If you’re like me, you probably set aside a significant portion of your website’s budget for promotional activities. After all, the 80-20 rule says that 80 percent of our time and effort should be spent on promoting our content.
Let’s say you spent 50 dollars on Facebook Ads to get people to visit your landing page or blog post. But somehow, the bounce rates are just too high! People seem leave even before they are halfway through the page!
We’re not alone. In a world where digital content is produced at an explosive pace, it is difficult to get people’s attention. But there’s one holy grail that seem to get the attention of today’s folks – and that’s video content.
With the right video content, your bounce rate decreases and people tend to spend more time on your site watching the video and eventually increase your conversions. When we include videos in our blog content, our readers are more likely to stick through and watch the video. If the video solves their problem, they are much more inclined to share it. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best YouTube plugins for WordPress.
1. YouTube Channel Gallery (Free)
YouTube Channel Gallery is a very simple but powerful plugin designed to display the latest videos from a YouTube channel with various customization options such as thumbnail only, thumbnail with description, etc. You can use the shortcodes to display videos in widgets.
- Displays latest videos from YouTube playlist
- Supports YouTube Data API v3
- Switches to HTML5 player in supported mobile browsers
- Can use multiple instances of the plugin on the same page.
2. YouTube Showcase – Video Gallery (Free)
YouTube Showcase enables you to build responsive gallery pages filled with YouTube videos. You can build a video gallery page where the subsequent videos are shown below the original video with pagination. You can also build a video grid gallery where the videos are shown in a four-column grid layout. This plugin is great for showcasing multiple related videos such as an online course, how-to video series and product demo and application videos.
- Ability to build two separate video galleries – basic video gallery and video grid gallery
- Set custom the thumbnail aspect ratio of videos – choose either 16:9 or 4:3
- Sidebar widgets to showcase recent and featured videos
- Pagination option available for longer video series
3. TubePress ($39.99+/yr or $6.99+/mo)
TubePress comes in two formats:
- A standalone WordPress plugin called TubePress Pro
- Cloud-hosted service called TubePress Express which brings the plugin’s features to other website hosting/builder solution such as Wix, Weebly and Jimdo.
TubePress Pro supports video embedding from YouTube, Dailymotion and Vimeo. It enables you to build video galleries with highly customizable options such as video meta description, choice of video player, video thumbnail options and many much more. The plugin starts at $39.99 for a single-site license or $99.99 for unlimited sites with one year of support and updates.
The plugin also has paid add-ons such as access to private Vimeo videos, flexible thumbnail rows and YouTube black bars remover. It is worthwhile to point out that there the cloud version of the plugin is compatible with WordPress and includes all add-ons for free.
- Supports YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion.
- Build highly customizable video galleries.
- Innovative add-ons such as playing private Vimeo videos.
- Choose from self-hosted or cloud-hosted solution. Latter one supports multiple platforms and includes access to all add-ons and features.
4. WordPress Video Gallery (Free)
WordPress Video Gallery not only supports multiple video embed networks such as YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler and Dailymotion but also streaming video content from RTMP, Amazon S3 Streaming and many more. You can create playlists, watch history and embed ads in the video. The plugin also enables you to control the user’s ability to download hosted videos, view in fullscreen mode, switch to HD and many more.
- Supports multiple embedded video networks and streaming videos
- Supports multiple FLV and H.264 encoded videos in MP4, M4V, MOV, etc.
- Allow users to create “watch later” and playlists
- Control several aspects of video experience such as fullscreen HD, ability to download, etc.
5. YouTube Embed Plus (Free or $19.99)
YouTube Embed Plus is one of the most popular YouTube plugins with over 100,000 active installations. With this plugin, you can create YouTube channel or playlist galleries with multiple customization options.
- Create responsive YouTube channel and playlist galleries
- Add channel subscription button to the ones above gallery thumbnails
- Localization support
- Pro version supports lazy loading of YouTube videos
6. Responsive YouTube & Vimeo Video Lightbox (Free)
Responsive YouTube & Vimeo Video Lightbox is a lightweight plugin enables you to embed YouTube and Vimeo videos in a lightbox popup with the help of a shortcode. The plugin supports autoplay and the ability to include custom captions. You can also use it in widgetized areas in WordPress due to shortcode support.
- YouTube and Vimeo videos supported in lightbox
- Shortcode and widgetized areas support
- Autoplay and custom caption functionalities
7. Hide YouTube Related Videos (Free)
In most cases, we want our visitors to view the product video and then scroll down to read the actual content – which could be the blog post, or the landing page copy. Correct?
However in WordPress, YouTube videos are embedded using the default oEmbed solution. In which case, YouTube ends up showing related videos after the original video finishes playing. This tends to distract the users by showing them funny cat videos, right after they’ve seen your Long Tail SEO product pitch video. (I’m speaking from personal experience haha!)
We really don’t want that now, do we? Hide YouTube Related Videos stops that from happening by preventing YouTube oEmbed from showing related videos.
- Prevents related YouTube videos from showing up after original video is played
Note: Sometimes, when you upgrade the plugin it might not work due to some caching issue. A simple fix is to manually deactivate and re-activate the plugin. This clears the cache, and it starts working again.
8. YouTube Embed WordPress (Free or $12+)
YouTube Embed WordPress brings you tons of enhancements and customization options when embedding YouTube videos to WordPress.
For starters, you can embed videos in post, pages and custom post types. You can also get creative and embed YouTube videos in widgetized areas such the site header, custom sidebars and footers (although I cannot think of a website that would use a video in its footer! Can you?)
The premium version of the plugin includes features such as hiding related related videos from showing up at the end of the video, setting options for individual videos, etc.
- Display videos in posts, pages, custom post types and widgetized areas
- Configure default options such as player dimensions, fullscreen, annotation and caption options
- Customize player progress bar colour for brand consistency
9. YouTube Information Widget (Free)
So far in this post we’ve been sharing plugins that enable you to embed YouTube videos in your WordPress site. If you’re looking to display only your YouTube channel stats in your WordPress website – YouTube Information Widget is the plugin for you.
The plugin can display your latest uploads, popular uploads, channel summary and most importantly, the Subscribe button. All of this is done via a shortcode, so you may use it almost anywhere in the website.
- Display essential channel information such as popular and latest videos
- Highlight channel summaries such as as total number of video uploads, views, unique subscribers, etc.
- Display a Subscribe Now CTA button to increase your channel subscribers
- Powered via shortcode which gives it the ability to be used anywhere in the site.
Note: While there is a premium version of the plugin available in CodeCanyon, I would urge you not to purchase it, since the plugin has not been updated since August 2015.
10. YouTube Subscriber (Free)
YouTube Subscriber is another lighter version of the previous plugin (YouTube Information Widget) in terms of functionality. This plugin simply generates a Subscribe Now CTA for a YouTube channel. It does so using a shortcode and thus, can be used in any widgetized area in the website.
You might think that only a handful of people might use this plugin. You’d be surprised to know that at the time of writing this article, YouTube Subscriber has 1,000+ active installations!
11. YourChannel: YouTube Video Gallery (Free)
YourChannel will help you display a customized version of a YouTube channel in WordPress. To get started, you’ll need to obtain your copy of YouTube API key, username and channel ID and save them in the plugin’s settings. Then, you can configure multiple configuration settings such as using a lightbox video player or enabling/disabling features such as displaying banner image, playlists, total videos, views, and many more.
- Ability to selectively display multiple elements such as channel info, subscriber/video count, playlists, channel banner image, etc.
- Visual builder that works with a shortcode
- Display video thumbnails in seven different styles, all of which are responsive
What makes a good YouTube plugin in WordPress? Well, to answer that question, you would have to ask “What is it that I need?” Different people have different requirements from a particular type of product. That’s why there are over 10 plugins that are actively developed under the “YouTube for WordPress” category.
Let’s say you simply need to display your subscriber count in your WordPress site, and redirect people to your YouTube channel. In such a case, a simple plugin like YouTube Subscriber would be perfect! I would strongly recommend not choosing a plugin with ten features, out of which you’ll be using only one.
Write down what is it that you’re trying to achieve with the plugin. Once you’ve settled on your requirements, go through the list and select a plugin that meets 90% of your criteria.
Did we miss out on a important plugin? Are you a developer and would like to see your plugin up on this list? Let us know in the comments!