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Best online video editors in 2021: web-based tools for ads, social content and more

Best online video editors: WeVideo
(Image credit: WeVideo)

The best online video editors are useful pieces of kit that can help create a visual story to sell a brand, improve an online presence, or simply create a movie to share among friends and family, without the need for any software installation. Offline editors like Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are often hefty beasts though and require a good deal of technical knowledge and savvy know-how to operate.

That’s why an increasing number of content creators and businesses turn to online video editors. Accessed via a web browser, they provide an easy way to produce video content for a fraction of the brain power. Often offering free plans and cheaper rates than the offline professional editors, online video editors come jam-packed with easy-to-use templates. 

Templates are laid out in a variety of aspect ratios to suit different social media platforms, whether requiring something for desktop viewing, a video for Instagram or something unique for TikTok.  Each template is customizable, allowing users to change text and upload bespoke imagery. Some also offer a juicy content library from which to pick songs, images, and other digital creative content with which to jazz up films you’ve created.

Not all online video editors have these features though, some are more comprehensive and others a little more streamlined. They differ in pricing, too. So depending on your needs there may be one editor that stands out above the others. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best online video editors of 2021 to help you choose the one that’s right for you.

Best online video editors in 2021

(Image credit: Adobe)

1. Adobe Spark

High quality video results from a tech giant

Specifications
Cost: $9.99/month for standard plan
Free trial: 30 days
Templates: 47,000 (not all video)
Content library: Adobe Stock and access to royalty-free sites within editor
Technical support: Phone for Team Plans only
Custom designs: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Fun and fast+Good quality templates
Reasons to avoid
-Not video specific-Limited video options

Available on web and mobile, tech behemoth Adobe has created Spark, a simple application that can generate not only graphics, collages, and flyers, but also videos and animations. With an emphasis on generating content for social media, Spark has a 30 day free trial and when first accessed provides different options based on your user level and requirements. Projects are created and stored via the Creative Cloud account you use when signing up and all kinds of videos and animations are there right from the off. A useful search bar at the top of the page allows users to sift through 47,000 Spark templates and handy tutorial videos are accessible via the landing page, too. 

* Note that Adobe Spark with premium features is included in the regular Adobe Photography Plan

(Image credit: Wave Video)

2. Wave.video

A huge stock library to choose from and flexible price plans

Specifications
Cost: $24/month for standard plan
Free trial: Basic free plan
Templates: Yes
Content library: 10 million free video clips and images
Technical support: Online chat
Custom designs: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Extensive stock library+Engaging templates
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey subscription-Free plan won’t allow MP4 video saving

Wave.video punches at the higher end of the subscription spectrum with a more costly monthly fee than some other online video editors in this roundup. With the free plan you have access to 2 million royalty free video clips and images, and 5 free video embeds. However, it does watermark content and limits edits to just 15 seconds. Fortunately, the standard plan boosts the video and image library access up to 10 million and allows access up to 200 million paid-for video clips and images. The benefit of using this online video editor is that there’s unlimited social media native shares from the site, no matter which plan you’re on. And if you need longer edit times, plenty of brand presets, and multiple user logins plus lots more content access then you can opt for the business plan for $48/month. All plans include access to an audio library of 300,000 royalty-free audio tracks, too.

(Image credit: Animoto)

3. Animoto

A brand-focused online editor for personal or business use

Specifications
Cost: $15/month for standard plan
Free trial: Free plan with watermarks
Templates: 171
Content library: 1 million+ for professional plan
Technical support: Email support
Custom designs: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Stock library from Getty Images+Customizable templates with no watermarks
Reasons to avoid
-Not a huge selection of templates-Free plan offers limited options

While the free plan is a little restrictive when it comes to library access and watermarked exports, the professional and professional + plans open up a whole world of online video editing possibilities. Alongside the standard aspect ratio options for horizontal, square, and vertical cropped video content for various media platforms, Animoto also allows font uploads for bespoke branded content. In a bid to further aid the branding of video content you can also add a brand watermark to the corner of projects. Be secure in the knowledge that no matter when you’ve created your projects the lifetime license means projects can be downloaded for future use with no restrictions.

(Image credit: InVideo)

4. InVideo

Fast, efficient layout makes creating videos easy

Specifications
Cost: $30/mo for standard plan
Free trial: Free plan available
Templates: 5000+
Content library: 1m+
Technical support: Chat support
Custom designs: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Good selection of templates and content library+24/7 support even for free users
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-15 min video duration limit

InVideo does a good job at breaking down the complex option of choosing from its 5000+ templates by separating them into categories right from the main webpage. A quickstart function beneath the navigation bar provides a search box and three options for altering aspect ratio mean you can get creating your project with speed. Unfortunately, it is one of the more expensive online video editors in this guide if purchasing monthly (although half the price if you opt for the annual billing) but it does bring with it a well-laid out, simple interface with plenty of templates to choose from and access to royalty-free sites such as Pexels and Pixabay right from the site, and includes access to 1m+ premium photos and videos.

(Image credit: ClipChamp)

5. Clipchamp

Online video editor with multiple price points for all customers

Specifications
Cost: $10/month for casual plan
Free trial: Free plan available
Templates: 153
Content library: Hundreds of thousands stock video and audio clips
Technical support: Chat support
Custom designs: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Lots of pricing options+Unlimited video exports
Reasons to avoid
-Free plan only gives 480p exports-Video stock only available with Business Platinum plan

Those familiar with even the most basic of offline video editors such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker will feel at home with Clipchamp, thanks to the essential cutting and editing tools that make creating a project in the timeline a breeze. Videos can be cropped, rotated, trimmed, even filters and speed control can be applied like a standard video editor. There are four pricing options, which is one more than most on this list. Creator is the plan for casual users which limits video rendering to 720p but it does offer unlimited renders, cloud storage, and audio stock.

(Image credit: WeVideo)

6. WeVideo

Traditional layout is ideal for users who have edited before

Specifications
Cost: $15.99/mo for standard plan
Free trial: Free plan available
Templates: 304
Content library: 1m+
Technical support: Email support
Custom designs: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Professional and business plans offer 4K UHD exports+Publish time limit rather than video limit
Reasons to avoid
-Web page tricky to navigate-Hard to compare without signing up

Thanks to its similarity to traditional tools, users who have used video editing software before will find its layout familiar. With a good selection of content to choose from it’s straightforward to drag-and-drop assets into the editor with ease. Rather than limit users to a certain number of video exports WeVideo uses publish time to differentiate between packages which suits users who need to publish videos of different lengths, especially if one needs multiple short videos. It doesn’t count how many videos it exports but rather how long each video is, and once you reach your quota you’ll have to wait until the next month starts before creating more. Free and Power plans limit to 5 and 30 minutes respectively, but any plan above that is unlimited.

Read more:

Best video editing software
Best free video editors
Best laptops for video editing
Best monitors for video editing

Jason Parnell-Brookes

Jason Parnell-Brookes is an Internationally award-winning photographer,  writer, and former Technique Editor of N-Photo magazine. He won Gold in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. Jason is a qualified teacher, Masters graduate and works with many high profile international clients.