Embed Videos in WordPress the Right Way: Save Time, Increase Views, Be Awesome

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[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

I’ve released a sweet WordPress Plugin that’ll do a lot of this for you with some advanced features for RSS readers! Don’t miss it!

WordPress is one of those things in life where I find that the more I use it the more I fall more madly in love with it! It’s like a good wine and gets better with time!

Here’s a neat trick that you’ll want to establish early on not only in your WordPress Settings but also in your workflow: Auto Video Embeds! Officially this is called oEmbed as a technology.

Did you know that WordPress is so awesome that it can automatically take a video link from the major video providers and not only embed that video into your blog post but also adjust the size perfectly to fit your WordPress Theme and content area?


First, we’ll walk through an example and then give you the goods:

4 Ways to Embed YouTube Videos in WordPress:

There are currently 4 (major) ways that you can embed YouTube videos into WordPress (#3 being the best way):

1. Copy, Paste, HTML Tab

This is the most painful way since it requires you to not only jump into the HTML Tab in your content area but opens you up to the possibility of really messing your post up if you copy and paste the wrong code.

Typically it would look something like this:

Who doesn't love Rick Astley?!?

You first find the video you want to embed and then you copy then embed code below the video:

Then you jump into your blog post editor, hit the HTML Tab on the right, and embed the code in:

There’s lots of room for error in this long process. And, you’d still have to customize the size a bit either on YouTube.com directly or in the editor!

Booooooooooooooooooooooooooo! No thank you!

2. Use ‘Insert Media’ Button

The second option you’ve got is to use the ‘Insert Media’ button in WordPress:

You may have to click the 'See More' button first.

Then you copy and paste the direct link into the open window and adjust your settings there:

If you click 'Constrain Proportions' you can size it to your content area properly.

This is a nice way of doing it but still requires some work. It is advantageous if you’re wanting to specify a certain size though for a given post.

Still not the most efficient.

3. Direct Link Using Media Settings for Size

This is the best and most efficient way of embedding YouTube clips into your blog.

First, you must go to Settings >> Media and save the right sizes for your blog:

My blog has a post width of 570 pixels, so I use that!

Now you’ve just told WordPress that you’re going to ask it to embed videos and make them span a certain width (in my case 570 pixels).

Now, all you have to do is grab the link to the video you want and it’ll auto-embed the video with the right sizes!

It would just look like this in your WordPress editor:

That's what we call 'EASY MODE'!

Pretty darn sweet, right?

Why would you do it any other way? By not using a plugin (see below) you also make your blog faster and less bloated. Faster load is a better user experience. That’s a good thing!

4. Use a Plugin

I have to include this just because it definitely is another option out there: You can use one of the many WordPress Plugins to “help” you embed your videos.

But why? Why bloat your WordPress blog down with another plugin when you can have most of what you need in WordPress directly? That has always baffled me..

Don’t bloat your installation and blog for your sake and your visitors!

More Than Just YouTube!

Did you know that WordPress has built-in many of the other major video platforms so you can do the exact same thing in option #3 with them? YouTube can do this for the following platforms:


I think I might have just saved some of you lots of time.

Like you, I wish someone had showed me this years ago when I first saw it work!


Increase Video Views by Using This Technique!

As the title suggests there are a few reasons why this option is one of the best options so as to increase views of your videos and here’s why:

1. Fall-back Link: If, for some reason, the embedded video doesn’t come up it’ll automatically show the direct link to the video so that you can still have that visitor watch your video. Don’t let broken scripts on their browser stop them from watching your video!

2. Mobile Versions: WordPress embeds the mobile-ready versions of the platforms so that your visitors can watch them on your mobile device! For example, I was concerned that it wouldn’t embed the mobile-version of my Vimeo videos but it does! Check out the screenshot from my iPad – as you can see it’s playing! Of course, having the mobile-ready versions will increase views as well.

I love my iPad. Do you have one?

So I hope you can adjust your Media Settings and take advantage of the awesome video embed options that WordPress has built-in.

What have you been doing historically? Is this going to make it more easy for you?


[This post is part of the Ultimate Guide to Launching a WordPress-Powered Blog series.]

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