The third Essential WordPress Plugin is going to add some functionality to your WordPress blog for adding videos to your blog posts and RSS feed.
There are numerous problems with the way WordPress and RSS feeds handle videos from YouTube and Vimeo. First, often the embed code from these websites come in iframes, which WordPress doesn’t like. As an example, let’s say you wanted to embed the hilarious video called “Parking Fail” from YouTube. You find the video, and then click “Share” and “Embed” to get the Embed code for you site:
After you copy the code, you go over to your WordPress blog to embed the code. As YouTube instructs you to do, you embed the code into the HTML tab of your blog like this:
But when you click over to visual, the video has disappeared!
So you click back over in the HTML tab to see if the code is still there, and OH NO!, WordPress completely stripped the code right out!
This becomes very annoying, and so numerous bloggers have created various methods of maintaining the video in the post. One of these, which I mentioned in my last post, is the “Embed Shortcode” feature within the Jetpack plugin. That works okay, but I found a plugin that works even better:
The Tentblogger Vimeo, YouTube, RSS Embed Plugin
Find it, install it, and activate it.
Tweak your Media Settings
Before you use it, there is one thing you need to set up first. You need to set your default Media size settings so that the videos fit nicely into your blog posts.
Note: the following step is optional. Use it only if you want the embedded videos to be the maximum size possible for your particular blog. Otherwise, just go with “500px” (since rarely is a column smaller than that), and move on to the part of the post where I tell you to set your Media size settings.
If you want the videos to be the maximum size possible, you first need to find the exact size of your blog column.
To do this, you will have to do some investigation. From your Dashboard, click on “Appearance” and then select “Editor.” From the list of documents on the far right, find the one near the bottom that is named “stylesheet.css” or something similar. You don’t want the “user.css” or “custom.css” or anything like that.
In Standard Theme, it is “style.css” and looks like this:
You can see in this file that I searched for “width” and scrolled down until I found the #main column width, which is 620 pixels. However, a few lines further down, we see that the theme creators set the post container at 92% of the width (which is 570 pixels). In others words, the post area for my blog posts is 570 pixels. The way this theme is set up, this will always be the size of the blog post. Your setup may be different, and so you will have to figure it out.
If you really cannot figure it out, leave me a comment with a link to your site, and I will come take a look at it and tell you how wide your column is.
Once you have the number, write it down, or remember it.
We are now going to adjust your default Media Size settings.
From your Dashboard, click on “Settings” and then select “Media.” You will be greeted with this screen:
In the “Embed” section, you are going to enter the default width of your blog posts in the box which says “width.” You can clear out the “Height” box so nothing is in there, or you can calculate the exact ratio for your videos over at YouTube. Just click on any video, Click “Share” and “Embed” and down below, enter your blog width in the box for video width, and it will give you the proper video height.
If you want, you can edit those numbers in the spaces provided on your blog.
Now this this is set, back to the Tentblogger Video Plugin. What does it do? It does a couple of things.
First, it makes embedding video a breeze. It added a little icon to your blog post editing screen. When you click on it, you get a little window that pops up asking you the link to the video which you want to embed. Just paste the URL from the Vimeo or YouTube video you want to embed, and the plugin takes care of the rest.
So let’s say I still want to embed that Parking Fail video. I first get the link from YouTube:
Then I click the new Tentblogger icon…
…and paste the link address into the box that popped up:
When you click “OK” it looks like this in your post, which doesn’t look like much, but is pure magic, because it doesn’t disappear.
However, when you publish it, the video shows up, and looks perfect.
Video in RSS Feeds
But there is one other thing that this Tentblogger plugin does. It helps your video show up in your RSS Feed. If WordPress is notorious for stripping out video code, RSS feeds are even more notorious. If you finally figure out a way to get your video onto your blog, it may look nice there, but your Feed subscribers may never see the video, or even know that you inserted one.
The Tentblogger plugin fixes this as well. Since I don’t have any video posts yet, let me include here the image that shows on the Plugin page:
All in all, this is a very helpful plugin for bloggers that want to post videos on their blog and in their RSS feed. It is one of my top 10 Essential WordPress Plugins for new blogs.
Oh, and just in case you wanted to watch that hilarious parking fail video, here it is: