Adding a video to a blog post or page is a really easy way to engage your audience and add interesting, interactive content.
By far, the easiest way to do this is to upload your video to YouTube and then embed it in your page or post.
- an account there is free
- uploading your video there is free
- you’re not using up valuable storage space or bandwidth on your own website with huge video files – which might end up costing you money or slowing down your site
- videos you upload there are also accessible to a wide audience, which can help spread the word about what you do
- access an endless library of other people’s videos, too
- it’s incredibly easy to add YouTube to your site!
Let’s walk through the process – trust me, no matter your level of experience with WordPress, you can do this.
Using your own video
If you’ve made a video that you want to use on your website, you need to start by uploading it to YouTube.
(If you’d just like to learn how to embed other people’s videos, skip to the next major section below.)
First up: get a YouTube account. The easiest thing to do is get a Google/Gmail account – then you already have access to YouTube by default.
Quick tip: if you’re uploading a video for a business, get a new Google/YouTube account specifically for that business. The name and profile of the uploader is attached to the file, so to keep it professional, you don’t want to use your personal account for business videos.
Got an account? Great! Log in, and follow the steps to upload your first video. Here’s a YouTube video (totally meta!) on how to do that.
Now, all we need to do is embed that video in your page or blog post.
Embedding the video
Whether you’re embedding a video you made yourself or another video you think is cool beans, you’ll first need to get the Shareable URL of that video.
Start by viewing the video on YouTube. It’s easiest if you’re on the actual YouTube site, rather than looking at the video through a search engine or on another website or something like that – so head to YouTube and find your video, then click on it so you’re on its own page.
In the bottom right hand corner of the video player, there’s a link that says “Share”.
Click on “Share” and you’ll see a pop-out window with the Shareable URL in it. Use the Copy button in that pop-out window to copy the URL to your clipboard.
Now, head back to the WordPress back end of your website, and open up the page or post you want to insert the video into.
If you’re still using the Classic Editor…
Well, you should probably upgrade to WordPress 5+ and switch to Gutenberg, because it’s fun and awesome. (Get to know a little bit about Gutenberg in my overview blog post.)
But if you really want to stick with the Classic Editor, then all you have to do is literally paste the shareable URL into your edit box.
Literally. Just CTRL-V that ugly URL in there and WordPress will automatically convert it to an embedded video. Amazing!
If you’re using Gutenberg blocks…
Good for you! Gutenberg is cool.
To insert your YouTube video, you’ll need to add a YouTube block.
Click the “+” sign in the top left to insert a new block.
Choose the YouTube block. You can find this by scrolling down and clicking on the “Embeds” subsection and looking for YouTube, or just enter “YouTube” in the top search bar. Either way, the block you want is easy to spot because it’s the red YouTube logo.
Once the YouTube block is inserted, paste the Shareable URL into the single field that is there. Click the Embed button to embed the video.
Voila! Your YouTube video is embedded and your visitors can watch the video right on your own website, without having to head over to YouTube itself to view it.
Now, wasn’t that easy?