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This installment of Start with a Theme shows how to set up a video blog using WordPress and three different free themes that result in three different looks for your site. Series author Morten Rand-Hendriksen explains how to get up and running quickly with Twenty Twelve, Origami, and Sundance, and reviews the benefits and drawbacks of all three themes as they apply to video content in particular. Learn how to add video from services such as YouTube and Vimeo, enhance the visibility of your posts, add a video slider, and more.
Before we dive deeper into video blogging, let me briefly address a question a lot of people ask, and I'm sure it's at the back of your mind as well. Where do I host my videos? Here's the thing, video on the web is complicated. There are many reasons for this, most notably that video files are large and resource-heavy. When someone watches a video on your site, they're actually downloading a large file from a server. That's not a problem when one person watches one video. But imagine what happens when a hundred people watch the same video at the same time.
That means the server has to send the same file to 100 different computers simultaneously. Now multiply that by 10 or 100, and you see how this can very quickly become a large problem. Because video is complicated and resource-heavy, there are specialized services out there that help you host videos. You have the free ones like YouTube here. You have the premium ones like Vimeo, where you can host some videos for free and then you can pay for better options. And you have the for pay ones like VideoPress or Zencoder or Viddler.
What service fits your particular purpose depends on your particular purpose. If you're publishing free videos, and you aim to have as many people as possible watch them and share them, YouTube is your best bet. But you have to remember, when you publish videos on YouTube unless you turn comments off, you're going to get a lot of garbage comments because there's a lot of people on YouTube who spend their days just leaving garbage comments everywhere. It's something that happens, and you can't really control it.
If you have a more artistic or professional flare, and you want to show off your talents, Vimeo might be right for you. Just remember that on Vimeo, they have much stricter rules about what kind of content can be placed in their system, and if you break those rules, your videos will be taken off, and you might lose your account. So if you're going to use Vimeo, read up on what you're allowed to publish before you start publishing your content. If you want complete control, and you want to restrict where your videos are displayed so people can only access them from your site when you want them to, a professional video hosting service like VideoPress which is from Automatic who creates WordPress or Zencoder, which is another service that provides really advanced video services or Viddler, which is another one that also provides advanced video services is probably the right option.
The only thing I strongly discourage you from doing is hosting videos on your own server. Like I said, they're resource-heavy and hard to work with and they'll cause problems for you down the road. To put it bluntly, you're better off using a wheel someone else invented than trying to cobble one together on your own. But I digress, let's get down to business.
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