How to Add Youtube Videos to WordPress

If you want a quick way to boost your website’s rankings, start looking for ways to include video into your posts and pages. People spend more time on your site if they can be watching video, which boosts your search engine rankings. Plus, search engines know that people like video, so even before they increase traffic to your site they still make you easier to find.

You can make your own videos and upload them directly to your site, but YouTube is a great alternative to this. It stores, encodes, compresses, and plays video all without you having to touch any code at all. Plus, it handles all those compatibility issues that arise with multiple users using multiple browsers.

Embedding a video is clearly better than pasting a link. It’s less work for your viewers and it also makes your page look better. But with WordPress, you can embed a video by pasting the link. It just requires adjusting a few settings in your dashboard.

Embedding Through Links

First, you need to find the Media page under Settings. There will be a list of media settings, including embed options. Under Embeds you will see something called Auto-Embeds. Make sure that this is clicked.

Once auto embed is enabled, you just need to get the YouTube link to the video that you want to use. Do not use the link is the address bar of your browser. There is often extra information in the URL that makes it impossible for WordPress to read.

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To get a usable link, click on the share button under the video. This will give you a shortened link that you can paste into your WordPress site. If for some reason that link doesn’t work, click on the options arrow beside it and get the long link. Paste either link anywhere in your page or post that you would like the video to appear and you are good to go.

The only issue with this method arises if you try to wrap your video in text. Anything on the same line as the link is read as part of the embed code and will return an error message. Luckily, there is an easy fix for this problem. You just have to wrap the link in the embed shortcode. That means if your link is, you just need to insert “embed” at the beginning of the link and close the tag at the end “/embed” adding [] to each side of the tags. Then you can add whatever text you want and WordPress should have no trouble reading it.

Getting the Embed Code

You shouldn’t have any problems embedding YouTube videos into WordPress using this method, but if something goes wrong and it doesn’t work, you can always get the embed code from the video and try doing it that way. Just like before, you need to open the video that you want to embed and click the share button. Instead of using that link, however, click the embed button beside it.

This will get you a different code. There will be several options below it that you can select or unselect based solely on what you want it to look like. You can also set the size of the embedded video here. If you choose a custom size, YouTube should automatically keep the video in proportion, but you’ll want to double check just to make sure that it looks okay in that size.

Once you have all the settings the way you want, copy that embed code. When you paste the embed code into your WordPress site, make sure that you are in the HTML editor and not the Visual editor.

Customizing Your Video

If you are getting the embed code, YouTube automatically gives you some customization options. When using the link to automatically embed in WordPress, your options are severely limited. You can install the Jetpack plugin to give yourself more customization options.

Once you have Jetpack installed, you can add customization code right to the end of your embedded URL. For example [YouTubeURL]&w=1280&h=720 will give you a customized video of 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels tall.

There is an entire list of attributes and parameters that you can control with Jetpack, which you will get when you install the plugin. Just to give you an idea of what you can do, “start” and “stop” parameters enable you to control the beginning and ending points in the video. You can change the theme to match the rest of your site and you can choose whether to show or hide related video, among other things.

Other Plugins

If you are managing a site that uses a lot of video content, Jetpack may not be able to meet all of your needs. There are many other WordPress plugins designed to manage video content, however, and one of them should be able to do whatever it is that you want.

Vixy gives you the ability of setting up profiles that you can reference in your customization code so that you can adjust a range of settings by applying the profile instead of having to address each setting.

TubePress is designed for creating video galleries. If you decide to go with the basic customization options you can still get a great looking gallery. If you want even more control, you can pay for the advanced version of this plugin. For the average user, this gets too complicated, but it does let you adjust everything about your videos and galleries.

For people who are afraid that too many videos are making their site load slowly, use the Lazy LoadVideos plugin. This ingeniously loads a static image with a play button instead of a full video. It then only loads the full YouTube video that is embedded in that place when a user clicks on the play button.

Embedding a YouTube video into a WordPress site is remarkably simple. Once you have the video on your page, you can keep it just that simple, or you can install plugins in order to increase your customization capabilities.

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