WordPress Video: Integrating Content On Your Site
Although online video is a powerful medium (especially for marketing), it remains surprisingly underutilized. This can be attributed to the common belief that integrating videos into your site is complex and costly. However, this simply isn’t the case, and by failing to implement video, you could be hindering your site’s User Experience (UX).
Fortunately, WordPress is a versatile Content Management System (CMS) that can integrate with many online video platforms — including YouTube, Vimeo, and Wistia. This means your users can experience a rich multimedia viewing experience without leaving your website.
In this post, we’ll introduce the various ways you can integrate video content with your WordPress website. We’ll also discuss some methods for making the integration process simpler, and for improving the way videos display on your site. Let’s get started!
WordPress and YouTube
As the most popular video-sharing network in the world, it makes sense that YouTube offers various video embed options. By integrating YouTube content into your WordPress website, you can add an extra layer of interactivity for your visitors. Plus, embedding YouTube videos into WordPress content is particularly simple.
You have three options when embedding YouTube videos – code embeds, URL embeds, and shortcodes. The first two can be performed manually, with the help of YouTube’s Share feature. The third can be done via CSS (we recommend using a child theme if you choose this route), or a plugin.
WordPress and Vimeo
WordPress offers much of the same functionality for Vimeo as it does for YouTube. This means you can easily embed Vimeo videos on your website via embed codes, URLs, or shortcodes.
As with YouTube, Vimeo videos can be added manually, or with the help of a plugin. With either option, you have the ability to customize your embeds (such as by adjusting media size and display settings).
WordPress Video Themes
The majority of WordPress themes – including those in the WordPress Theme Directory – support video embedding. However, if you wish to feature video prominently on your site, a video-specific theme may better meet your needs.
With a dedicated WordPress video theme, you can further improve the User Experience (UX) on your site. These themes contain special elements that streamline the process of adding videos and portraying them in optimized ways. Many also offer features such as YouTube automatic import capabilities, playlists, and lightboxes.
A few of the more popular video themes are Vlog, True Mag, and Newspaper. If these themes aren’t for you, but you still want to incorporate the above-mentioned functionality, you can do so by using WordPress plugins. For example, Video Gallery can be used to display YouTube videos in a playlist format on your website:
In general, we would recommend a video-specific theme to sites with medium-to-high traffic, as well as those that display video on a regular basis. This will ensure that your users can enjoy your video content with greater ease (and will improve your chances of enhancing conversions).
In short, a lightbox is an image and video display feature that expands media to fit the screen, and dims out any non-media elements. It’s used to prevent users from becoming distracted, and is perfect for widescreen images and video content:
While lightboxes aren’t a must, they’re a feature that anyone with a lot of media content on their website should consider. Fortunately, you can add them to your site using plugins.
For example, Simple Lightbox enables you to add a lightbox to media content in just minutes. You can customize the boxes – adjusting their width and setting animations – and the plugin works well with most WordPress themes:
Easy FancyBox is another solid option. It supports images, videos, and PDFs, and you can even use it to embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and DailyMotion:
A lightbox is perhaps the easiest way to bring your media front-and-center, without interfering with UX.
WordPress Video Streaming
A video stream is a live feed that delivers video content directly to end users. It’s used commonly in many fields, including news, technology, and entertainment. One thing to keep in mind is that not all WordPress themes can support video streaming. What’s more, a live stream can take up a lot of bandwidth, so you’ll need a reliable and high-speed hosting plan.
If you intend to live stream on a regular basis, it’s best to use a dedicated theme. For example, VideoTube is an excellent theme for both embedding and streaming videos, and integrates with both YouTube and Vimeo:
If you don’t wish to change your theme, you can consider VideoWhisper’s Live Streaming plugin instead. This feature-heavy tool enables you to set up multiple live video channels:
Using this plugin, you can host streams from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. This is particularly useful for freelancers maintaining their site on the go.
Responsive Video For WordPress
As mobile users begin to take over the Internet, it’s crucial that your website supports a variety of mobile devices. This is true for all aspects of your site, including video.
Simply put, responsive video is content that can be easily accessed on all mobile devices – including laptops, tablets, and phones. When content is responsive, it automatically adjusts to the user’s screen size.
Responsiveness is a feature included in many WordPress themes, especially those created recently. To see if your website is currently responsive, you can use this Mobile-Friendly Test from Google:
By ensuring mobile responsiveness for your videos, you can significantly increase your audience. As such, this element should be a priority.
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