It’s very easy to add YouTube videos to a WordPress Post or a Page. Plop in a bit of embed code or the URL of the video, and you’re all set.
But if your site is video heavy, then you’re probably going to want a more robust solution. You’re probably going to want to showcase your videos in a more interesting and engaging way.
Now, if you were being smart about this, you’d be using a multi purpose theme framework like Upfront (which is also, incidentally, now completely free) and you could simply copy and paste your YouTube gallery embed code into an element and display it wherever you want on your design.
But if you’ve got some sort of old school, Themeforest-esque, shortcode-heavy theme… then these plugins might do the job for you.
For many, a YouTube gallery plugin is the way to go. Depending on which one you choose, a gallery plugin will let you do everything from automatically create a whole page of videos based on a YouTube tag to individually selecting the exact videos you want and displaying them in a unique video player.
The range of YouTube gallery plugins out there is wide. There are some very nice and creative solutions. We’ve gone through and picked out the seven of best free ones we could find.
If you know of others we may have missed, let us know in the comments.
TubePress is a powerful but simple-to-use video gallery plugin that gives you a ton of controls for automatically embedding videos from either YouTube or Vimeo.
After adjusting your settings to your liking, a gallery is automatically created for you and inserted wherever you insert the proper shortcode(s).
You can choose to show videos from YouTube or Vimeo.
You can insert videos based off a search, a user, a playlist, a user’s favorites, from the “most viewed” videos on YouTube, or you can choose to get “related” videos to the video you choose.
Another nice aspect of this plugin is the amount of control it gives you over the display of the media player. You can control the look and how it acts.
TubePress gives you a ton of settings and features that you can mix and match for all sorts of video galleries. Here’s a page of lots of great examples of different things it can do.
The Contus Video Gallery plugin gives you a video gallery page with multiple sections. You can have “Popular Videos,” “Featured Video,” and “Resent Videos.” You can categories of videos that you name.
Here’s a partial look.
Each video also resides on its own page. These pages are automatically created when you insert the URL for the video on the settings page.
You build your gallery by adding the URLs for the videos you’d like. Once the URL is added, you can automatically generate a title and a description from YouTube with the push of a button.
The plugin also offers a number of other controls for height, width, number of rows, number of videos, etc.
The biggest negative for this plugin is that you must buy the $99 pro version to have the logo removed.
The YouTube Simple Gallery plugin lets you set up galleries by individually choosing which videos you want to show. You can then insert your gallery into a Post or a Page by using shortcodes designated by the plugin along with the URLs of the videos you want. You can also put a gallery into a widget.
The plugin allows you to include titles and descriptions if you like, but that is optional.
Here’s a look.
The YouTube Channel Gallery plugin gives you a number of different designs for your galleries. (See links for demos on the plugin page.)
When you click on a thumbnail at the bottom of the gallery, the video will play in the large area at the top.
Here’s a quick look:
This plugin runs as either a widget or a shortcode, so you can put galleries in your sidebar.
You get a number of controls with this plugin. You can choose videos by user or playlist. YOu can control the size and ratio of videos. You also have control of a number of aspects on the player, such as choosing a dark or light player and showing the YouTube logo or not.
The Ultimate Video Gallery plugin gives you a nice, compact gallery with “playing now” video space on top. The thumbnails below the video automatically paginate if the number of thumbnails goes past the number allowed.
This player comes with a number of features. You can not only play YouTube videos but also FLV files. You have control over player size and thumbnail sizes.
You can control the title and description for each video, and you can also choose the main image (nice if you’re pulling in someone else’s video).
Once a gallery is created, you simply add it to a Post or Page with a shortcode. You can create as many different galleries as you like. You can also add galleries to widgets in your sidebars.
The Workbox Video plugin works by allowing you to add videos one by one. It then puts the videos into a single column gallery with descriptions off to the right.
When a video thumbnail is clicked on, the video appears in a lightbox pop up.
Galleries are added to a page by selecting the page in the backend, using a shortcode, or using php code. It appears that the plugin only allows you to create one gallery, though you can add as many videos to it as you like.
You can also add videos from Vimeo and Wistia.
This seems like a fairly simple plugin, but if you just need a simple list of videos, it will get the job done.
*This plugin appears not to have been updated in a while, but we’ll go ahead and include it here. Just be aware of that.
The All Video Gallery plugin works by adding videos one by one to a gallery profile. You then call that specific gallery into a Post or a Page with a shortcode.
The image below is actually a screenshot from an individual video’s page. The actual gallery pages are made up of thumbnails. A “playing now” video isn’t present on the gallery pages, only on the single video pages.
The All Video Gallery supports a number of media formats, including flv, mp4, and many more. It also has HTML5 fallback.
It also includes branding options and social sharing icons.
When it comes to things such as galleries, of course the look is going to be nearly as important as anything else. And so that makes your choice a personal one, depending a lot on what style you’re after and what functionality you need.
That said, I have to say that after all these years, I still find myself liking TubePress. It seems as if it’s been around for ages, but I guess there’s a good reason why. And it’s good to see that it’s still being updated.