Adding Video

Adding Video to Joomla (or any site, really)

Adding video to your website should be really easy... but unfortunately it's more complicated than it sounds, mostly because of the lack of uniform video format standards for playing videos directly in browsers.

Although there are open standards, different browser developers have contrarily decided to support different competing file formats, which means that to play video you are hosting yourself, you need to embed a 3rd party video player, such as Adobe player, on your website. Furthermore, you need to have multiple versions of your video in different formats to suit the various browsers.

Added to this, you also need to consider the impact on your hosting - video files can be large, sometimes hundreds of megabytes. Storage is not necessarily an issue - most hosting plans will provide sufficient storage space for a moderate number of videos, but there is the issue of bandwidth.

Bandwidth is the amount of data that may be transmitted (downloaded or streamed) through your hosting account over a given period of time. Most hosting packages, particularly low cost ones, have strict limits on bandwidth consumption.

The most common way around this is to host your video on a 3rd party streaming service, such as YouTube or Vimeo. We would normally recommend YouTube for the other advantages it brings:

  • Automatic file conversion - when you upload your video to YouTube, it is automatically converted into the various formats required for different browsers, with the YouTube player automatically delivering the correct format
  • Video hosting is free - there are no limits on storage or bandwidth. Even if the video is embedded on your site it is streamed from YouTube and is not included in your hosting bandwidth
  • There is an SEO benefit, in that your video will appear in YouTube and video search (unless you make it private)

If you are not too worried about appearing on YouTube, and don't want ads or other other video recommendations appearing on your videos, then Vimeo is a better option - file conversion is also automatic, as is free hosting (with limits).  

So how do you actually go about adding a video via YouTube?

This is actually quite straightforward, once you know how! 

First create your video

1. Firstly you will need a Google account linked to a YouTube account. If you are using Google Analytics you already have a Google account.

You should log in, then go to YouTube and add a YouTube account to this account (assuming you don't already have a YouTube account). If you don't have a Google account, you will need to create one, and this can be done on the YouTube site. We would recommend using the same Google account for your analytics and YouTube. That way the data is linked together.  

2. On You Tube create your 'Channel' and upload your video[s].

Option 1

From YouTube you can then copy the embed code and paste it directly into an article or custom module on your website.

The YouTube embed code contains the information needed to set the display size of the player, and if you have basic html skills you can easily adjust the settings to suit where you are displaying the video on your site.

Option 2

Use an optional plugin to manage your video. This is a better option, as it makes it even simpler to add your video, and gives you far more control over your video settings, particularly how it is handled on a responsive, mobile friendly layout.

Our recommended plugin for this is OS You Tube. This is a paid for extension: