Thoughts on hosting videos on a VPS
I intend to explore how to host videos on a virtual private server (VPS), but I'm not there yet. In this post, I'll just give a motivation for why this would be worth-while.
Let's say you wish to publish a video to the world. The easy solution would be to host it on Youtube, or one of the myriad of other video hosting platforms. That way, it could be included in any webpage, easily linked to, and if there were a sudden spike in popularity, your website wouldn't come crashing down because of the increased load. You can even get some ad revenue! I really understand why this is an enticing alternative, and I'm considering it for my own purposes too.
That said, it'd be nice to decentralize a little. Does Google, the owner of Youtube, really need more information about my videos and who's watching them? Do I really want to give Youtube the power of taking down my videos? Well, not really.
This website is hosted on Digital Ocean's cheapest VPS plan, costing five dollars per month (plus VAT). The price includes 25 GB storage and 1 TB data transfer. Let's say a video takes 300 MB. If my calculations are correct, that means I can host 60 videos, having a combined total of 3,000 views per month, leaving a little room for other stuff. That's by no means a viable solution for popular content, but my videos probably won't be that popular. And if they become, perhaps I can dynamically start embedding a youtube video after the first 2,000 views for each month.