Embedding content, Media, Shortcodes

Videos »YouTube

YouTube videos are a great way to enliven your site. Here’s how you can easily use them in your posts and pages, as well as in your widget areas and in comments you leave.

Watch the video below for a quick overview of how it works, and read below for more examples and settings.

Embedding with a URL

To quickly embed a YouTube video, simply copy the video’s URL from your web browser’s address bar while viewing the video:

Paste it on a line by itself in your Visual editor as you draft your post or page (make sure that it is not hyperlinked).

We take care of the rest! You will see the video when you preview or publish your post (or page):

Note: You must use the full link, not a shortlink, for the video to be embedded.

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Embedding with a Shortcode

To customize the video’s size and settings, use a shortcode. You can do this by copying the video URL:

Then create a shortcode using the format below. Be sure to replace the URL listed here with the URL of your video, and that the code is on a line by itself.

Note: The shortcode will not give you a preview of the video in your editor, you will need to preview or publish your post first.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVbQ-oro7FQ]

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Embedding a Playlist

You can also embed a YouTube playlist instead of a single video. Simply copy the playlist’s URL from your web browser’s address bar while viewing the playlist:

Be sure to copy the full URL, including &list=… at the end. That copies the entire playlist instead of a single video.

Then, paste it on a line by itself in the Visual editor of your post or page (to embed with a URL) or create a shortcode using the format below. Be sure to replace the URL listed here with the URL of your video, and the code is on a line by itself.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mDxcDjg9P4&list=PL-edf9crl0NaavjRedvfFFhMvOTvFpDVI]

The playlist will look like the one below — you can preview it even before publishing the post:

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Video Customization Options

You can specify the width and height of the embedded video by adding &w=... or &w=...&h=...to the shortcode. It will automatically adapt to your theme’s content length and give you preferred dimensions.

You can restrict related videos to only show videos from the same channel by appending &rel=0. YouTube does not offer an option to disable related videos entirely.

For example, this shortcode:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Oh12ROTQCE&w=640&h=385]

produces this video, which is wider than the default embed without custom width and height settings:

More Examples:

These are the optimizations that we currently support:

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Adding to your Sidebar/Footer

Depending on the location of your theme’s widget areas, you can also embed YouTube videos in your sidebar or footer by copying and pasting the shortcode into a Text Widget. You will need to use this format:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Oh12ROTQCE]

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Comment Embeds

If you want, you may also embed YouTube videos when you leave comments on any WordPress.com site. Simply grab the URL of any YouTube video and paste it directly into the comment field:

Once your comment is posted/approved, you will be able to watch the video directly from the comment area.

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For information about troubleshooting YouTube embed links, take a look at our Troubleshooting Embed Links doc.

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Streaming a Live Broadcast with YouTube

You can stream a live broadcast using YouTube and the Google Hangouts On Air feature, and embed the stream during or after the event on your WordPress.com site.

In order to create a Live Stream on your site, you’ll need to start at YouTube by enabling Live Events on your settings page.

From the YouTube Dashboard, click on Channel > Live Events > Enable. Your account must be in good standing to enable live events, subject to YouTube guidelines.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 2.09.48 PM

Once you have enabled Live Events, you can initiate a new stream by going to Video Manager > Live Events > Schedule New Event

The video must be given a Title to proceed, and you should set the privacy setting as well. You can embed a stream set to Unlisted or Public on your page, however a stream set to Private will show only a blank video.

Once you have filled in the information and selected a privacy setting, click Go Live Now. A separate window will appear and the Google Hangouts Live page will load. This may take some time depending on the speed of your connection.

When the green Start Broadcast buttons appears, you are ready to start streaming. At the bottom right click Links and then copy the YouTube Page link from the box.


Next, go to your WordPress.com page or post where you’d like this video to appear. Paste the link onto it’s own line (do not use the link button on the toolbar), and when you are ready, click Publish.

Now you can begin the broadcast, and users can click play on the embedded video on your WordPress.com site to stream the event. The broadcast is on a brief delay, and users may need to wait a moment and/or refresh the page to start the stream once you are live.

Once the event is over, the video will remain in place and can be replayed by visitors in the future. If you prefer not to have the video online after the live event, you can set the event to Private at YouTube, or simply remove the link from your page on WordPress.com.

You can find a longer guide to the options available when setting up a Live Event on the Google support guide for Live Streaming.

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