Add YouTube videos to WordPress

Want to learn how to add YouTube videos to WordPress? Whether you just want to start embedding other people’s videos in your own content or you’ve got a YouTube channel that you want to integrate into your WordPress site, we have three unique ways to integrate YouTube with WordPress that go beyond the standard YouTube embed.

In this post, we’ll briefly discuss why connecting YouTube with your WordPress website is a wise move. Then, we’ll show you how to add YouTube videos to WordPress in three different ways. Let’s press play!

Why it’s smart to add YouTube videos to WordPress

Even if you’re just embedding other people’s videos from YouTube or another service, properly using video does a great job of keeping your visitors engaged and will likely increase your time on page (a good proxy for engagement).

If you want to get more involved, creating your own YouTube videos is also an excellent way to build an audience online. This is because video content is highly effective at catching people’s attention, encouraging social shares, and even driving conversions.

Those reasons are, in part, why we created the ThemeIsle YouTube channel.

Instead of running your YouTube channel in isolation, however, you can use it to improve your WordPress website. The reasons to add YouTube videos to WordPress are many. For example:

  • You can introduce website visitors to your YouTube channel, and vice versa.
  • High-quality videos make your website that much more impressive and provide extra content and value for your visitors.
  • Adding videos to your site can actually increase traffic, and offer a number of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefits.

Three ways to add YouTube videos to WordPress

Simply placing a single YouTube video on your website is very simple. All you need to do is navigate to a page or post, and click on Add Media:

An example of how to add YouTube videos to WordPress.

Select the Insert from URL button, and paste in the URL for the video. Save your changes, and it will be embedded in your content. People can watch the video on your page, or click the YouTube button to visit its original location. This works for any video – not just the ones you’ve created.

This method is perfectly functional. However, there are several more interesting ways to add YouTube videos to WordPress using plugins. Let’s explore each method one by one.

1. Use a dedicated YouTube widget for more flexibility

The above process lets you embed a standard YouTube video in a text widget. However, what if you want to further customize its appearance and features?

The free YouTube Widget Responsive plugin lets you embed videos in widgets with lots of added flexibility for how your video functions:

Installing this plugin will add a new, rather complex widget to your site. Simply visit Appearance > Widgets in your dashboard, and look for Youtube widget responsive:

The YouTube widget responisve

Drag the widget wherever you want it to be placed, enter a title and URL for your video, and click on Save. After that, you can select the various tabs to customize additional settings. For example, under Video you can decide whether the video will start automatically, and if it will play on a loop:

The settings for your YouTube widget.

The options here are all self-explanatory, so feel free to customize your video’s functionality until it’s looking just right:

A YouTube widget on a website's front end.

It’s worth noting that you can also use this feature to embed an entire YouTube playlist on your site. Just paste in the URL for a video within your playlist, then save and customize the widget as normal. Now, after the first video finishes playing, the next video in your playlist will automatically load (and so on).

2. Add your YouTube channel to your site

Rather than simply embedding a few videos into your website, you may want to feature your whole channel. This is a perfect way to show off your entire body of work and encourage visitors to check you out on YouTube.

You can do this easily using the YourChannel plugin:

Once the plugin is installed, you’ll find a new tab under Settings > YourChannel:

The YourChannel plugin settings.

You’ll need to create and enter a YouTube API key, which you can do by following these instructions. Then, you can connect the plugin to your channel by entering either your username or channel ID:

Entering your username into the YourChannel plugin.

The remaining settings on this page enable you to configure a few extra options, such as how many videos to display. Select Save when you’re done, and you’ll be given a shortcode:

A shortcode generated by the YourChannel plugin.

Paste in this shortcode wherever you want the channel displayed, and check it out on the front end:

A YouTube channel displayed on a WordPress page.

That’s it! Finally, let’s talk about creating a YouTube gallery.

3. Create a gallery of YouTube videos

Instead of displaying all the videos from your channel, you may want to create a gallery of specific content. A video gallery can be an attractive addition to your site, and setting one up is possible with the aptly-named Video Gallery plugin:

This tool will add a new tab to your dashboard – Gallery Video. You can select New Gallery Video to add videos to WordPress:

Settings for your YouTube gallery.

At the top of this screen, you can enter a title for your gallery, then pick a layout for it under Gallery Video Option.

Then, you’ll need to add a title for your first entry, select the Add Video button, and enter the video’s URL as normal.

Click on Save Video, and it will appear in a list at the bottom of the page:

A list of videos for your YouTube gallery.

You can keep adding videos, and drag them up and down to reorder them. Hit Save at the top of the page when you’re done, then paste the provided shortcode into any post or page. Your gallery will now display using the chosen layout:

A YouTube gallery displayed on a WordPress page.

This plugin offers a lot of options, which you may want to read more about in its documentation.

Conclusion

It’s not a stretch to say that video content is the future of the internet. If you’re still only adding text-based content to your website, you’re missing out on the opportunity to really grab your visitors’ attention and keep them coming back for more. That’s why it’s so crucial to integrate your YouTube videos with your WordPress site.

As we’ve shown, it’s simple to add YouTube videos to WordPress in more advanced ways if you use the right plugins. To recap, you can:

  1. Use a dedicated YouTube widget, which you can add with the YouTube Widget Responsive plugin.
  2. Add your YouTube channel to your site using the YourChannel plugin.
  3. Create a gallery of videos via the Video Gallery plugin.
Do you have any questions about how to use the plugins we’ve discussed in this post? Ask away in the comments section below!
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