The best YouTube video gallery plugin for WordPress – and how to use it

By | February 19, 2015

When I was first looking for a Youtube Plugin to suit my needs, it took me nearly half a day to find one. The best plugin to make a Youtube video gallery in WordPress I found is called “Youtube Channel Gallery” by Javier Gómez Pose. The plugin uses a shortcode to display videos on your WordPress page. One video is shown in full size, and the others are shown as a thumbnail. When you click on one of the video thumbnails, this video is shown in full size and starts to play. Using this plugin, you won’t have to update your page to include your latest videos, as they will be added automatically!

Installing the YouTube video gallery plugin

To install the plugin, click ‘Plugins’ and then ‘Add new’. Search for ‘Youtube Channel Gallery’. The first result is the plugin you need. Click the ‘Install Now’ button to install it.

Install-Youtube-Channel-Gallery-plugin

When it’s installed, click ‘Activate plugin’ to activate it.

Install-Youtube-Channel-Gallery-plugin-activate

Using the plugin

This plugin doesn’t create a page in the WordPress dashboard menu bar in the left, and only allows you to use it by using shortcodes in your posts or pages. To find out more about using this plugin is by going to your installed plugins on WordPress (Plugins → Installed Plugins), and clicking ‘View Details’ to read the documentation.

Install-Youtube-Channel-View-Details

You can also access this documentation by going to https://wordpress.org/plugins/youtube-channel-gallery.

How to make a Youtube channel Gallery

Add a new page to WordPress, and copy the following shortcode to your page:

[Youtube_Channel_Gallery feed="user" user="YouTube_Channel_name" feedorder="desc" videowidth="500" ratio="16x9" theme="dark" color="red" quality="default" autoplay="0" rel="1" showinfo="1" maxitems="9" thumbwidth="212" thumbratio="16x9" thumbcolumns="3" title="1" description="1" thumbnail_alignment="top" descriptionwordsnumber="10" link_window="0"]

Replace ‘YouTube_Channel_name’ in the above code with the name of your Youtube channel.

For instance, Microsoft’s YouTube channel is “https://www.youtube.com/user/Microsoft“. Whatever follows “user/” is what you need to enter as your “YouTube_Channel_name”.

Once you’ve entered the shortcode, click ‘Update’ to update your WordPress page. Your page now has a YouTube channel gallery on your WordPress site.

Note; this code is using my preferred settings, but you can customize the look and functionality by adjusting the shortcode. See the Other shortcode options paragraph.

The result:

Youtube-Channel-Channel-Gallery-what-it-looks-like

How to make a Youtube Playlist Gallery

To make a WordPress page with only the videos from a certain playlist, copy the following code to a WordPress page:

[Youtube_Channel_Gallery feed="playlist" user="Playlist_ID" feedorder="asc" videowidth="500" ratio="16x9" theme="dark" color="red" quality="default" autoplay="0" rel="1" showinfo="1" maxitems="9999" thumbwidth="212" thumbratio="16x9" thumbcolumns="3" title="1" description="1" thumbnail_alignment="top" descriptionwordsnumber="10" link_window="0"]

This code uses feed=”user” instead of feed=”playlist”. Then, instead of naming a YouTube username, add a playlist ID. For instance, a playlist by Microsoft, titled ‘Microsoft at CES 2012’, has the following URL: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB42286429D18E2ED.

Whatever follows ‘/playlist?list=’ in the URL, is the playlist ID. Copy this, and replace ‘Playlist_ID’ in the shortcode.

The result:

Youtube-Channel-Playlist-Gallery-what-it-looks-like

Other shortcode options; customize your video gallery

You can make changes to the shortcode to make it function differently. I’ll highlight some of the changes you can make here. For the full documentation on this, go here.

  • Feedorder: You can change the feedorder to show the latest video in your first (ascencing order), or the first video first (descending order). With playlists, it sometimes makes more sense to show the first video first. To change it from the default ascending to descending order, use feedorder=”desc” in your shortcode.
  • Theme. You can choose either a light or a dark theme for the YouTube video player. By default, this is dark, just like on YouTube.com itself. With the light theme, the video player is light grey. To change to the light theme, use theme=”light” in your shortcode.
  • Progress bar color. This changes the color of the bar for the part of the video you’ve already seen. By default this is in red, just like on Youtube itself. You can change this to white, which looks pretty good with the light theme. To change to the white progress bar, use color=”white” in your shortcode.
  • Video quality. Here you can change the video quality for the videos. You can use small, medium, large, hd720, hd1080, highres or default. Using default will let YouTube pick the best size based on your internet connection. However, if you want to only display the videos in higher quality, like 720p, you can for instance change your shortcode using quality=”hd720″.
  • Autoplay. You can change whether you want the video to automatically play. Using autoplay=”1″ in the shortcode, the video will autoplay, using autoplay=”0″, autoplay will be turned off. I prefer not using autoplay, as it generally annoys me when something autoplays.
  • Show related videos. Use rel=”0″ in your shortcode to not show any related video suggestions at the end of your video, or rel=”1″ to show related videos. If you don’t want your visitors to be distracted from your content, definitely go for no related videos!
  • Number of videos to show. Enter the maximum amount of videos you want to show on your page. I often use maxitems=”9999″ in the shortcode to make sure it shows all of my videos.
  • Thumbnail alignment. This determines the location of the thumbnail in respect to the video title and text. You can choose between left, right, top or bottom. For instance, to use the thumbnail on top, use thumbnail_alignment=”top” in your shortcode.
  • Thumbnail width. This allows you to change the width of the video thumbnails. If you’re using top or bottom thumbnail alignment, it’ll automatically make the thumbnails wide enough to exactly fit next to each other side to side. However, you’ll still have to set a high thumbnail width for this thumbnail resolution to be high. For the other alignment options, this dictates how wide the thumbnails are. For instance, using thumbwidth=”90″ in your shortcode will make the thumbnails exactly 90 pixels wide. The height is calculated automatically by the aspect ratio.
  • Thumbnail columns. This determines the amount of video’s that are displayed side to side in your gallery. For instance, using thumbcolumns=”3″ in your shortcode gives you 3 columns of videos.

Conclusion

That’s it! You now know how to add a YouTube video gallery to WordPress using this awesome plugin!

Or maybe not? If you couldn’t make it work, leave me a comment. In most cases, I’m able to help you out.

10 thoughts on “The best YouTube video gallery plugin for WordPress – and how to use it

  1. Andyg

    I have worked with Youtube vids on my blog a little bit. Ill install this and give it a try. Thans for sharing with us :)

    Reply
  2. Saleena Bright

    Is there any research concerning this plugin’s compatibility with wordpress 4.0+? Currently I’m getting an error message:
    Fatal error: Cannot use object of type WP_Error as array in /Applications/AMPPS/www/ubc/wp-content/plugins/youtube-channel-gallery/youtube-channel-gallery.php on line 556

    Or maybe this is a compatibility issue with youtube API? Any thoughts?

    Reply
    1. GuidoGuido Post author

      It should be compatible with WordPress 4.0 or higher. I still have it working on a couple of my sites, and they’re all running the latest version of WordPress.

      I have never encountered this error before though, and wouldn’t know how to fix it.

      Reply
  3. Greg

    Hi Guido,

    just stumbled upon your page and wanted to leave you a short message. I don´t know why your site is not more popular -by NOW- ! (I am totally sure this will happen!). You really have done an awesome job – putting together so much USEFUL information at one place.

    I am sure I will come back for good information and tips.
    I will spread the word – of your page! Keep the good work …..
    Looking forward to connect, just added you at G+.

    Greg (Hartmut)
    Why two names: Look at my ‘about me’ page on
    G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115533438821651060080/posts

    Reply
    1. GuidoGuido Post author

      Thanks for your kind words, Greg!

      I’m working hard at making this site more popular, and I’m making steady progress.

      Thanks for spreading the word!

      Reply
  4. BilqeesKenchi

    I have an issue with my site while using youtube plugin please tell Is there any research concerning this plugin’s compatibility with wordpress 4.0+? Currently I’m getting an error message:
    Fatal error: Cannot use object of type WP_Error as array in /Applications/AMPPS/www/ubc/wp-content/plugins/youtube-channel-gallery/youtube-channel-gallery.php on line 556
    Or maybe this is a compatibility issue with youtube API? Any thoughts?

    Reply

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