When it comes to YouTube WordPress plugins, there are a lot to choose from. The problem is that a growing number of them either aren’t updated regularly or don’t offer much. It is a pain to switch from one YouTube plugin to another, so it is important that you choose the right one, the first time. Here are the top 3 YouTube plugins that you can use without fear. They are not only regularly updated and supported, but are also incredibly popular, which means that there is little chance that they will disappear in the future.
1. Smart YouTube
The Smart YouTube plugin became popular for several reasons, most notably because it is extremely lightweight, but also easy to use. It is very easy to customize so your videos look exactly the way that you want. Along with embedding single videos, you can embed full play lists as well. You can even utilize deep linking, which also you to start the video at a specific point in time. There is a sidebar widget as well. Plus, it doesn’t use any external sources to run. When setting up the plugin, you can customize the video template to wrap text around it or leave it at it’s default settings. You can also customize the size of the video in both normal and high quality mode. The best part is that this plugin will also include the videos in your RSS feed as well.
2. Daiko’s YouTube Widget
This is the perfect plugin if all you want to do is insert a few videos into your sidebar(s). You can also activate ThickBox so that the videos appear as a pop-up. It is important to note that if you are already running ThickBox and also activate ThickBox in the Daiko’s YouTube Widget, then there may be compatibility issues because WordPress will think that you have activated the script twice. This plugin hasn’t been updated in nearly 3 years, so using a more robust plugin that includes a widget feature may be a better choice. However, if all you want is a sidebar widget, then currently this plugin is still you best bet. Although two recent plugins that may end up replacing it in terms of function are My Recent YouTube Widget and YouTube Video Plugin To Show YouTube Videos From Widgets (long name, but still effective).
TubePress offers both a free and premium version and they are each very effective and fully supported. If you are looking for a plugin that easily creates YouTube video galleries, then this is a great choice. You can populate your gallery from 19 different sources (YouTube and Vimeo). You can also include an interactive search so that your visitors don’t have to leave your site to find additional videos. There are also a wide variety of embedded player options as well. Currently, this seems to be the best comprehensive option on the market.
Including videos has become a near-essential element in many WordPress sites. Fortunately, there are now several very strong YouTube plugins to choose from. In the end, TubePress is probably the strongest on the market, however Smart YouTube and Daiko’s YouTube Widget are still both very strong choices as well.