It’s no secret that branching out into video content is an excellent way to grow your brand, reach a new audience, and create additional revenue streams through initiatives such as the YouTube Partner Program.
However, if you’re currently finding it an insurmountable challenge to display videos on your website exactly how you want them, it’s time to deploy a WordPress YouTube plugin.
Recently, we tested 15 of the highest-rated YouTube plugins to pick the five very best tools for showcasing YouTube channels, custom playlists, and single videos within your WordPress content.
You’ll find our thoughts in the following review:
Top 5 Best WordPress YouTube Plugins:
1. Smash Balloon YouTube Feed Pro
Best Overall Plugin
There’s a whole multitude of reasons why Smash Balloon YouTube Feed Pro deserves the title of best WordPress YouTube plugin, though for the sake of brevity, allow us to name just three.
First of all, there’s the fact that Smash Balloons cater to both WordPress newcomers and experienced users alike.
To get the most out of the plugin, you can connect by creating an API key which, though it may be slightly challenging for beginners, is still a straightforward process that unlocks valuable features such as adding playlists and live stream to your website via YouTube.
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If you prefer to keep things simple, you can sync the plugin to your channel using your YouTube login credentials.
Opt for this route, and you’ll only be able to display an embed of your entire channel, though you can customize that embed with several attractive and responsive templates.
Secondly, there’s a handy feature that allows you to take the related videos that are displayed when a video is paused or ends and replace them with your own CTAs (Calls to Action), including links to products or other posts on your site.
Finally, we love that Smash Balloons lets you incorporate other social media content from platforms such as Instagram and Facebook into your social feed, making it an excellent tool for maximizing your online presence.
How Much Does Smash Balloons YouTube Feed Cost?
Smash Balloon YouTube Feed Pro is available in four plans ranging from $49 to $299 per year.
2. Embed Plus For YouTube WordPress
Best Free YouTube Plugin for Websites
Embed Plus for YouTube Embed Plus is a powerful free YouTube plugin for WordPress designed to give you more control over how you display videos on your pages and even how they affect your performance.
Along with lazy loading and Facade Mode capability to prevent video content from impacting your page load speeds, Embed Plus packs a generous amount of features for a free plugin, including:
- Remove the YouTube icon from videos
- Livestream and YouTube Premiere support
- Display channels and playlists in gallery format
- Screenreader support to improve accessibility
- One-click video embeds
- Set custom playback controls
- Customize embedded video size.
What’s more, the plugin isementor, Gutenberg, Beaver Builder, and Visual Composer, opening up even more fully compatible with all major page builders such as El opportunities to customize the look and feel of your video embeds.
How Much Does Embed Plus for YouTube Cost?
All the features listed above are available in the free version of Embed Plus for YouTube.
The Pro version costs $49 per year and includes all of the following additional features:
- Visual customization wizard
- Advanced gallery customization
- Deleted video and blocked country alerts.
3. WP YouTube Lyte
Best for Performance-Optimized YouTube Embeds
WP YouTube Lyte is another popular free WordPress YouTube playlist plugin that places a heavy emphasis on performance optimization.
In that regard, the plugin is certainly impressive.
The use of lazy loading ensures that users initially see a lite version of the YouTube embed, with the complete, more resource-intensive video player only rendering once clicked on.
Ultimately, this has a significant positive impact on rendering times and, thus, your overall page speed.
Elsewhere, you can further boost performance by configuring the plugin to store YouTube thumbnails in a local cache.
However, there are two reasons we didn’t rank this one higher:
A. The plugin only works by configuring an API Key, a process that can be confusing for first-timers.
B. WP YouTube Lyte isn’t fully compatible with page builder tools.
How Much Does WP YouTube Lyte Cost?
WPYouTube Lyte is free to download and use.
4. YouTube Showcase
Best YouTube Plugin for Websites Focused on Video Content
So far, most of the options we’ve looked at are fantastic for incorporating YouTube videos into websites that primarily show other types of content, such as blog posts.
However, if you’re working on a site where video makes up the bulk of your content, you may want to look at YouTube Showcase.
This unique plugin creates a separate page for each YouTube video, with access to all of the usual benefits of WordPress pages.
For example, categories and tags can be applied to your videos, making it easier for users to find the specific type of videos they’re interested in.
For your homepage and main landing pages, YouTube Showcase allows you to display your videos in either grid or gallery layouts, with both options passing mobile-responsiveness tests with flying colors.
How Much Does YouTube Showcase Cost?
YouTube Showcase Starter is a free plugin offering all the features noted above.
YouTube Showcase Pro starts from $99 per year and includes the following additional features:
- Bulk video importer
- Drag-and-drop ordering of galleries, grids, and playlists
- Custom video comment widget
- Customized video player options
- Display related content from your channel
5. Envira Gallery
Best Beginner Friendly YouTube Plugin for Websites
Envira Gallery isn’t exclusively a WordPress YouTube plugin.
Still, this multi-media gallery plugin deserves a spot on this list anyway because it does make adding YouTube videos to your WordPress site incredibly easy, even if you’re an absolute novice.
Users of Envira Gallery Pro can create dynamic video galleries simply by importing the URL of each video they want to include.
From there, customizing the playback of your videos is practically effortless, with user-friendly controls that allow you to toggle autoplay on and off, hide the playback controls, and customize the size your video plays at.
However, as great as this one is for beginners, we simply couldn’t rate Envira Gallery any higher as there’s currently no way to ensure galleries and playlists on your site are automatically updated when you upload a new video to YouTube.
Instead, you’ll have to manually add every new video, a process that can quickly become cumbersome if you have a lot of content.
How Much Does Envira Gallery Cost?
YouTube support is only available for users of Envira Gallery’s two highest-priced plans:
- Pro – $89 per year
- Lifetime – $209 for a lifetime license.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I add a YouTube plugin to WordPress?
The easiest way to add a YouTube plugin to WordPress is via your dashboard, like so:
- Navigate to Plugins – Add New
- Search ‘YouTube’ to find free YouTube plugins
- Alternatively, click ‘Upload’ to add a plugin you downloaded from a third-party site.
How do I embed a YouTube channel in WordPress for free?
You can embed a YouTube channel in WordPress using a plugin called Embed Plus, which is completely free to use.
How much is Google’s YouTube API?
If you’re using Google’s YouTube API to connect to your chosen plugin, the good news is that it won’t cost you anything. Google allows access to this API free of charge.
What is the Best WordPress YouTube Plugin of 2023? Our Final Verdict
However, just because we love it, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.
For example, if your budget is limited or you simply want to test how video can help you achieve your website goals before you invest, you may prefer Embed Plus for YouTube or WPYouTube Lyte, both of which are completely free.
Alternatively, if user-friendliness is a top priority, they don’t come much more friendly than Envira Gallery, while those of you creating video-focused WordPress sites are likely to find that YouTube Showcase best suits your needs.