Extending WordPress by Using the Power of Video – Part Six

This is the sixth post in my series about using video with WordPress. Today we’ll focus on some plugins and a couple of themes that help to display video on your WordPress-powered site. I’ve discussed plugins previously in this series, but in the WordPress world, things are always evolving and plugin development is a prime example. One of my favorite things about WordPress is the massive community around it. As you probably know already, there are thousands of themes and plugins available, and new ones being released almost daily.

We all know that online video has, and still is, maturing. Both the quality and accessibility of online video has changed greatly since the days of 14.4k modems and ten second .mpg movie clips. Video is now a necessary addition to many websites. It’s not just a novelty anymore, and will never be again.

If you run a WordPress-powered website that includes video, or you aspire to place video on your site, the theme and plugins below will help.

First, I’d like to bring your attention to Press75.com. This is the home of a great WordPress theme designer, Jason Schuller. Press75 was one of the first offer themes specifically for video…and is still the best in my opinion. Feel free to have a look at all of the video-centric themes that Jason offers.

Video Flick WordPress Theme
Video Flick WordPress Theme

Now, that you’ve had a look at some options for displaying video on Press75, what happens when you either can’t afford a professionally coded video theme, or you just prefer to use a different one altogether. How do you attain a functional display of your video? Again, Jason Schuller comes to the rescue, along with plugin developer James Lao.

In the spirit of WordPress, Jason and James have made freely available,  two plugins that were developed specifically for his video themes.

  • Simple Post Thumbnails
  • Simple Video Embedder

Simple Post Thumbnails

With the Simple Post Thumbnails plugin, adding thumbnail images to your posts is as easy as uploading any image (no editing required) and clicking the “Update Post” button. Upon upload, the plugin will re-size and crop the selected image according to whatever parameters you specify within the plugin configuration.

Simple Video Embedder

With the Simple Video Embedder plugin, adding video to your post is as easy as pasting the URL for the video you want to add within a field, and then click submit. You can even provide simple “width” and “height” parameters to size your video to match your theme. Currently, this “URL embed” method works perfectly with several services including Vimeo.com, YouTube.com, MetaCafe.com, Revver.com, Google Video and Seesmic.com. Or, of you want to host your own video, the plugin is also compatible with FLV (Flash Video) and Quicktime formats. If your video service is not on the list of currently supported formats for the “URL embed” feature, you can use the optional “embed code” field.

I hope you find these themes and plugins useful. I am always on the lookout for themes, plugins, and other apps that will make it as easy as possible to integrate video on WordPress-powered sites. If you know of any tools that fit into this category, please feel free to contact me and let me know, either here or by leaving a comment below.

Stay tuned to WPM for Part Seven in our video series.