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Welcome to Wistia 🎉
Welcome to Wistia 🎉

You signed up for a Wistia account—that's fantastic news! Here's how to dive right in, and use Wistia to grow your business.

Jean avatar
Written by Jean
Updated over a week ago

What is Wistia?

Wistia is a media hosting and analytics company with tons under the surface. With Wistia you can upload your content to the web, make it your own, and track how every viewer is engaging with it. We give you the power to understand how media is working for your business, and how to make it work even harder.

To get the most out of your Wistia experience, we made this quick start guide. We’ll walk through uploading your first media, customizing it, sharing it with the world (or a few coworkers), and viewing the stats for the first time.

Upload a Media

To get started using Wistia, you’ll need to upload a media.

When you’re exporting your media from your editing program, be sure to use our recommended export settings. This reduces the chance of any problems after you’ve uploaded the media.

In Wistia, your medias live inside folders. Think of folders like folders on your computer: you can have as many as you need, and each one can contain one or more medias.

Create a new folder

To upload a media, head into any of your already created folders (or create a new one if you’d like!). Within that folder, click “Add” and then select your desired option.

Add media to folder

But Wistia, what is the rest, you might ask? When you upload a media, it will take a few moments to be ready for you to watch or customize. That’s because we’re busily creating several versions of your media, which we call derivatives, so that your viewers can get the best possible quality that their connection can handle without buffering.

We won’t make you wait until all of those versions are complete, though once some derivatives are ready, you’ll be able to go ahead and start customizing. We’ll keep working in the background.

Managing your Wistia Medias

Medias in your Wistia account are organized into folders. Folders are like folders on your computer. Instead of organizing your files, they help you organize all of your media! When you upload a media to your Wistia account, you’ll choose to upload it into a specific folder. Folders can be organized in any way you’d like! They can contain onboarding medias for different roles at your company, sales medias about a new product, a media series you want to share, or hey, why not add some good old blooper medias in there too?! 😅

A Channel allows you to upload medias in a set order, to play one after the other. You can read all about how folders and channels work, and how to best organize them at Managing the Files in your Wistia Account.

Customize It

Next up, you’ll want to make that media all your own by customizing it!

After you’ve uploaded your first media, you’ll land on the media page within Wistia. From here we can see lots of things, like Customize, Embed & Share, and Stats.

Note: Audio files have fewer Customize options than video files.

Customizing your media makes it your own — one of the best ways to do that is by matching the player color to your brand, add, and remove player controls. For videos, you can gate your content with an email form, and even password protect them.

From the media page in your account, select Customize. This will open up the Customize panel, where you can customize the player to your liking. We recommend just diving head first, and exploring things, but if you need some guidance:

  • Change the player color

  • Select the thumbnail

  • Make sure to avoid common thumbnail mistakes!

  • Add social share buttons

  • Chapter your medias

  • Gate your content with Turnstile

There’s lots to do in the Customize panel, so check it out, and hop on in. The water’s great! 🏊‍

Share It

It’s now time to take your customized media and show it off to the world! 🔭 When it comes to sharing your media with an audience, we’ve got many ways to help!

  • Sharing a direct link

  • Private sharing

  • Embedding

  • Sharing in email

  • Social sharing

An important note — your Wistia account is not indexed by search engines. Your account (and the medias within it) will never come up in a Google search. Your medias remain private within your account; they are only available to the extent that you embed and share them.

To start things off, here are two common ways to share media!


Embedding the media to your site? No problem! We’ve designed this process to be simple for you, giving you two main options for embed codes: inline embeds, and popover embeds. To generate an embed code for any media, click “Embed,” select your embed code type, and copy the code!

Embedding media from a project

For an in-depth walk-through on embedding medias, check out our embedding page.

And if you are embedding an individual episode from your Channel, then check out our episode embedding page.


Channels give you the ability to customize and share binge-worthy medias. The best part about them? All you need is one embed code! Also, we here at Wistia just happen to think they’re pretty great. 😅 Even after embedding your Channel, you can still make updates to the content. If your Channel is in the wild, and you remove or add content, the Channel will update as well. Pretty awesome, right? To learn everything about creating, customizing, and sharing your beautiful Channel, check out our Channels Help Center Page. You’ll be a pro in no time!


You can turn your Channel into a Podcast as well! Now you get all the best parts of having a Wistia Channel, while being able to import or share a podcast with your audience. Check out our Podcasting guide to learn more.

Channel Subscriptions

We know your beautiful channels get a lot of traffic, and you’re probably curious to find out just who your audience members are. Wouldn’t that be neat? We think so! That’s why you can collect, track, and connect with your audience members right from within Wistia, using Channel Subscriptions. When you add new medias to your Channel, you’ll surely want to let your subscribers know! You can send automated email notifications to them, and this means that you can keep both new and existing audiences engaged by letting them know when you’ve released new content.

Publish to Social

If you’re looking to get your brand out there, then Publish to Social is definitely for you! Right from within your Wistia account, you can publish videos directly to YouTube, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Connect them on your integrations page, and you’re good to go.

publish to social integrations

Then head on over to a media you’d like to publish, and share that beautiful content with the world!

Publish videos to social

See the Stats

Wistia stats are the best way to get a complete view of who is engaging with your media and how they are interacting with it.

Check out the media below, where we outline the two main stats features you can find on any stats page for a media in your account: engagement graphs and heatmaps. 📈

Engagement Graph

An engagement graph gives you an overview of how your audience interacted with your media. It’s interactive, which means that if you hover over a specific moment, you’ll get corresponding data — neat!

Check out this screenshot:

Engagement graph

The blue section of the graph represents engagement. Did your media hold everyone’s attention all the way through, or did it cause some viewers to drop off at certain points? This particular media has a relatively flat engagement line, which means that its viewers were engaged from beginning to end.

The orange section represents the parts of your media that were rewatched. A spike in rewatches might mean that viewers and listeners needed a bit more time to let something sink in, but it might also mean that they loved a section and watched it a few times.


A media heatmap is a graphical representation of a single viewing session of your media. Whenever a public visitor engages with your media, the heatmap associated with their play will show you exactly how they interacted it. What parts did they engage with once, twice, or skip altogether?

Here’s a visual breakdown of all the valuable data contained in a single heatmap:


Further Reading

Want to learn more about how to use Wistia? We recommend checking out the Wistia Library, for lots of in-depth marketing guides. The blog is full of quick tips too!

Here’s a list of some of our favorite posts:

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