Complete guide on integrating YouTube content into WordPress

Wordpress youtube plugin

In this beginner-friendly tutorial, I'll show you how to use the best WordPress YouTube plugin to embed, display, and organize YouTube videos in a beautiful gallery on your WordPress site.

Want to add and display YouTube videos in a gallery like this on your WordPress website?

YouTube WordPress plugin - Document Library Pro 21

In this detailed guide, I'll show you how to use Document Library Pro, the best WordPress YouTube plugin, to add YouTube videos to your site — even if you have zero coding or technical skills. You'll learn:

  • How to embed YouTube videos in a beautiful gallery on your WordPress site.
  • How to add search, sort, and filter options to make finding videos easier.
  • How to allow people to add URLs to embed YouTube videos to your gallery — without giving them admin access to your WordPress site.

But first, let's address what a WordPress YouTube plugin actually is and why you might need to use it.

What is a WordPress YouTube plugin?

As a WordPress user, you're likely familiar with WordPress's default YouTube embed block. While the YouTube Gutenberg block can be useful (for example, if you just want to showcase a single video or a couple of videos), it has a lot of limitations, such as:

  • It doesn't allow you to display videos in a user-friendly gallery layout, e.g., a table or grid.
  • You can't add a search box, sorting options, or filters to allow people to find videos quickly — which is crucial if you plan to showcase multiple videos in your gallery.
  • There are no options to add metadata to optimize your videos for search engines, which can help improve their visibility on platforms like Google.

Enter: WordPress YouTube plugins (also known as WordPress YouTube video gallery plugins).

Instead of adding each video at random positions on the page, WordPress YouTube plugins allow you to embed, display, and organize YouTube videos on your WordPress site in a user-friendly format.

Embedding videos on your site using WordPress YouTube plugins also enables you to add SEO metadata to optimize your video gallery to rank higher on search engines like Google.

Introducing the best WordPress YouTube plugin

Document Library Pro is the best WordPress YouTube plugin out there. Thousands of people use it to embed, showcase, and organize various kinds of content — including YouTube videos — on their WordPress sites.

(Don't mind the name. It is so named because WordPress considers various content types — including PDFs, audio files, vimeo videos, and, yes, even YouTube videos as documents).

Document Library Pro is compatible with all WordPress themes and presents your YouTube videos in a beautiful grid layout like this:

YouTube WordPress plugin - Document Library Pro 19

Or, in an organized table layout like this:

YouTube WordPress plugin - Document Library Pro 18

Benefits of using Document Library Pro

Here are the key benefits of creating your YouTube gallery with the Document Library Pro plugin:

  • You can embed videos to your WordPress site in 3 easy ways: (1) By adding each video's URL at a time, (2) By Importing multiple URLs at once in a CSV file, and (3) By allowing non-admins to add YouTube URLs directly from a form on the front end of your website.
  • There are two beautiful, user-friendly layout options to showcase the videos on the front end of your site: table and grid.
  • It lets you add customizable columns with metadata and other details for better search rankings.
  • There are built-in lazy load and cache options, which makes sure your page loads quickly — this is handy if you plan to display hundreds or thousands of videos in each gallery.
  • It adapts to different screen sizes to make sure that your embedded videos adapt, look, and function well on various devices.
  • You can create dedicated pages for the YouTube gallery and use a shortcode to add it anywhere else on your WordPress site.

Using Document Library Pro is pretty straightforward, even if you have zero technical skills. Follow the steps below to configure the plugin's settings and add a YouTube gallery to your website:

1. Install and activate the Document Library Pro plugin

The installation steps are the same as any other WordPress plugin:

  1. Get Document Library Pro (there's a pro version only).
  2. Download the plugin's files from the order confirmation page or email (it's in zip format).
  3. Log into your WordPress admin area and go to Plugins Add New.
  4. Upload the plugin zip file that you saved earlier. Select Install Activate.

2. Configure the plugin's core settings

Now, it's time to configure the general settings in the plugin's setup wizard. You can change or finetune them later, if you prefer:

  1. Navigate to Documents Settings General within your WordPress admin and select the startup wizard.
    WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 3
  2. First, enter your license key, select "Check" to activate the plugin, then move to the next page.
  3. Choose your preferred default layout for your YouTube gallery, i.e., table or grid. While both look equally good, I recommend the table layout if you have hundreds or thousands of videos, and of course, you can change this later if you prefer. Leave the "Folders" and "Document Preview' options unchecked and move to the next page.
    WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 4
  4. If you selected the table layout:
    • Add relevant columns you want to be included in your YouTube gallery. Use a "comma" after each column, and don't use spaces. For example, I entered: title,content,doc_categories,link. Note: Check this article for the specific fields you can enter and what they mean.
      WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 8
    • Select "Link to document" from the "Accessing documents" "dropdown.
    • Tick the lazyload checkbox if you plan to display many videos. This ensures fast page load times always.
      WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 5
    • If you want to add filters to allow people to find specific videos quickly, select "Show based on columns in table" from the dropdown. If not, select the "Disabled" option.
  5. If you selected the grid layout, select the information you wish to appear in your video gallery.
    WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 6
  6. Click "Finish setup" followed by "Go to settings page".
    WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 7

3. Customize how the YouTube gallery appears on the front end

These settings customize how the YouTube gallery looks and behaves on the front end of your WordPress site:

  1. Make sure the "Link to document" checkbox is ticked.
    WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 11
  2. Choose the appropriate "link style". This defines how the separate link to watch the YouTube video appears on the video gallery. I selected "Button with text".
  3. Reword the text that's shown on the "Download" button. I updated it to "Watch on YouTube".
  4. Select "Direct access" from the "Link destination" dropdown.
  5. Tick the "Open links in a new tab" checkbox next to the "Link target" option.
    WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 12
  6. Scroll to the "Number of documents" section and enter the number of videos you want shown on the gallery on one page. Enter -1 if you want to display all the videos at once.
  7. Scroll down and save the changes.

4. Embed YouTube videos to the gallery

Follow these steps to embed a handful of videos. If you plan to embed a large number of videos, following the steps in the "How to add multiple videos to your WordPress YouTube gallery in bulk" subsection below is much quicker.

  1. Find your YouTube video's URL. (Open the specific YouTube video you want to embed. Then, scroll to the top and copy the link at the top of the page of the particular video you want to embed in your site).
  2. Head to your WordPress admin area and navigate to Documents → Add new from the left-hand menu.
    WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 10
  3. From here, you can add a title for the video and add the video's URL to the "Description" section. WordPress will automatically embed it onto the gallery. The video will be automatically resized to fit in the gallery. People can watch the video in the mini-player or switch to fullscreen.
  4. Add metadata and additional information for the video, as appropriate, such as tags, categories, excerpts, or authors/content creators on the right side of the page.
  5. If you wish to include a separate "Watch on YouTube" button for each video in addition to the video thumbnail in the 'Description' section, navigate the Document Link section at the top right, select "A custom URL", and insert the video URL from YouTube here too. This will show the embedded video player along with a separate button to watch it on YouTube.
  6. Scroll up and select "Publish".
  7. Then rinse and repeat until you've added all the videos to this specific YouTube playlist.

5. Display the videos on the front end

On the default video gallery page

Document Library creates a page called "Document Library" and adds that to your website's main menu once it's installed on your site. This may not be the ideal title for your wording for a YouTube video gallery, so you might want to change it.

  1. Navigate to Pages All Pages Document Library within your WordPress dashboard. Rename the page as you prefer.
    WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 14

Using a shortcode

Shortcodes are useful when you want to create multiple gallery carousels on your site — for example, separate playlists for related videos like YouTube livestreams, tutorials, hauls, etc. Check out this detailed guide for more customization options or paste this example gallery shortcode anywhere on your site, e.g., on any other page, footer or sidebar widget on your site: [doc_library content="title,excerpt,doc_tags" doc_category="news"]

How to add multiple videos to your WordPress YouTube gallery in bulk

If you plan to upload a lot of videos at once, uploading them using a CSV file can be quicker and simpler.

  1. Download Barn2's sample CSV file to make sure you are using the correct formatting. Note: The formatting is crucial. If it is incorrect, this method won't work.
  2. Open the sample CSV file in a spreadsheet editor like Excel, Numbers, or Google Sheets.
  3. Update the details in the spreadsheet as appropriate:
    • The "Title" column is for the name of the video.
    • "Content" is for the embedded video.
    • "Tags", "Categories", and the other fields are for extra, optional metadata.
    • Save the spreadsheet as a CSV file.
  4. Head back to your WordPress admin area and navigate to Documents Import Import CSV.
    Bulk upload files to document library
  5. Click on Choose file Continue.
  6. Match each column in the CSV file to the custom post-type fields on the "Map CSV fields to documents" page.
  7. Select "Run the importer".
  8. Once the details are imported, you'll get a success message popup that includes a link to edit the video details if needed.

User uploads as a community-building tool

One of Document Library Pros' best features is that it allows non-admin users to upload YouTube videos to your WordPress website. This can be useful for many scenarios. For example, if you post knitting tutorials on your YouTube channel, you can encourage your subscribers to post their own videos trying out new patterns and then add them to a dedicated members area on your website.

The benefits of accepting user uploads on your website

Here are some of the big benefits of encouraging non-admins to add videos to your WordPress site:

  • It promotes user-generated content and empowers your viewers to actively contribute to the community. Instead of relying solely on you and other admins, people can shape your community by sharing content that they are passionate about.
  • User-generated videos are considered more authentic than those created by brands. It shows that people genuinely care about your business/brand.
  • Seeing real people showcasing their projects and tutorials fosters a deeper sense of camaraderie and makes members feel more engaged and connected to each other.
  • Encouraging viewers to add new videos to the gallery regularly ensures a continuous flow of fresh material. It makes it easier to attract new visitors and encourages existing members to return to your website.

How to accept YouTube video submissions from non-WordPress admins

You can allow virtually anyone to upload URLs of YouTube content from the front end of your website without giving them admin access — no need to connect a YouTube API key or mess with any complicated settings. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Pages Add new page within your WordPress admin dashboard.
  2. Add the following shortcode [dlp_submission_form]. This will create a gallery in which non-admins can embed YouTube URLs.
    WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 13
  3. While it's optional, I recommend that you also enable moderation to prevent spam or unwanted videos. To do so, navigate to Documents Settings General Front end document submission and tick the "Enable admin email" and "Enable moderation" options.
    WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 12
  4. Scroll down and save the changes.

Here's how the submission page (where people can add the link and other details for each YouTube video) looks on the front-end of your WordPress site:

WordPress YouTube plugin - Document Library Pro 17

Tips to optimize YouTube videos on your WordPress site

Here are some best practices to follow when embedding YouTube videos to a gallery on your WordPress site (regardless of the type of video you're adding):

  • Social media and search engine optimization (SEO): Think about terms potential viewers might use when searching for your videos. Then, use relevant keywords in your video title, description, and tags to make sure your gallery is easily discoverable on search engines and social media.
  • Branding: Use consistent brand colors, fonts, and logos, and other elements to reinforce brand recognition and give viewers a cohesive viewing experience.
  • Engagement: Not everyone watches videos with sound. Add subtitles or captions to make sure people can enjoy your video content even when the sound is off. This widens your audience reach and engagement.

For educational videos like product tutorials and walkthroughs

  • Create a clear structure and outline of the important points you want to cover in the video. This gives it a logical flow and ensures viewers can follow along easily. For example, if you're demonstrating how to set up a WordPress plugin, break down the tutorial into smaller steps like installation, configuration, troubleshooting, etc.
  • Keep your videos concise and focused on the main topic. Avoid unnecessary details that may distract viewers. For example, if you're creating a tutorial on optimizing website images, stick to the essential steps without going into unrelated aspects like website design principles.
  • Incorporate visual aids such as on-screen annotations, highlights, and zoom-ins to draw attention to key elements in the video.
  • Include real-life examples to make your videos more relatable and help people understand the practical application of the information. For instance, if you're demonstrating how to customize a website's color scheme, showcase before-and-after visuals to illustrate the impact of the changes.
  • Use plain language and speak in a friendly and approachable tone to better connect with your audience. Avoid technical jargon unless it is 100% necessary.

To showcase products or services for ads and branding purposes

  • Storytelling sells. Use storytelling techniques to craft a simple narrative that presents your products or services well and resonates with your target audience.
  • Focus on benefits, not just features. Don't emphasize what your product or service can do; highlight how it will improve your customers' lives.
  • End with an engaging call-to-action (CTA) like "shop now," "try for free," "visit our website for more details," etc., that clearly guides viewers to the next stage in your sales funnel, whether it's visiting your website, making a purchase, or signing up for a trial.

To present a video portfolio

  • Organize your video portfolio logically—group similar types of content together to create a seamless viewing experience. If you're showcasing different styles, make sure the transitions are smooth and meaningful.
  • Showcase your best work first at the beginning of the video. This ensures viewers see your most impressive videos early on and creates a positive first impression.
  • Prioritize quality over quantity. Select a concise collection that best highlights your skills instead of overwhelming viewers with your entire YouTube feed. It's more impactful to showcase a few exceptional pieces than several mediocre ones.

Adding a YouTube video gallery to your WordPress site is great for marketing, building community engagement, boosting your expertise online, and improving your website's ranking with search engines.

Document Library Pro is the best WordPress YouTube plugin that lets you embed YouTube videos in a searchable, sortable, filterable table on your WordPress site — even if you're a complete WordPress beginner (No CSS or javascript skills needed. No need to use page builders like Elementor, which can slow down your site).

You can choose from two beautiful gallery layout templates: table and grid. It is highly responsive, easily adapts and fits various screen sizes, and has built-in lazyload to ensure fast page load speeds.

Get Document Library Pro and create your WordPress YouTube gallery today!

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