How to Make a Video Streaming Website

March 18, 2016 | Natasha Singh

A growing trend among the Millennial generation is to forgo cable all together; after all, with options like Hulu, Amazon Prime TV, and Netflix for under $10 bucks, there’s almost no reason too. Even better, only Hulu has commercials (with the option to opt-out for an increased subscription. When the cable is typically 5 to 10 times as much, there’s even less incentive to sign up with a provider.

While video streaming sites like Netflix and Prime TV are constantly expanding their services to being more than just a streaming platform, Cable companies are following a pattern we’ve talked about before on this blog: they’re are failing to innovate. Instead of keeping up with the times, they’re barely keeping up with two years ago.

Which brings us to another topic frequently discussed on this blog: opportunity. This particular instance is actually two opportunities in the guise of one:

    1. There’s the obvious option to create your own video streaming website. This would be a route like Netflix where you charge a subscription fee for access. This is also similar to Youtube, though obviously the monetization approach between the two is quite different.

    2. The other option is to build a streaming platform to sell to existing cable companies. This is an easy way to turn competition into a customer. While many of the larger companies have video streaming software, they tend to have a subpar UI/UX, performance/rendering issues, and lack key features necessary for growth and user retention.

Let’s take a look at what it takes to make a great piece of video streaming program.


As any entrepreneur can tell you, creating a budget is essential to the success of any venture. First things first – figure out what the project will entail:

    Software Development;


    I.e. permissions to stream protected video content;

    • Server requirements (covered in more detail below);

    • Licensing

All told, you should plan for a high budget. Content rights alone will run at least into the hundreds of thousands. However, the potential ROI is out of this world and worth the risk! Of course, you could go the Youtube route and provide a platform for users to stream their own content!

This is as good a time as any to talk about Venture Capital and Angel investors. No one likes to be beholden to a third-party, but there are significant advantages to VC investment:

    •Obviously, there’s the money. While it might have some strings attached, all businesses need substantial cash flow in order to both launch and grow;

    • Receiving investment from known entities can really provide a boost to your venture. Not only will it get the attention of other potential investors, but it will also attract the talent your team will need. Make sure you have a top-notch Pitch presentation ready to go – you’re only going to get one chance;

    •A good pitch means building a demo of your product. Not only is a demo a good way to test your development team but it’s a good way to test the end feasibility of your product.

Bandwidth and Server Requirements

Video streaming requires a system to be capable of delivering high definition video without causing stuttering or audio lag. This naturally translates into high bandwidth requirements and takes up a ton of server space (read more about how to pick the right hosting option for your business). Right off the bat, there are some things you should look for in a web host:

    •A dedicated server will probably be necessary. Shared hosting is a great alternative for many entrepreneurial ventures, but space and requirements needed for video streaming software is intense. Shared hosting will cause performance issues.

    •Quality means higher costs. This is not an area where fat should be trimmed. This is not fat! But don’t get ripped off either: quality does not mean exorbitant, extortionist prices – plenty of excellent tech partners provide quality at a fair price. The average annual cost for a decent dedicated server can be expensive – up to $200K a year depending upon the size of your user base.

    The Cloud is an option, but the requirements a video stream site needs will end up costing a pretty penny.

Templates and Page Design

Generally speaking, the design of a movie streaming website should be clean and simple. Users are there to watch videos, not to see how pretty your site is. Of course, this doesn’t mean skipping design altogether. Proper user of color, eye-tracking methods, and logical flow are all necessary to any website.

The most important part to designing and developing a video streaming website in PHP is finding skilled developers. The second most important is to rely on eye-tracking methods to guide a user to their videos. This means using design tricks to implicitly tell a user how to navigate a page.

In Conclusion…

There is a lot more that goes into making a successful website in this day and age. If you want to learn more about our development process and market strategies, feel free to look at some of the other pieces we’ve written. You can also pop on by our Case Studies page to see some of our work in action.

Silicon Valley’s App and Software Developers

No matter which entrepreneurial option sounds like your best bet, SDI knows how to develop the software and design the correct market strategy. Our software solutions are custom, excellent and designed to increase performance and decrease drag on a server.

Give us a call at 408.621.8481 or email us at for a free consultation with our Chief Technology officer.

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