WordPress & YouTube might be two completely different platforms, that do two completely different things, but they do share something in common. They both continue to gain popularity on the web.
You’ve probably heard that WordPress is closing in on powering 30% of the web. YouTube is no stranger to growth, as they now have over 1 billion users, touting more 18-34 year olds than any TV network in U.S., and that’s just on mobile alone!
In this article, let’s merge these two powerhouses together and showcase a few of the best YouTube plugins for WordPress.
There are, of course, several ways to embed a YouTube video in WordPress without a plugin, but the following solutions will help you take your YouTube channel to the next level.
They didn’t get too creative with the plugin name (“YouTube”), but they did pack this plugin with lots of cool features. This plugin is frequently updated and has over 200,000 active installs on WordPress sites. Let’s take a look at what it can do.
- Embed video galleries on your site, using either a channel or a playlist
- Auto-play the next video in YouTube galleries to keep visitors engaged
- Tons of options to customize the video player
- Buttons in the content editor make it easy to insert videos & galleries in your posts
There is also a pro version if you feel the need to upgrade, but the free version packs quite a punch. The YouTube plugin offers full HTTPS support, improved accessibility for screen readers, and even lets you set the iOS playback preferences for iPhone users.
The YourChannel YouTube plugin lets you provide a beautiful display of your channel right on your website. You can insert your channel anywhere on your site using a simple shortcode. You can have the following options:
- Show/Don’t Show the Videos tab
- Option to Show/Don’t Show the Playlists tab
- Also, an option to Show/Don’t Show your banner image
The free version of YourChannel doesn’t provide a ton of customization options, but upgrading to their pro version will unlock quite a few additional options.
The pro version provides sorting, search, pagination, grid columns, blacklisting, autoplay, sidebar widgets and more.
The YouTube Subscriber plugin is built around the idea of acquiring more subscribers for your channel. It doesn’t help you display videos on your site but provides a few ways to display your channel name, icon and subscribe button throughout your site.
- Add a subscribe button to your sidebar or a post
- Custom the text surrounding your subscribe button
- Choose between a narrow or full layout
- Optionally show your subscriber count
I love that this plugin provides both a widget for your sidebars, as well as a shortcode to enter a YouTube subscribe button directly into a post or page.
The YouTube Showcase plugin takes a slightly different approach to integrate with WordPress. It will actually create new WordPress posts for each of your YouTube videos. You can import your videos one at a time by entering the video ID, or bulk import up to 50 at a time using YouTube’s API.
This would be a plugin to consider if your entire site is centred around YouTube videos. However, if you embed the occasional video, or just want to include a YouTube gallery, this plugin is not the best fit.
- Create new posts for each video, allowing users to comment directly on your blog
- Automatically creates 2 grid/gallery pages to display your videos
- Offers a few add-ons to help organize & manage your videos, and choose which data to display
- Two sidebar widgets that help you display featured and recent videos
Again, I only recommend this plugin if your site revolves around YouTube videos, and you want them to be heavily integrated. But if you’re a serial YouTuber, you might want to give this one a look.
This plugin is a little more focused, and just provides one feature, but does it really well. It provides an easy way to open up a YouTube (or Vimeo) video in a lightbox, and autoplay it (optional). No fancy galleries or other options for your channel, just a simple, effective lightbox.
One thing to keep in mind: If your site already uses a lightbox plugin, you should check to see if it provides a way to open and autoplay your videos. If it does, there is no need to install this one. Check out your existing plugins features page, or contact the author to see if it’s already possible. You never want to install an additional plugin if you don’t have to.
This was our list of 5 Awesome YouTube Plugins for WordPress. Do you know more such plugins? If yes, share with us in the comment section.