Adding YouTube videos to your WordPress website is an outstanding way to capture the attention of your audience, explain the complexities of your business, showcase user-generated content, and keep visitors on your website longer.
By embedding videos within your website, not only do you improve user engagement, you increase views on your YouTube videos as well—an added benefit if you’re trying to grow your own YouTube channel.
Back in the earlier days of WordPress, it was somewhat difficult to embed YouTube videos to your site. Thankfully, WordPress has come a long way since then, and there are several different ways to show off your YouTube videos on your site.
Let’s take a closer look.
What are the best WordPress video themes?
Before diving too deep into how to embed YouTube videos into your WordPress site, let’s look at some of the best WordPress video themes.
If you’re building a WordPress site that’s going to be heavy on video content, then opting for a theme that supports loads of videos is the way to go.
As a side note, remember if you’re laundering a media-heavy website, you need a hosting plan that will support regular video streaming. The last thing you want is for visitors to land on your website and have it load slowly. Consider starting with a VPS hosting plan to make sure you have enough RAM to keep your video content rolling.
Here are some of the best WordPress video themes currently on the market:
VideoPro is a fully responsive and highly-rated theme that can help you create a massive video-sharing site, and has similar features to YouTube. For example, users can create their own video channels, create and manage playlists, and more.
Additionally, there’s a useful membership feature that allows you to create a section of the site where you can sell premium content.
VideoFly is an elegant video theme that has plenty of whitespace, which makes for a video site that’s easy on the eyes. The theme is intuitive in regards to the setup and the user video submission feature.
This theme makes it easy to embed, upload, or insert videos on your WordPress site. You can also use the included YouTube importer if you want.
This theme offers plenty of customization options to help make your video site unique. And, there are multiple ways you can integrate ads into your site.
As the name suggests, Vlog is the perfect theme for vloggers. It’s elegant and equipped with a variety of layouts, so you can display your videos on your WordPress site however you want.
You can embed the video in your blog posts, as a featured image, or even group your videos into playlists.
Plus, this WordPress video plugin is compatible with most of the largest video sharing sites out there, including YouTube.
Soledad is another WordPress video theme that’s worth checking out. Its nearly endless ability to customize your layouts and display content in different ways makes it possible to bring your website to life.
This theme offers hundreds of templates. Alternatively, you can build your own layout from scratch with the included Visual Composer.
There are also built-in tools to easily embed videos into your WordPress site.
6 different ways you can embed a YouTube video in WordPress
Like most things with WordPress, there are multiple approaches to accomplishing any task. Here are a few of the most common ways to embed YouTube videos into WordPress.
As you’ll see below there are a few different embed types, depending on what kind of video content you want to embed, how you want it to display, or whether or not you want to embed your entire YouTube channel.
1. Embed Youtube videos with Gutenberg
If you’ve updated your WordPress site from the Classic editor to the Gutenberg editor, I have good news for you.
Embedding a YouTube video is a cinch.
Gutenberg works on content blocks. And WordPress already has a content block dedicated to videos. Here are the steps:
- Hover your mouse over the “Add Block” icon (it’s a plus sign) and click on it.
- Click on the “YouTube” button
- Enter your YouTube video URL
- Press “Embed” and your video will show up in your content
That’s literally all you have to do. Easy, right?
If you want to customize how your YouTube video looks, you need to take a different approach. Here’s how:
- Hover your mouse over the “Add Block” icon and click it.
- Search for “Custom HTML” and click on it.
- Paste the iframe code in the HTML box and preview if needed
Once you’ve pasted the iframe code, you can tweak the HTML code as you like.
2. Embed a YouTube video by adding it to your media files or inserting a URL via your media files
Another way to embed a YouTube video is to add a media file to your WordPress account. Here are the steps:
- Find “Media” on your WordPress dashboard menu and click “Add new” (Note: if you add the video to your Media files, it will live on your site)
- Navigate to the page or post where you want to add the video
- Once you’re on the page, find and select “Video” in the content block options
- From here, you’ll see that you can Upload a video, add it from your media library, or insert a URL
- If you’ve added the video to your media library, click “Media Library” and insert the respective video
- If you don’t want the video to live on your site, WordPress will pull it from YouTube. In this case, click on “Insert from URL” and paste the URL into the box.
3. Embed your entire YouTube channel
If a significant portion of your business depends on viewers seeing your YouTube videos, consider embedding your YouTube feed into your website.
You can do this with the help of a YouTube plugin like YourChannel.
Once you’ve installed and activated the YourChannel plugin, you can configure it by navigating to “Settings” and then “YourChannel.”
From here, enter your YouTube API, along with your channel ID, or your username.
The other options on this screen will let you configure the display options for your channel. Once you’ve configured your settings, copy and paste the WordPress shortcode and add it to the page on your site where you want to display your videos.
4. Embed a YouTube video in a widget area
If you want to embed a YouTube video in one of your widget areas, you can install and activate a YouTube embed plugin like YouTube Widget Responsive.
Now that the plugin is installed, navigate to “Appearance” and select “Widgets.” From here, locate your widget and draft it to the section of your site where you want your video to appear.
Now, enter the video URL and hit “Save.”
5. Create a YouTube video gallery
In the event you want to add several YouTube videos to your site, but don’t want to embed your entire channel, you’ll need a YouTube video gallery widget.
Some top video gallery plugins include:
The first step is to install the video gallery plugin of choice. For the purposes of this article, let’s focus on Video Gallery. Next, you’ll need to configure the plugin.
To configure this plugin, find the “Gallery Video” tab on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard. Then, select “New Gallery Video, add a title, and select the layout.
Next, add the videos by clicking the “Add Video” button and entering the URL of the video. Then, hit “Save Video.” With this particular WordPress video plugin, you can add as many videos as you’d like.
Once you’re done adding videos, hit “Save.” Take the shortcode and copy and paste anywhere on your site.
5. Add a pop-up video lightbox
Another cool option for using YouTube videos on your site is to create a video lightbox. These videos can help direct your viewer’s full attention to each video while giving it a nice effect.
To do this, install and activate the WP Video Lightbox WordPress plugin.
Once you’ve installed the plugin, turn your attention to the left-hand column and find “Settings” and then click on “Video Lightbox.” From here, you can set up your settings as you like.
If you need additional instructions, check out the extensive documentation that will walk you through potential problems.
Support your WordPress videos with a reliable web hosting company
There’s a reason why video is one of the most dominant forms of content across the web. It’s a stellar way to engage your followers, teach them new things, and help psych them out about your website.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of all the ways you can add YouTube videos to your WordPress site. And remember, video content takes more memory on your site than written content, so make sure you get a reliable and secure WordPress hosting plan from HostGator.
Casey is the Senior Director of Marketing for Hosting and has been in the web hosting space for 7 years. He loves the slopes and hanging out with his kids.