Yeah well, I can understand. Everyone knows YouTube and everyone has seen embedded videos on websites. How it’s done doesn’t bother most people.
WordPress have a default method of embedding. The thing is, it may be better than it was 2 years ago when I started this lark, but I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now.
This is where the small army of plugin beavers come in to help us poor thick or lazy WordPress bloggers!.
Previously, after trying a few players and methods, I’ve been using EasyTube for ages now, which is easy to use and has some customisation options. To work it you just type [youtube:URL_of_youtube_video] and it appears. You can set the size and autoplay using a few extra arguments.
To be fair it’s always worked. It’s just the comment tags and sizing is tricky to remove if you want to try something else…
I wanted to try Vladimir Prelovac’s because he’s been getting better and better as time passes. His current theme is a bit..er..white and spacious, I can’t see what’s going on there. I mean, only last Thursday he was using his Amazing Grace theme. But his Theme Switcher plugin (Theme Test Drive )is fantastic! The other day I changed the Crawling Chaos theme using it. I did all changes to the theme, set up menus etc as admin while the old theme was being viewed by users. Then I just swapped and bingo!
In the course of this I spotted his YouTube plugin and gave it a go.
It works and it works well.
In usage, all you do is get the YouTube video URL and insert a ‘v’ after the http’ bit. So http://URL_of_youtube_video becomes http://URL_of_youtube_video
If I want to play HQ video, it becomes http://URL_of_youtube_video
This is the full list of options:
- http:// – regular video
- http:// – high quality
- httpvhd:// – HD quality
- httpvp:// – playlist
Colours and size are set globally, and this is a key point because the body text width of your main theme reading area in posts and pages puts a limit to your video width. Any theme changes you make need to take into consideration your extant pictures and videos.
Anyway, a global video setting suits me as I just make it a bit narrower than my theme widths.
Vlad has some other stuff too and has started using a video comments system called Seesmic which he references here. I’ll be looking a bit more at that.
How I Swapped
Obviously, the EasyTube system has a load of [ ] tags and associated arguments. So I turned the site off using the Maintenance Mode plugin and used pHpAdmin to download the wp-posts table. Then using a fast editor called Editor2 from https://www.zabkat.com I searched and replaced through all the SQL text!
The front of the URL tag was easy but the end took a bit longer. During the process I also cleaned up some long YouTube URLs and made them nice and short! I found some old tags from other dead plugins that I’ve used over time and deleted them as well! It only took a careful half an hour and then I just zipped down the new file (because it’s over the 2meg limit) and uploaded back into the database using phpAdmin.
Anyway, it’s goodbye EasyTube, hello Smart YouTube!
If a new plugin comes along, it’s a much simpler search and replace on http:’ than previously, and that’s a major benefit – maintaining flexibility!