Vimeo vs. YouTube

I am seeing more and more of a Catholic presence online through video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo.  Pastor’s are posting vlogs (video blogs), youth groups are recording fun events, and there are tons of resources available to help teach the faith.  There are many things to consider when publishing video online but I thought I would start with an easy one, where should you post them?

If you want to easily publish a video online, I recommend using either YouTube or Vimeo.  These sites are especially helpful for those parishes that do not have the resources to host and publish videos through their own web hosting.  Embedding a video into your parish web site is extremely easy through either of these sites.

Here’s a brief summary of these two video sharing sites and then a quick thought on what I recommend.


YouTube is now a product of Google and as you may already know, there are few things that Google charges to use.  Uploading a video to YouTube is extremely easy and free.  Your parish can create an channel that is a home to all of your videos.  With YouTube you can select three privacy settings; share the video publicly, only allow people who have a link to view it, or only allow people you choose to be able to view it.  You can allow embedding of your video which allows you to embed it on your own site.  There will occasionally be ads on your video, this is the price you pay to use YouTube.

Actually as a sidenote, if you plan to use a lot of video it is possible to collect a portion of the revenue from the ads shown on your videos from YouTube using Google Adsense.


The benefits of Vimeo are very different from YouTube.  There really are not many differences between the free version of Vimeo and YouTube.  It is the paid version of Vimeo (Vimeo Plus) that allows for much more flexibility.  The beauty of Vimeo Plus lies in the customization possibilities in the player and the embed options.  There are no ads and my personal favorite perk is that you can use Vimeo as a storage dump for your videos, meaning, you can download the original file and/or allows others to download the file as well straight from the site.

I recommend

There is one feature with Vimeo Plus that sells me every time.  This feature is the embedding option that allows you to choose which sites can embed your videos.  With YouTube it’s all or nothing.  Either everyone can embed your video or no one can, not even you.  With Vimeo Plus you have the option to embed the video on your parish web site and no where else, not even Vimeo.  This is the control that I appreciate and am willing to pay $60/year for!

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Author:Eric Gallagher

Eric has over 8 years of experience in full-time youth ministry in the Diocese of Sioux Falls where he currently serves as the Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese. He also blogs regularly at Prepared Catholic and works part-time as a web designer. Eric is also a husband and father of two.
  • Joe Luedtke


    I’m with you on Vimeo Pro.  I like the configurability and love the lack of ads. 

    My only hesitation on doing everything in Vimeo is YouTube really helps the SEO aspects of your site.  Take a look at this article,  Google is currently really emphasizing video in their SEO rankings.  Wanna see your church jump up in SEO search rankings?  Upload a video of your church to YouTube!

  • Eric Gallagher


    Totally agree.  I was hoping to write an article as a follow-up on the positive’s of YouTube on exposure as well.  It’s pretty clear that if you are looking for a video that you saw someone else use, it is more likely it will be found if posted on YouTube as opposed to Vimeo.  Maybe a post on what types of videos or goals fit better with each place or maybe the + and – of doing it on both?

  • Craig Berry

    @catholicyouthministry:disqus – I didn’t know about the embed restriction option with Vimeo Plus – that is pretty cool.

    Back in the good old days (3-4 years ago?), Vimeo offered higher resolution and if memory serves larger file size uploads. It’s a moot point now of course. I could be wrong, but I think Vimeo was also first to support HTML5 video. Again, moot.

    I like fact Vimeo is still around and viable – keeps YouTube on their toes, but I still post everything to YouTube. 

  • Jonathan F. Sullivan

    I’m a major proponent of Vimeo. The biggest advantage for me is that Vimeo doesn’t restrict the length of videos, whereas YouTube still restricts videos to 15 minutes on most accounts. For someone that posts 45+ minute webinar videos, Vimeo is awesome.

    • Jared Dees

      Jonathan – I got a message pretty quickly after posting a few short videos that the time limit was removed. If users create some high quality short videos it won’t be a problem.

      • Jonathan F. Sullivan

        Interesting. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Jfielding

    I post my recorded versions of my weekly Mass which I also stream live using Watershed by UStream….Vivat Jesus!  We Catholics are finally cathching up…


  • Eric Gallagher

    @sullijo:disqus – I completely forgot about the restriction on time.  That is so true.  I think the use of the two different video sharing sites will grow to be very different.  Google will of course trump things in the end, which will probably lead Vimeo to head down a different path, which is what they have started to do.

  • Alexander Weber

    Practical article.  Another plus for me (small plus) is the absences of a logo on video with vimeo.  I may be wrong, but it seems like it’s easier to make a video go viral on YouTube.  Is that false intuition?  

  • Eric Gallagher

    @google-a937e4747cccc9d13d291b0222b9dace:disqus – I would agree with that.  I guess that would be the key in determining what it is that your purpose is.  A pastor that is recording homilies targeted at his parishioners that wants the customization and embedding options would prefer Vimeo.  A parish video that is just getting a great message out and is open to sharing it with others would be better off with YouTube.

  • Michael

    I find Vimeo+ To be my choice. The Audience on Vimeo is much more mature.

  • Daniel

    Try Wistia it is great and you can see who has seen your video.