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This installment of Start with a Theme shows how to set up a video blog using WordPress and three different free themes that result in three different looks for your site. Series author Morten Rand-Hendriksen explains how to get up and running quickly with Twenty Twelve, Origami, and Sundance, and reviews the benefits and drawbacks of all three themes as they apply to video content in particular. Learn how to add video from services such as YouTube and Vimeo, enhance the visibility of your posts, add a video slider, and more.
WordPress can be used for many interesting things. The original purpose of WordPress was for it to be an easy to use blogging platform. And that's what we're going to use it for in this course, albeit in a slightly different capacity from what was originally envisioned by its creators. We're going to make a video blog. What do I mean by a video blog? I mean a blog where you post videos. It could be videos of anything, videos you make yourself or videos created by others and shared by you.
For this course, I'm going to make a video blog featuring videos from lynda.com's YouTube Channel. To make a video blog, you first need to understand how to add videos from video sharing services into your blog. With WordPress, that's about as easy as it can get. Let's take a look. Let's say I go to YouTube, and I found a video I really want to share with the people who follow my blog. This is quite normal because the whole point of videos on YouTube is that you can grab them and put them into your own blog, or you can share them on Facebook or Twitter or whatever so that the video goes viral.
So I find a video I like, and I want to put it on my site, how do I do that? Well, let's take a look. First, I'll go to the video itself. Here's the video, and I'll make sure that it works. It's a cool intro and stuff. Now, I need to embed this video into my post. The first thing I'm going to do in WordPress is create a new post. I can do that by going to Posts and click Add New, or I can click New in the WordPress toolbar and select Post.
I need to give my post a title, so I'm going to go to the YouTube video and grab the title from the YouTube video, copy it and then paste that in. Of course, you can write your own title if you want to. I'm just being lazy, so I'm just grabbing the title from the YouTube video. Then I need to add the video itself and here's the trick. If you've been on the web for a while, you know that in the past, to put a video into your post, you had to go and find the embed codes, you have to click on the Share button, then you have to click on the Embed button, and then you get this huge pile of code here, and you copy that out and then you have to decide of the video size, and it's quite cumbersome.
With WordPress, you don't have to do any of that anymore. If you're using YouTube or Vimeo or any of other big video sharing sites, all you have to do is grab the URL to the video, it looks like this, watch?v= and then some random letters. And if you see a longer one just take it all the way up until the ampersand sign, you get their YouTube link, copy it, go back into your post, paste the link in, and that's all you have to do.
Now because this is a video blog, you should really add some extra content to your post, because if you're just posting videos, people have no reason to see them. So you should also put in some information about what the video is or why you think people should be watching it. So I'll type in a little description here. Once you put in all the text content you want, and you have your video, you need to give your video a category. So I'll create a new category here, and I'll call it Creative Cloud. Click Add New Category.
I'll also give it some Tags, so I'll say adobe, news, cloud, and then I can publish my post. I'll click Publish. And when I click on View Post now, you will see that even though in my post all I have is the URL to the video, when we view the post in the blog, you see the video play. Cool, eh? Well, this is what's called oEmbed, and oEmbed in WordPress supports a lot of different formats, including YouTube and Vimeo.
So if you find a video, and it's supported by oEmbed just try and copy the URL and paste it in and see what happens? If it doesn't work, you have to put in the old embed code, but for most services, oEmbed works just fine. As you can see, adding videos in WordPress is a simple cut and paste operation. In fact, it's so easy, the most complicated part is finding great videos and figuring out how you want to organize them and what kind of information you want to attach to them.
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