Vimeo or YouTube?

We follow this basic strategy for videos: If they’re marketing videos we post them to YouTube. If they’re education videos designed for customers only, they go to Vimeo.

Why? Two reasons:

1) Google owns YouTube. This means that videos on YouTube can show up in search results. Great for marketing. But YouTube’s privacy controls are lacking.

2) Vimeo has excellent privacy controls. However, to access some of them you have to pay.

So let’s quickly go through uploading a video to Vimeo and setting basic options:

Upload Your Video

1) If you don’t already have an account, sign up at their website. The free account will give you immediate access, but a Plus account raises the upload limits, and has other goodies.

2) Click the Upload Video button to upload your first video!

3) Browse to the location of your video file.

4) Once the video has uploaded click Edit Settings. You can also click Go to Video and edit from there.

Set the Thumbnail Image

We typically change the video thumbnail, instead of letting Vimeo randomly pick one. On Settings > Basic scroll to the bottom of the page. Choose a video frame here.


This is where having a plus account really shines. The free account of Vimeo allows you to limit who watches your video by setting a password. But a plus account allows you to completely hide a video from everyone, yet still show it on your site.

This is done by telling Vimeo where it can be embedded. With a Vimeo Plus account, you can tell Vimeo to only show your videos from your website, and hide them from everyone else.

Makes it very easy.

1) Who can watch this video? If you don’t have a Plus account, set a password and include it in the lesson on your site. As long as you’ve protected your LMS with the Groups plugin, you’re good to go.

2) Where can this video be embedded? Without Plus leave it at the default of Anywhere.

3) Who can comment on this video? We always set to no one. Personal preference here.

Everything else is self explanatory.


If you have a Plus account, you can configure things on the Vimeo player like hiding the Vimeo logo, hiding the title, telling Vimeo what to do at the end of the video, etc. You can also save these settings (and more) as presets by going to Account > Settings > Videos and then choosing both Upload defaults and Embed presets.

Add Video to Your Lesson

You’re set! Once the video is done encoding you can add it to your lesson. If you add the video before the encoding is done, it won’t display in the lesson. You can tell if the video is ready in Vimeo by simply clicking Manage Videos > My Videos and then clicking on your video. If it’s ready to play, it’s done.

Grab the share link – not the embed code – and paste the share link into the main content area of your lesson.

Congrats on your first training video! To reiterate on the plus vs. basic account – if you’re providing hard core video content, plus is going to be way worth it. Just pay the fee and rejoice.

If you’re only doing a handful of videos, just be sure to keep all of the videos on the account business only, because it will autoplay everything in your account at the end of each video.

Have fun. We also recommend that you watch our How to Shoot Videos right lesson.

Adding Videos to Vimeo