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Magic Moment: How to insert a YouTube URL

This is a little post for blogging newbies about how to add a YouTube video to your posts.

I could create an ordinary how-to post with visual instructions as usual, but there was something special I noted about the YouTube URL – it isn’t ordinary (well, to me it isn’t).

There is, in fact, a heck of a lot of information packed into that series of letters, a lot more than meets the eye. It contains what I call a script, and a link, all in one.

Let’s take my latest public video I made about my e-courses. Here is it in YouTube and you can access the special URL via the share link:

Sharing YouTube URLs

It brings up a URL which you can use in your blog posts very easily. Now this can be used as an ordinary link like this:

http://youtu.be/cnnKMrv-RKI

…by posting it straight into the Visual (or WYSIWYG) version of your post editing page and activating it through the link icon above. This link will direct the reader back to my YouTube channel page where they will be able to watch my video.

But it’s also possible to have the video screen embedded into your post so readers don’t have to go to my YouTube channel to watch it, and there are two ways to do this.

The old way is by adding the script to the post’s code. (Warning: techie bit coming up!).

Showing Video Script

Still in Share mode, click on the Embed link to get the video’s iframe script for your blog post or webpage. You can adapt the video screen size in pixels, and here you can also turn off those annoying suggested videos you are presented when the video ends (and the option for ordinary code that isn’t an iframe, if you prefer that sort of thing).

Text ModeThis code is not added to your post in the Visual (or WYSIWYG) version of your post editing page, but in the Text mode where you find the code. It is located at the top right of your editing field.

You then need to find the space where you want to insert your video amongst your post in its code format, and paste in the iframe script accordingly.

Showing script in text mode

And back in the Visual (or WYSIWIG) mode it will look like this:

Showing YouTube code screen

And once you check your post in the preview state (top right of the publish menu) you’ll be able to see the video screen.

But actually you don’t need to do any of that! I told you the YouTube URL was special, and this is why.

Just paste in the YouTube URL into the Visual (or WYSIWYG) mode of your post, but DON’T make it into a link, like this:

YouTube URL

(This is actually an image, because once this post is published it won’t stay like this.)

And when you view your post in the preview state, this URL will instantly look like this:

Which is much more usable – no messy code, text mode or whatever! As long as the URL is not made into a link, it will magically transform into the video screen which is immediately watchable, and it will automatically adapt itself to fit the post’s width too. Now that is pretty cool!

Now go ahead and publish your vlog post (vlog = video diary), and entertain your readers!

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.

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