Why I Use Vimeo for Web Video Hosting

December 14, 2012

I’ve been a Vimeo user for several years, and a Vimeo Plus member for the last two. At FliteHaus, we have a Pro account as well to better serve our clients with video content online. The quick and simple reasons are this: great quality, broad device support, top-notch security, and video player customization.

Let’s explore these more in-depth, one by one.

Great Video Quality

While quality is increasing across other video hosting services, Vimeo has always been at the head of the pack. When I started using Vimeo, YouTube’s default embedded video quality was 480×320.

Sure that’s since changed and YouTube now allows developers to embed HD video by default.

Furthermore, while I understand the reasoning behind YouTube allowing users to choose from several qualities (device or connection limitations), Vimeo just allows HD on or off. This just further solidifies in my mind that Vimeo is concerned, first and foremost, about serving the highest quality automatically, regardless of device or internet connection speed.

Broad Device Support

Mobile, Tablet, and Desktop devicesAgain, this is a feature that is now mandatory for all video hosting services to offer, but Vimeo has always seemed to worked out what version to serve to which device better.

The desktop video is primarily presented in Adobe’s Flash, while mobile (phones/tablets) video is served up using HTML5. This makes it super easy to embed a video in a website without worrying about which devices will be able to view said video.

Customizable Video Player

This is where Vimeo sets itself apart from the rest. With a paid account, Vimeo offers the ability to remove its logo, choose your own brand color for controls, decide which features to include (video title, volume bar, fullscreen toggle, and more), and even overlay your own logo.

At FliteHaus, we use Vimeo pro to host our clients’ videos. We are able to strip the Vimeo branding, set the player control colors to the client’s brand, and display whatever we need to show at the end of the video. The best part is, all of these options are available per video!

World-class Security and Download Options

Another place where Vimeo stands above the rest is in its video security. The ability to set passwords, define domains, and remove from Vimeo’s own listings allows users to set unparalleled control over individual videos.

Password protection for videos allows me to lock down family videos of my little girl and send clients videos to review before they go public. It could also easily be used to offer paid-based video content (providing a password upon payment), but that would best be utilized using domain access control.

Limit domain access per videoThe ability to control on which domain(s) a video may be embedded gives developers the option to make video content as shareable as desired. Allowing videos to only be embedded on your own domain  creates an opportunity to design a pay-based section of your website that contains these videos.

One of the best examples of this very technique is employed by Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks.com in creating “The Lodge” which contains an entire site redesign screencast series!

Ability to allow users to download videos from VimeoAs a bonus, Vimeo allows users to download videos right from its website, off-loading bandwidth for sites that need to host video downloads. Alternatively, this function can also be turned off, per video.

The Details

While Vimeo is in no way paying me to write this, I highly suggest utilizing Vimeo as your video hosting service of choice. The free account is great for low-use personal uploading, but for heavy video producers and businesses, a plus or pro account is necessary.

Here are the prices and differences between free, plus, and pro accounts:

FREE: Guess what, it’s free.

  • Upload 500MB of video per week (Only 1 HD video)
  • Contains banner advertisements

PLUS: $59.95/Year

  • Upload 5GB of video per week (Unlimited HD)
  • No banner ads
  • Complete player customization
  • Advanced Statistics
  • Domain level privacy
  • Ability to offer video downloads

PRO: $199.95/Year

Same as PLUS, but includes:

  • Upload video for business and commercial use
  • Unlimited customizable video portfolio sites
  • Unlisted video review pages

There are more than just the features above, I just listed some of the more important ones. For a full comparison, visit the Vimeo Plus signup page or the Vimeo Pro signup page.

What’s Your Take?

There are so many other features that I just couldn’t get to, like Vimeo’s “Tip Jar” that allows you to collect tips from viewers!

So what’s your opinion? Do you use Vimeo? Do you use something else? Let me know in the comments what you use and why!