How to Embed YouTube Videos in WordPress: A Comprehensive Guide

Published on June 2, 2023 by Simon Wright

If you are a website owner, blogger, or content creator, being able to embed YouTube videos in WordPress is an essential skill to have. Utilizing videos from YouTube adds variety to your content, keeping users engaged. Moreover, it saves bandwidth and server storage space as the content is hosted elsewhere. That means your site’s speed is not compromised, and you won’t have problems with storage limits.

In this article, we’ll explain why you should embed videos from YouTube into your content rather than uploading them directly to your website. We will then explore various methods to embed YouTube videos in WordPress, list some useful plugins, and share tips for optimizing your video content.

All set to learn how to embed YouTube videos into your WordPress site? Great, so let’s get this party started!

Why Embed Videos from YouTube?

Embedding YouTube videos into your website can offer several advantages compared to hosting video content yourself, for example:

a) Accessibility

By embedding YouTube videos, you leverage its massive infrastructure to provide a seamless viewing experience for your website visitors. They can easily watch the video, and you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues or slow loading times.

b) Reliability and Stability

YouTube invests heavily in maintaining a robust infrastructure and delivering videos efficiently. By embedding YouTube videos, you offload the video hosting and streaming responsibility to them. This ensures a more reliable and stable video playback experience for your audience.

c) Bandwidth and Storage Savings

Hosting videos on your own server can consume significant bandwidth and storage space, especially if you have high-quality or numerous videos. This means you may face additional hosting charges, issues caused by insufficient storage, and reduced website performance. All of these can be overcome by embedding videos from YouTube.

d) Cross-Platform Compatibility

YouTube has embed codes that are compatible with different platforms and devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Moreover, YouTube videos embedded on your website automatically adjust to fit different screen types and sizes, thereby ensuring a consistent viewing experience for your users.

e) Video Discovery and Engagement

YouTube is a powerful search engine for videos, and hosting your content there increases its chances of discovery by a wider audience. By embedding YouTube videos, you can benefit from the platform’s algorithms, recommendations, and related video suggestions, which can drive more traffic and engagement to your website.

f) Analytics and Insights

YouTube provides detailed analytics and insights about video performance, audience engagement, demographics, etc. By hosting your videos on YouTube and embedding them into your website from there, you can access these analytics to gain valuable information about viewer behavior, allowing you to refine your content strategy and improve user engagement.

g) Social Sharing and Interaction

YouTube’s integral social features enable viewers to like, comment, share, and subscribe to videos and channels. You can leverage these social interaction capabilities by embedding YouTube videos on your website, fostering user engagement, and potentially expanding your online community.

h) Monetization Opportunities

If you use videos from your own YouTube channel and have a monetization strategy, embedding them into your WordPress website can help you generate revenue.

YouTube offers a variety of monetization possibilities, such as ads, sponsorships, and memberships. You can tap into these opportunities by growing your YouTube channel in parallel with your website, thereby earning affiliate or advertising income from your video content.

However, while embedding YouTube videos offers many benefits, there are a couple of potential downsides. For example, ads may appear in your embedded videos, or you may be subject to limitations to YouTube’s terms of service. Therefore, ensure you fully understand and comply with YouTube’s guidelines to make the most of this integration.

4 Common Methods for Embedding YouTube Videos in WordPress

There are several methods to embed YouTube videos into WordPress. Here are four of the most common:

1. The Basic Method: Copy and Paste the YouTube URL

Probably the easiest way to embed YouTube videos in WordPress is to simply copy the video URL and paste it directly into your WordPress editor. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Copy the YouTube Video URL

In your web browser, go to the YouTube video you wish to embed and copy its URL from the browser’s address bar.

Step 2: Paste the Copied Video URL into the WordPress Editor

Next, paste the copied URL directly into the WordPress editor (either the Classic Editor or the Gutenberg Editor). WordPress will automatically convert the URL into an embedded video.

Step 3: Customize the Video Embed with YouTube Parameters

While this basic method is quick and easy, you can, in fact, customize the appearance and behavior of the embedded video. This is achieved by adding parameters to the video URL to get different effects. Some commonly used parameters include:

  • autoplay

Set this parameter to 1 to make the video start playing automatically when the page loads.

  • loop

To make the video loop continuously set this parameter to 1.

  • rel

Setting this parameter to 0 prevents YouTube from showing related videos when the video ends.

To use any of these parameters, simply append them to the video URL with an ampersand (&) symbol like this:

Remember to change MYVIDEO_ID to the actual ID of your YouTube video.

2. Embedding YouTube Videos Using the YouTube Embed Code

Another way to embed YouTube videos in WordPress is using the YouTube embed code. This method provides more control over the video’s appearance and behavior. Follow these steps to obtain the embed code:

Step 1: Click on the YouTube Share Button

Locate and click the “Share” button below the video player on the YouTube video page.

Step 2: Click on the Embed Option

Next, choose the “Embed” option in the Share window to reveal the embed code.

If you do not wish to customize the embed, jump straight to Step 4 below.

Step 3: Customize the Embed Options

Before copying the embed code, you can customize the video player’s appearance and behavior by checking or unchecking the available options.

3. Using WordPress Shortcodes to Embed YouTube Videos

WordPress shortcodes provide a convenient way to embed YouTube videos in various parts of your website. With them, you can place the embeds into widgets, sidebars, and custom post types.

To use shortcodes, follow these steps:

Step 1: Install a YouTube Embed Plugin

Several WordPress plugins support YouTube video shortcodes, for example:

After choosing a YouTube embed plugin, go ahead and install and activate it in your WordPress admin panel just as you would any other plugin.

Step 2: Create a YouTube Video Shortcode

Refer to the plugin’s documentation to create a shortcode for your desired YouTube video. The shortcode usually looks something like this:

[youtube id=MYVIDEO_ID]

Remember to replace MYVIDEO_ID with the actual ID of your YouTube video.

Step 3: Insert the Shortcode in WordPress

Insert the shortcode into the WordPress editor or any other area that supports shortcodes.

4. Using WordPress YouTube Embed Plugins for Additional Features

While the basic embedding methods work well for most users, several YouTube embed plugins offer additional features and customization options. Some popular plugins include:

These plugins provide options for creating video galleries, inserting entire YouTube channels, customizing video appearance, and more.

Optimizing Your YouTube Videos for SEO

If you create your own YouTube videos for embedding into your WordPress content, properly optimizing them can really help improve your site’s visibility in search engine results.

Here are our top tips for optimizing your YouTube videos to ensure they rank well in search engines:

  • Use descriptive and keyword-rich titles for your videos.
  • Write detailed video descriptions that include relevant keywords.
  • Add relevant tags to your videos.
  • Use high-quality video thumbnails to attract more clicks.
  • Encourage user engagement through backlinks, likes, comments, and shares.

Other Useful Tips to Enhance Your YouTube Video Embeds

Here are some other tips for making your WordPress YouTube video embeds as user-friendly and attractive as possible for your audience:

1. Lazy Load Your YouTube Videos

Lazy loading is a technique that helps improve your website’s loading speed by only loading the media content that is currently in view. Several YouTube embed plugins, such as WP YouTube Lyte and Advanced Responsive Video Embedder, offer lazy loading features for embedded YouTube videos.

2. Ensure You Video Embeds are Device Responsive

As most people nowadays use their phones and tablets for almost everything, ensuring that your embedded YouTube videos can adapt to different screen sizes and devices is essential.

Fortunately, most YouTube embed plugins and methods mentioned in this guide provide responsive video embeds by default. However, whichever option you choose, it is worth checking that it functions correctly on various screen types to avoid irritating visitors to your website.

3. Customize the Look of Your YouTube Video Embeds

Most YouTube embed plugins allow you to customize the appearance of your embedded videos, such as colors, sizes, and player controls. You can use these customization options to create a more consistent look for your website and enhance the user experience.

4. Monitor Your YouTube Video Performance

Keep track of your embedded YouTube videos’ performance using tools like Google Analytics or the YouTube Analytics dashboard. Monitoring your video performance can help you identify popular content, understand user behavior, and make data-driven decisions to improve your video content strategy.

5. Use Fast, Reliable Hosting

Decent web hosting is essential on all websites, not just those with embedded YouTube videos. Using a trustworthy, reliable hosting service such as WP Bolt’s VPS (virtual private server) plans will ensure your website is always as fast and reliable as possible.

Unlike shared hosting, VPS effectively gives you your own private server space and resources. This minimizes performance and security issues caused by neighboring sites that would otherwise use the same server space and resources as your website. As a result, your site will suffer less downtime, and visitors will receive a smooth user experience.


Learning how to embed YouTube videos in WordPress is crucial for creating engaging and dynamic content while saving bandwidth and maintaining your site’s speed. With the various methods and plugins discussed in this guide, you can easily incorporate YouTube videos into your WordPress website and create a unique and enjoyable user experience.

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