WordPress Wednesday – Responsive Video Embeds

by Tony Gamble


You hear this a lot these days when talking about websites. What does it mean? In the context of web page design, responsive means that the layout of the page will respond to the size of the visitor’s web browser. This is especially important with the use of mobile devices growing by leaps and bounds. Today’s smart phones and tablets are splendid at rendering full desktop versions of websites, but sometimes this means you’re presented with tiny text and images. A website that is designed to be responsive will see that the user is on a mobile device and change the layout to make the best use of the small screen size. This functionality is not only great for mobile devices, it also makes for a better experience on the desktop if your browser is not maximized to the full monitor size. Go ahead and try it on this site from Cracking Up the Capital Comedy Festival. Drag a corner of your browser window to resize it and you’ll see that the website layout will change. Even the images change size accordingly.

YouTube Embed PluginSo what does this mean for video embeds? Embedding a video from popular sites like YouTube and Vimeo is built-in on WordPress. You simply copy and paste the URL into the WYSIWYG post or page editor and WordPress will automatically turn embed the video player. But not all responsive themes take these video players into consideration, so the video will always remain at its original embed size. Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix this. The YouTube Embed Plugin is a freemium WordPress plugin that ensures your video players will automatically resize to fit the layout. Even videos which you have already added to your site will benefit from this plugin. There’s nothing to go back and change. It all just happens under the hood. If you’re not using a responsive theme layout, you can still benefit from YouTube Embed, since different static themes will have varying content area widths. You’ll never have to worry about setting the width of the player manually.

This is just one fine example of the power of building your website on the WordPress platform*. You start of with a solid foundation and then, with the use of plugins, you can add features and functionality that truly engage your audience. Are you ready to start building your own WordPress website? Check out our course for Creating and Maintaining a WordPress Website, available online and in-class.


*note: building a site on WordPress.com is not the same as using the WordPress.org platform

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