Saturday, September 04, 2010

WordPress for Videographers Part 3 - Including Video

Editor’s Note: This is the third of a four-part series on “WordPress for Videographers” by guest author Heidi Mueller, of New Westminster, BC, Canada - an accomplished commercial video producer, web site developer and writer. The final article will discuss adding “eCommerce” to your WordPress website.

In the first two articles in this series we looked at reasons why a videographer would consider WordPress as a website platform for his or her business and what the process is to do that. In this article we will look at how to include video in your website. These days this is really easy.

Hosted Videos
If your video is already on a video host like, YouTube, Vidler, Vimeo, etc. then you can display that same video on one of your website pages or in a post in your blog. These sites will allow you to copy some embed code representing your video that you can use on your page.

The advantage of this approach is that the host company’s server does the heavy work, rather than the web server where your WordPress website is hosted. And as part of the embed code, they provide the video player.

Another advantage is that your video is promoted both by your website and the video host. The downside of course is the time it takes to prepare and upload the video to the video host.

There are basically two ways of using hosted videos, embedding and “shortcodes”. The end result is the same. I prefer to embed because then I have a bit more control over the position and look. We will use YouTube as an example. Here is my webpage without any videos as yet.

Screen with no video

The next step is to go to YouTube and obtain the embedding code for the video that you want to place on your website. On the YouTube screen you have options for the size of the player, as well as a colour scheme. I chose red to go with the H Mueller Design colours of course! Once you have chosen the options for the player, you highlight and copy the embed code as shown in the screen capture below.

Getting the Embed Code from YouTube

Next, switch back to your WordPress website, and open the Videos page in edit mode from the Dashboard. In the little edit pane where you normally put your text is where we will past the video embed code – but you have to do it in the HTML view as shown in the screen capture below:

Pasting the embed code in HTML view

That’s it! Click the Update button and admire your handiwork.

Uploading Videos to WordPress
If you do not have your video hosted on a video service, you can upload the video to your WordPress website. It does mean that your web server will have to serve the video which can slow it down if your video is large. The most common formats for video on your own server would be .flv (Flash) and .mov (Quicktime). You not only have to upload the video file but you also have to provide an appropriate player which can be a bit tricky.

But don’t worry, that’s why you chose WordPress—there are plugins for the tricky stuff! In fact there are many video plugins to choose from. If you need a solid, easy to use plug-in, consider the
Viper plug-in. The player will also allow you to play hosted videos as well as video files uploaded to your own website. This is an important feature as it will give you consistency in how your videos are displayed no matter where they are hosted.

Video Galleries
This is definitely a step up in sophistication. A video gallery page is basically a page showing a series of thumbnails of the videos in your gallery. When a visitor to your site clicks on a thumbnail, the corresponding video plays in a player. Again there are many plug-ins to choose from. The plug-in will do all the heavy lifting for you. But they can be a bit more tricky to configure and only worth the effort if you have many videos to show.

In this article we discussed how to embed hosted videos from YouTube and similar hosting services. This method is easy and quick to implement, and will not load your own web server. We also discussed other video display options briefly should you have need for them.

In the next article we will discuss the possibilities of adding ecommerce to your website in case you would like to sell video stock footage, DVDs, and so on.

WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.”

H Mueller Design

# 206 - 56 Merrivale Street

New Westminster, BC V3L 2P6



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