Adding video and audio content can provide users with a compelling reason to both stay on your website and return often. This can be anything from a collection of cat videos from around the web all the way to a completely original audio or video production. There are any number of subjects you can cover and forms the content can take. The only limit is your imagination.
There are a number of options for publishing audio and video on your WordPress website. Here are a couple of ready-to-use methods that are already built into WordPress:
The most basic way to add audio or video is to upload your own files to your site’s Media Library. Once uploaded, use the handy Audio and Video shortcodes to embed an HTML5 player into your page or post. You can even create a basic Playlist.
oEmbed is a powerful feature built into WordPress that enables you to embed audio or video from third-party providers. So, for example, if your media is stored on a third-party service like YouTube or ReverbNation, you can easily use oEmbed to add it directly into your site. For example, simply paste a YouTube video’s URL into a WordPress page or post and the video is automatically embedded. There are also some more advanced options with the use of a shortcode. The oEmbed service works with a wide variety of popular content providers.
While the above methods will work and don’t require much effort, they are also a bit limited in scale. In other words, they’re not ideal for sites that want to rely heavily on multimedia or present it with a more advanced UI.
To accomplish that, you’ll need the help of a plugin or two.
WordPress Multimedia Plugins
There are a variety of excellent plugins available that will help you bring your multimedia game up a few notches. They can do things such as automate tasks, display media in a more sophisticated manner, provide a robust connection with third-party providers, allow for more detailed metadata and a whole lot more.
Yottie is quite useful for those who publish their videos to YouTube. The plugin interacts with the service to display channels, playlists and individual video collections – all in an attractive gallery format. There are over 100 settings you can adjust and the plugin will automatically scrape YouTube at an interval of your choosing to make sure that you always have the latest videos on your own website.
Video Gallery is a nice choice for those of you who have mixed sources of video content. It brings in videos from outside sources like YouTube and Vimeo, but also supports local audio and video files uploaded directly to WordPress. It also has support for MPEG-DASH, which is a live streaming technique. Content can be displayed in a number of gallery layouts. The plugin is touch enabled, so mobile users can easily interact with media.
WP Video Robot
WP Video Robot will automatically scrape various video services and import video to your WordPress website. Just set the criteria – for example, a YouTube keyword search or a channel, and the plugin will look for matching content at your desired interval. You can set things up to automatically publish new videos to specific categories or hold them in draft form. The plugin works with several services, including YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook.
Add some gamification to your website with Video Contest. Allow users to add their YouTube/Vimeo/Dailymotion content to your site’s video gallery. Others can then vote up and comment on videos. The plugin encourages social sharing and could be an interesting way to attract some extra traffic. It also integrates with both BuddyPress and WooCommerce.
Gocha Video Comment
Gocha Video Comment isn’t just a video player. It also provides a way for users to comment on videos directly within the player’s interface. You can even set things up so that users can comment on specific scenes within the video’s timeline. One possible use for this is a training video, where students ask questions and receive answers about specific points being made within a scene.
MP3 Sticky Player
If you’re into podcasting, MP3 Sticky Player enables you to showcase content from outside services like SoundCloud and Official.fm. You’ll also be able to upload files directly through WordPress and add them to playlists. The HTML5 player (with a Flash fallback) itself is “sticky” and even features a pop-up window that will allow folks to listen in while browsing outside sites. There is support for both mobile devices and Internet Explorer 8/9.
Note: If you’re looking for a more traditional (non-sticky) audio player, also check out the similar Royal Audio Player.
tPlayer offers a beautiful, jQuery based audio player for your WordPress website. The player is responsive and also features some nifty animation. But it’s not just pretty – there’s some real power here as well. Users can easily share or even embed the player into their own site. Site owners can monetize content by adding a Buy button to files. There are also 10 different player themes to choose from to ensure tPlayer fits in with your site.
Disk Audio Player
Disk Audio Player is a highly-customizable HTML5 player, with the ability to add custom colors, background images and even transparency settings. You’ll also find the ability to add Buy/Download buttons to tracks, keyboard controls for accessibility and an adjustable scroll bar.
HTML5 Audio Player
HTML5 Audio Player offers the ability to scan a folder and automatically add any mp3 files it finds to a playlist. This is great for those who often upload files via FTP or through some other automated means. The player is also easily customized, with custom color schemes, fonts, backgrounds and the ability to hide or show specific player elements.
Fullwidth Audio Player
Fullwidth Audio Player provides significant flexibility in that it can be placed at the top or bottom of a page, in a pop-up window or embedded directly within a post or page’s content. This lends itself to use on sites for podcasters, bands or just about anything else where audio is needed. The HTML5 player can handle both files uploaded to WordPress and remotely from SoundCloud.
WordPress: A Multimedia Powerhouse
The simple act of installing WordPress gives you a certain amount of multimedia capability right off the bat. But add in one of the plugins from our list and you’ll gain powerful features and flexibility. Whether you’re a content creator or curator, you can now share multimedia with the world on your own website – and on your own terms.