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Best WordPress YouTube Plugins

Inserting YouTube videos in your WordPress site or blog enhances its stickiness and can be excellent for illustrating a point you are making. With the two plugins we are reviewing inserting a YouTube video in your WP site will be really easy, and you also get loads of options for customisation too.
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Tired of copying and pasting the embed HTML from sites like YouTube? Then these plugins are for you.

Viper’s Video Quicktags

With Viper’s Video Quicktags by Viper007Bond you simply click one of the new buttons that this plugin adds to the write screen (rich editor included) and then paste the URL that the video is located at into the prompt box — easy as that. You can fully configure how the videos are displayed (width, height, colors, alignment on the page) and much more. Your site will even stay (X)HTML valid unlike with the code provided by most video sites. Currently supports these video sites:

As well as these file types:

  • Flash Video Files (FLV)
  • QuickTime (MOV, etc.)
  • Generic video files (AVI, MPEG, WMV, etc.)

Smart Youtube

Smart Youtube by Vladmir Prelovac is a WordPress Youtube plugin that allows you to easily insert Youtube videos/playlists into your post, comments and in your RSS feed. The plugin is designed to be small and fast and not use any external resources. From version 2.0 Smart youtube also supports playback of high quality videos, works on iPhone, produces xHTML valid code (unlike YouTube embed code), allows you to view videos in fullscreen and most recently has support for YouTube playlists. The videos will be embedded in your RSS feed as well, and if this is not support by the reader you can choose to have video link and/or video preview screenshot displayed instead.

Main Features

  • Embed YouTube videos with ease
  • Embed YouTube playlists
  • Supports latest high quality video protocols (360p and HD quality 720p)
  • Allows full YouTube customization (colors, border, full screen…)
  • Supports video deep linking (starting at desired point with &start=time parameter, use &start=num parameter)
  • Works on iPod and iPhone
  • Provides a sidebar widget for videos as well
  • Produces xHTML valid code
  • Very fast and light, no extra scripts needed

Jetpack Shortcode Embeds

This feature is available to you when installing Jetpack by Automattic. I usually have JetPack installed on every site, so it lets me embed video without adding an extra plugin just for this purpose. If you also use it I can wholeheartedly recommend it, you probably won’t need any of the above plugins. You can specify the width and height of the embedded video by adding &w=... or &w=...&h=...to the shortcode. It will automatically adapt to your theme’s content length and give you preferred dimensions.

  • You can disable related videos by appending &rel=0
  • You can turn on the search box by appending &showsearch=1

More Examples:

  • To embed the video with default width and height adapted to your theme: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaNH56Vpg-A]
  • To specify the width and height explicitly: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaNH56Vpg-A&w=320&h=240]
  • To specify the width only: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaNH56Vpg-A&w=320]
  • To hide the related videos from appearing after the video is done: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaNH56Vpg-A&rel=0]
  • To show the YouTube search box: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaNH56Vpg-A&showsearch=1]

Which of These Plugins is Best?

I’ve used all of these plugins successfully, all are feature-rich and enable you to insert YouTube videos with ease. I am using Smart YouTube on this site, but I usually use Viper’s Video Quicktags for clients sites just because it gives me the option of adding video buttons to TinyMCE, which makes it very easy for clients to insert videos. With Smart YouTube they would need to remember to add a ‘v’ after the ‘http’ portion of the link to the video they wish to insert, which is something they could easily forget. Another thing to consider is that Viper’s Video Quicktags allows embedding of videos from many other sites apart from YouTube, so this would be your ideal solution if, for example, you need to embed video files from Vimeo.

Also don’t forget that WordPress has some in-built functionality for posting videos and other media via oEmbed. Check out the Embeds section in the Codex for more information. Many times this is all you need, saving you from installing an extra plugin.

Jean Galea
Jean Galea
Jean Galea is an investor, entrepreneur, and blogger. He is the founder of WP Mayor, the plugins WP RSS Aggregator and Spotlight, as well as the Mastermind.fm podcast. His personal blog can be found at jeangalea.com.

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11 Responses

  1. Seems like YouTube has the changed the URLs for playlists from “youtube.com/p/XYZ” to “youtube.com/playlist?list=XYZ”, since my old embeds stopped working. I already thought about removing Viper’s Video Quicktags and switching to Jetpack because it’s maintained by WordPress and the embedding seems just as easy. Have you tried it?

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