Video content is taking the lead in the visual-first marketing strategy. No matter whether you want to create a playlist of video tutorials or an inspiring brand video – both can have a measurable impact on your business’ bottom line. But after the creative part of the job is done, you need to find the best way to add videos to your WordPress website. Default WordPress functionality allows you to embed videos without plugins and customize them by adding very basic attributes. However, if you need more flexibility and features, the best way to go is to use a WordPress video player plugin.
You are spoiled for choice because there is a bunch of free and paid solutions that are ready to put your video to work.
But which one is the most appropriate for your needs? Before we introduce to the best video player plugins for WordPress, let’s firstly create a checklist of the things to consider when choosing a WordPress video player. It pays to pay attention to details of a plugin from the get-go!
Let’s make things easier by breaking it down into several sections.
What sort of WordPress video player plugin do I need?
Good question. There are several types:
- A fairly simple WordPress video player suitable for featuring several key brand videos. For example, an overview of your product or service on the website landing page. In this situation, any video player plugin with a good reputation and price-performance ratio will do.
- A rather complex WordPress video gallery plugin for building average and massive video directories: tutorials, game reviews, course playlists. In this scenario, you may not only need a well-structured gallery layout to organize your videos, but more advanced functionality like video search, filters, an ability to add custom details to each video (description, length, author), a highly flexible video gallery customization toolkit or even an option to let users download your videos. These are all key things to assess when choosing a plugin.
- E-commerce functionality to sell your videos. When this is the case, you might not be able to get by with a dedicated WordPress video gallery plugin but will need a specific WooCommerce plugin like WooCommerce Product Table or a video plugin with e-commerce integration.
FYI: If you are looking to embed a background video, we’d recommend you searching for a WordPress theme that supports this option out of the box. For the vast majority of WordPress websites, this is a more seamless solution than connecting any third-party video player plugin.
Where to host your WordPress videos
Along with images, videos are the heaviest asset of any website. No surprise, cumbersome videos, and video galleries can be slow to load.
If you opt for self-hosted videos (stored on your WordPress website server), well-trusted WordPress video player plugins should be high on your list.
Since it’s a general recommendation to put extra efforts into optimizing your WordPress website for playing self-hosted videos, the hosting and video player plugin should be reliable in the first place.
Remember that self-hosted videos in WordPress is not the best option for continuously added quality videos that tremendously eat up your server space.
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If you host your videos offsite with the popular services like YouTube or Vimeo, lots of problems vanish at once. First off, you don’t need to worry too much about performance as your videos are hosted elsewhere. Moreover, those hosts automatically re-encode your videos to work on all modern devices and across all browsers (something you might need to go about manually with self-hosted videos). So your task is easier – to rather choose a specific functionality you need in a WordPress video player plugin and not wrack your brain around tech stuff.
However, if you need to embed just a couple of brand videos, self-hosted videos may be a better way to go since they are unbranded and don’t distract website visitors with annoying ads.
The vast majority of WordPress video player plugins support both of these types.
A quick checklist of things to consider when choosing a WordPress video player plugin
- Make sure a WordPress video player comes with a great range of customizable skins to be integrated beautifully into your WordPress theme. You should be able to have a good level of control of how the videos look and work.
- If you need to embed only specific type of videos hosted offsite (e.g. YouTube), going with a dedicated plugin like Yottie (one of the most used YouTube gallery WordPress plugins) might be a better option. Such plugins are packaged with dozens of options related to just one video host and not force you to bear a burden of tons of never used extra features.
- Consider SEO capabilities of the video player or the WordPress video gallery plugin. It’s important that the plugin allows you to write video descriptions, titles, output the needed meta data, author and every piece of into that helps your videos get indexed properly by the search engines.
- If you need a user-friendly lightbox pop-up functionality instead of just playing videos on a page, make sure that it’s supported by default. Some vendors offer this option as an extra addon, but with other, you can get with a base plugin.
- Put yourself in a client-facing role – is a player speedy enough and intuitive in use? If possible, try to play with plugin demos or perform a stress testing if the plugin is free.
- For self-hosted videos, check whether social sharing integration is supported. If there are lots of videos and you want to make viewers to easily share individual ones across their accounts, make sure the WordPress video player plugin supports this feature. Basically, if each video is played in an individual WordPress post, there should not be such a problem. But if you are working with a custom gallery and lightbox pop-up, you might need to double-check this option for availability.
- Want to show the number of views indicator with each video? Note that far from the vast majority of video gallery plugins provide this option by default.
- For offsite hosted content, check for easy connection with video hosts API for automatic playlist updates and the whole bunch of options.
- Look for advanced video options: multiple video quality, private and password-protected videos, support for subtitles, etc.
- A general rule of thumb is to pay special attention to regular updates and good reviews of the plugin.
The Best WordPress Video Player Plugins
Hopefully, we’ve managed to help you sketch out your own checklist! Now let’s dive into the collection of the best WordPress video plugins we carefully selected.
Elite Video Player
To keep on track with the rapidly growing VR technologies, YouTube 360 VR & Livestreaming support is built right into the base plugin. If your website deals with events, HTTP live streaming may also come in handy. Lightbox mode for all types of videos is available.
Elite Video player supports videos hosted from Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3 & Amazon cloud drive videos. If you need to show an image or a gif instead of a video, it’s also doable.
HTML5 Video Player (CodeCanyon)
HTML5 player brings minimalism and a higher quality streaming to your videos across all major browsers. MP4 and .WebM video files are supported. For better SEO, this WordPress video player supports custom video titles and descriptions.
Being superior in features, the plugin is used by thousands of people. It easily deals with multichannel galleries, YouTube API, deep linking (generating individual URLs for all videos) and MPEG-Dash for high quality streams.
Among other standout features is drag&drop video gallery builder, .srt subtitles support, meta data for SEO, easy social media sharing buttons for each video and that’s not a limit. A built-in Analytic tool will help you keep track of how your videos perform.
YouTube Vimeo Video Player & Slider
Users love this plugin for its ease of use and intuitive design. To help you get your YouTube and Vimeo videos organized inside a beautiful gallery, you can use fixed and full-width players, customize colors and borders, set different parameters and more.
Universal Video Player
The plugin supports YouTube, Vimeo and self-hosted videos, so you can easily add your brand videos or integrate playlists from external video hosters. For self-hosted videos, you can enable website visitors to download the video – perfect for restricted content areas and membership WordPress websites.
YouTube Channel Gallery
You control almost any aspect of this plugin to display your YouTube video gallery properly: video feed type, player type, videos order, dimensions, progress bar, video quality parameters, your YouTube logo and related videos, thumbnail resolution and many more.
Easy Video Player
The plugin allows you to control the player size and ratio, skins, loop, video player template and more. It’s very easy on customization and is not bloated with excessive features.
Videojs HTML5 Player
Basically, with this plugin you are able to embed MP4 videos into standard WordPress posts and pages, embed HTML5 videos, use videos with poster images, play videos directly from your Media Library in a shortcode with a link and more options. Overall, the plugin is very clean, lightweight and powerful.
Flowplayer 6 Video Player
The base framework of this plugin is known for its great performance, huge customization options and awesome user experience.
Advanced Responsive Video Embedder
The really distinctive features about this plugin are SEO friendliness, real-time video editing, responsive videos out of the box, support for more than 40 video hosts (free and paid), custom URL parameters and more player facilities.
Brid Video Easy Publish
It’s a great free solution for creating customizable and powerful WordPress video galleries that can easily match your website branding. The plugin supports all major features like search through the gallery, video titles and descriptions and customizable video playlist.
This is a universal plugin for those who need an image & video gallery in one plugin. For video galleries, the plugin works with Youtube, Vimeo, HTML5 and Wistia videos.
To create a unique gallery, you are offered tons of options: more than a hundred of gallery types, built-in lightbox, several gallery skins, zoom effects and more premium options.
HTML5 Video Player (WordPress.org)
The plugin authors state that if you are selling videos on your site, you can use this plugin to offer a preview for unlimited videos. Using shortcodes, you can embed a video to any post or page. This HTML5 WordPress video player plugin should work perfectly in all major browsers.
Huzzaz Video Gallery
Recently, the plugin authors added support for Facebook and Twitch videos allowing you to build a beautiful WordPress video gallery with mixed types of videos.
The plugin provides nice video search capabilities through the gallery, automatic HD playback, a smooth float for scroll-downs, deep linking, pagination and more useful cogs to build a fully-functional WordPress video gallery.
This plugin supports YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia and self-hosted MP4/WebM videos.
You can create multipurpose WordPress video galleries and insert them into standard WordPress posts, pages or sidebars. Lightbox pop-up is available in a free version as well as out-of-the-box support for all major browsers.
YourChannel: YouTube Video Gallery
Thanks to one video host dedication, the plugin easily deals with truckloads of YouTube videos making your website an organized and structured video gallery. It’s able to fetch a banner image, your profile picture and username, display total videos and views, single videos, uploads, etc.
The plugin supports 7 video thumb styles, smooth transitions, a cache system for faster loading and more essential features for a beautiful look and performance of your WordPress video gallery.
You can use this plugin for self-hosted videos as well as for multiple of external providers (including playlists) like YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion. SoundCloud, Spotify, etc.
Spider Video Player
You can create several video players with different themes and playlists, using unlimited videos. Easy social media integration is supported out of the box. The essentials like video quality selection, full screen and shuffle are provided within a free plugin.