Change of YouTube Plugin

“So what?”  I hear you cry.

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!.

Easy Tube

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…

Smart Youtube

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!

By Strangely

Founding member of the gifted & talented band, "The Crawling Chaos" from the North-East of England.