How To Embed A YouTube Playlist

How to embed a YouTube playlistI was looking for a way to post a bunch of videos on my main artist website, which runs on the Joomla platform.  Ideally I wanted a way to just drag my whole channel in with one bit of code and have it automatically update anytime I uploaded a new video.  YouTube does offer a bit of code to do that, but it only works in certain cases.  As you’ll see, the hunt is still on for such a device, but I have something in the meantime.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to embed a playlist directly from YouTube and why it’s not the best way
  • How to embed a playlist in Joomla
  • How to embed a playlist in WordPress

The easy way to embed a YouTube playlist…

There is a way to embed playlists directly from YouTube.  Here’s the simple way:

1. Create the playlist in YouTube.
– Go to your channel page and click “video manager”
– In the left hand menu click “Playlists”
– On the right side click “New Playlist”
– Give it a title and description and click “Create Playlist”
– That will take you to the playlist page.  Click on “Add video by URL”
– At this point you have to go get the URL of each video you want in the play list and add them one at a time.  Seems like an opportunity here to just list all your uploaded videos with check boxes or something.  Obviously, all playlists won’t be just your uploaded videos, but it’s a logical starting point.

2. When it takes you back to your list of playlists, click the link for the one you want to embed.  That will take you to the list of videos in the list.  Click “Play All.”

3. Pause the first video as it plays so your list starts in the right place.

4. Click on “Share” then “Embed”.

5. Copy the code in the box and plug that in on whatever site you’re putting it on.  I’ve placed mine as an example below.


Here’s the part I don’t like.  It doesn’t look like a playlist.  Someone not paying very close attention (ie. everyone) will think it just looks like a single video.  You actually have to click the “blah blah blah playlist” thing at the bottom of the video window to see the rest of the videos in the list.  And the cursor doesn’t even change to a link cursor, so it’s even harder to tell.

What I was really looking for was a “gallery” sort of option.  YouTube does offer a variety of changeable parameters for the embeds.  You can see then at https://developers.google.com/youtube/player_parameters

The problem is some of them work only in the AS3 player and others only in the html5 player.  Html5 is pretty much where we’re all headed, but that doesn’t have the up front little video preview thumbnails that I wanted.

Embedding YouTube with a Joomla Extension…

So I went hunting for a Joomla extension.  I’ll admit, I’m a cheap bastard.  And until I’m making better money, I’m after free extensions.  I’m quite sure that there are paid extensions that will do exactly what I want, but not yet it seems.

In general, I use the AllVideos extension to handle video work on my Joomla site.  But, the free version at least, doesn’t include a function for embedding playlists.  After hours of dicking around with different extensions, none of which accomplished the task, I ended up going with VideoBox.

What I got was a nice looking, fairly easy to implement and manage video gallery.  Unfortunately. there’s nothing automated about it.  It’s not even based of my original YouTube playlist.  Essentially, you create the playlist right in the Joomla article using shortcodes.  As I said, it’s pretty easy, but it’s not as quick or hands off as I’d like.

Embedding YouTube in WordPress…

Now I know a lot of you are using WordPress for your sites, so I dug up some plugins for that too.  Good WordPress plugins are so much easier to find since you can do it right from your site dashboard and see ratings and version info quickly and easily.

I have not implemented any of these as of yet.  But I think they’re worth looking at.  They look like exactly what I was looking for on my Joomla site, but couldn’t get.
Cool Video Gallery
Ultimate Video Gallery
All Video Gallery Plugin For WordPress

So that should help you embed a YouTube playlist just about anywhere you need it and have it look good.  If you have another tool or trick to recommend, I’m happy to hear it in the comments below.


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