the server crashes if multiple users access videos on your site at once. Besides, each user has a different type of Internet connection. The effort you made in posting high-quality videos would be in vain because it will take a long time to load for slower Internet speeds.
On the other hand, the main purpose of platforms for hosting videos such as YouTube and Vimeo is to optimize them. They are designed to have server resources and technology to offer a video streaming experience, which is far superior to WordPress.
What is most important to you as a blog owner is that you can easily embed these videos in WordPress. Check out the benefits and shortcomings of both of these video platforms so that you have a clear picture of which option is the best fit for your needs.
Both YouTube and Vimeo are for-profit companies. Their prices are based on making money online.
YouTube is free. This is mainly because it makes money from showing ads. These ads are displayed inside the video player, in the sidebar, and inside YouTube. It also offers a paid subscription called YouTube Premium for viewers. This service allows viewers to get rid of commercials as well as access to YouTube original shows.
As a content creator, you can upload as many videos as you want. At first, videos longer than 15 minutes will not be able to get uploaded. However, by verifying your account, you can increase this limit.
The Vimeo business model is quite different from YouTube. It makes money by selling video hosting, so publishers and businesses can offer their users a free ad viewing experience.
Pricing plans of Vimeo are of a wide range. Initially, there is a free plan, limited to 500 MB of storage per week and 25 GB per year. You can then join Vimeo Plus, Pro, Business, or Premium plans. Each of them offers different uploading limits and functions.
The free plan is quite limited in terms of storage and characteristics. You can start with Vimeo Plus. It will cost you $7 per month and provide 5GB of storage per week.
Both platforms have different guidelines regarding how much video content you can upload.
By default, you can upload an unlimited number of videos, but each video should be under 15 minutes. However, after verifying your account, you can upload videos for up to 12 hours of playback or a file size of 128 GB. This is very generous and quite reasonable for all types of content creators.
It has different upload size limits for each plan.
- Free: 500 MB per week to 25 GB per year of total storage.
- Plus: 5 GB per week to 250 GB per year of total storage per year.
- Pros: 20 GB per week to 1 TB per year of total storage per year.
- Business: no weekly limits and up to 5 TB of total storage per year.
- Premium: unlimited live streaming and up to 7 TB of total storage per year.
Audience & Reachability
Both platforms offer video sharing options, dedicated communities, and social features.
When it comes to audience numbers and reach, YouTube has an obvious advantage. Google owns it, so it is drastically more visible in all their other products. Almost all Android phones in the world come with a pre-installed YouTube app.
YouTube has a community of over two billion users, which is one-quarter of all Internet users. It is also the second most searched search engine behind Google itself, with three million searches per month.
It has a much smaller user base than YouTube, but it is still quite huge. Vimeo has over 240 million users and is growing at a significant pace. It is home to some of the most creative content creators in the world.
In addition to channels, it also has a Group function where users can create and participate in larger user communities. These users can also restrict group content visible only to their members.
Vimeo has a pretty decent search feature, allowing users to find videos, people, channels, and groups easily. Its content detection feature displays relevant videos in the sidebar. However, according to the design, the sidebar is not as noticeable as the one on YouTube.
Users do not want everyone to see their content. For example, if you sell online courses or run a membership website, you want to restrict video access to subscribers. Let’s check out how both platforms allow publishers to control the privacy of their videos.
YouTube offers three types of privacy settings for the posted videos:
- Public – These videos are available to everyone. They can be searched and displayed on the YouTube platform with no restrictions.
- Unlisted – Anyone with a URL can access these videos. However, it will not appear in YouTube search or similar videos.
- Private – These videos are only visible to you and to certain users you choose.
In addition to these settings, you can also disable comments on your videos. YouTube allows you to disable the embedding of your videos, but in that case, it will also block you from embedding other users’ videos. YouTube is not an ideal platform if you want to host private videos.
Vimeo offers more privacy options than YouTube. Their privacy settings allow you to post videos publicly, privately, or hidden. You can also share the video only with the users you follow.
With paid plans, users can also restrict videos to their own websites. They can even ban their videos from being viewed on the Vimeo platform itself. You can also protect videos with a password, and users will need to enter that password to watch the video. You can then add those videos to password-protected posts on your WordPress site.
All in all, if you want more control over those who watch your videos, then Vimeo is a much better platform for you.
Both platforms offer great tools for uploading, editing, and managing your videos.
YouTube offers powerful video editing features. It offers a video editor that allows you to create videos from previously uploaded videos, photos, etc. Another way of creating videos is by combining videos with Google Photos. Its video editing tools make the video creation process easy.
YouTube also allows you to add links, comments, titles, and subtitles to videos and offers the ability to stream live where you can broadcast events, news, etc.
Vimeo does not offer as many video editing features as YouTube. However, it offers all the basic stuff you will need, like adding video title, description, category, tags, license, and audience rating. You can also upload titles and subtitles to your videos. Vimeo does not have an objection feature, so you can’t add clickable links to videos.
The best part about Vimeo is that you can replace the video with a newer version without changing the URL or stats. It is something you cannot do on YouTube where a new video has to be uploaded with a brand new URL.
This specific feature is convenient on Vimeo because if you made a mistake or just needed to update the images in your tutorials, then you can do it easily while keeping the entire number of views and same URLs of videos.
Possibilities of Monetization
Both platforms allow users to make money online from their videos.
It allows content creators to join the YouTube Partner Program by signing up for Google AdSense to monetize their videos. Video creators get paid for the ads displayed on their videos. However, you will first need to accumulate at least 4,000 watch hours in 12 months before you can join the program.
Other monetization options are also enabled to content creators for use by YouTube:
- Selling products in videos
- Adding paid reviews
- Joining affiliate programs
- Getting sponsors for videos
- Asking for donations
Many of YouTube’s most popular content creators use platforms like Patreon, where viewers can directly support their channel through donations.
It is proud of its free video platform. Vimeo does not have an ad program that you can join, but they offer a platform where you can sell videos directly – Vimeo On Demand. You need at least to open a Vimeo Pro account to join the program. Think of this as your version of Netflix.
Vimeo also allows you to mention sponsors in videos, add links to video descriptions, and ask users to support your channel on platforms like Patreon.
YouTube vs. Vimeo Conclusion
YouTube and Vimeo are both great platforms to integrate videos with WordPress. Depending on what you are trying to do with videos, one platform may be better for you than the other one.
For instance, if you are a blogger or small business owner, who wants to use videos to build a subscriber base and reach a much larger audience, YouTube will be a better solution for your goals.
On the other hand, if you create a website with membership opportunities or sales courses, you need more privacy and a superior viewing experience. In this case, Vimeo is a better choice.
Maria Blomgren is a content marketing manager with a huge experience in the field of tech niche. She has written numerous articles about WordPress so far, and we can say she is a WordPress addict.
DISCLOSURE: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.