Set up a Video Blog (or How to Add Flash Video to Your WordPress Site)

Last updated on

So you want to create the next Rocketboom (video blog). Or perhaps you have some video you want to add to your WordPress blog or website. Maybe it’s a video of last year’s Christmas party, a business conference you attended or the kids’ soccer game.

Maybe you have a business site and want to provide some video for customers and/or potential customers. For example, when I designed a site for Hi-Way Campers, an RV dealer, I included video walk-through tours of some of the RVs for folks who started their RV shopping online. Website video would also be great for restaurants, conference facilities, hotels, resorts, real estate brokers or anyone with a product people need to see.

Whatever your reason for wanting to add video to your site, it’s pretty easy with WordPress and a couple of other tools. Before anyone else mentions it, let me say at the outset that sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Google Video and the like also make it pretty easy to upload and share video. If, however, you’re a tad paranoid like me and you’d rather not rely on another service (who may insert ads into your video at some point) to help you share your video with the world, this tutorial is for you.

Step One: Gather Your Tools

1. A WordPress Blog/Site – Okay, so you probably already have this part covered. If not, this tutorial will show you how to download and install WordPress on your own server.

2. Download, install and activate the WP-FLV Plugin – This is an excellent little plugin created by Roel Meurders. It greatly simplifies the task of inserting flash video into your WordPress site.

Download the wp-flv.txt file from Roel’s site and change the file name to wp-flv.php. Next you’ll need to open your favorite FTP program and add the wp-flv.php file to your wp-content/plugins directory. Finally, visit the Plugin managment page on your WordPress site, and activate the WP-FLV plugin.

3. Download and install a free Flash video player. If people are going watch videos on your site, you’ll need to embed a Flash video player for them to use (don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it may sound).

As a brief side note before we go further, the other way to distribute video is via download. In other words, you could simply link to the video file in your blog post, and allow folks to download the file to their own computer. A true video blog also distributes video via RSS feed. In that case folks use a piece of software called a podcatcher to receive new videos. The podcatcher software (e.g. iTunes, Juice, Newsgator, etc) automatically detects and downloads new videos for its user. This particular tutorial is geared more toward what’s known as “streaming video,” in which case someone visits your site and watches the video while there. So let’s move on.

Visit Jeroen Wijering’s site, and download his Flash Video Player 2.4. The player downloads as a zip file, so you’ll need to use your favorite unzip program to unzip it. If you don’t have an unzip feature already installed on your computer, you can download a free program called Stuffit Expander (for PC or Mac). After you unzip the file, you’ll end up with a folder named: flash_flv_player.

Next, you’ll need to upload the Flash player to your website. The actual file name you’re looking for is flvplayer.swf. You’ll find it in the unzipped flash_flv_player folder. Again, FTP that file over to your website. I strongly suggest you create a folder named “videos” within your main WordPress folder, and copy the flvplayer.swf file into that folder. This is also the folder into which you’ll need to place your video files once you have them ready (more on that later). If the video files and video player are not in the same folder/directory, this won’t work.

Step Two: Create Your Video

Now that you have everything in place to play videos from your WordPress site, the next thing to do is actually create and publish your videos. Again, you’ll need some tools for this part as well. Before we get to that, however, lets talk about file formats.

The Flash Video Player you just installed will only play Flash Videos, which have a file name that looks like this: filename.flv (notice the .flv file extension). If your digital video camera is anything like mine, it will probably create video files in what’s known as Quicktime format. Quicktime files have the file extension .mov. So you’ll have to convert those files to the .flv format. Again, this is much easier than it sounds, and that brings us to the next free tool you’ll need.

1. Download the free Riva FLV Encoder. This is a cool little program that will convert various file types (e.g. .mov, .avi, mp4) into the .flv format. You can download the program here.

The Riva Encoder is pretty intuitive to use. There’s a box for you to enter the file you want to convert, and there’s the “Encode” button (click the graphic to the right for a larger view). On the right, you can set some of the parameters for the output video, such as size and quality. I use a file size 320×240, but you can decide what size you prefer. As for teh other parameters, I simply use the default settings, but again, you may want to experiment with different ones. After you’ve converted your video to the .flv format, you simply need to FTP it into the same folder/directory where your Flash video player is installed (see above).

We’re in the home stretch. Just one more step.

Step Three: Publish Your Video

Again this part is pretty easy. It’s as simple as writing a new post on your WordPress site. In fact, that’s all it is … with one little twist. Before we get to that, however, you need to set the correct parameters for the WP-FLV plugin we installed up in step one.

So, login to your WordPress site, and click on the Options tab. In the submenu, you’ll see a tab that says “WP-FLV.” Click on it. In the top box, you need to tell WordPress where the Flash video player is located. If you followed my directions above, all you need to enter in this first box is: http://www.yourwordpresssite.com/video/flvplayer.swf (just change the “yourwordpresssite.com” portion to whatever your is).

Click the graphic to the right, and you’ll see the other settings you need to set. In the “Default movie size” box, make sure you use the same size you used when you converted your videos with the Riva Encoder above. After you enter your setting, click the “Update Options” at the bottom.

There’s one more thing to take care of before you publish your first video. The WP-FLV plugin only works if you’re NOT using the WordPress WYSIWYG or “Rich Text” editor. So, click on the Users tab from the top menu. At the bottom left of your profile, you’ll see a checkbox with the phrase “Use the visual rich editor when writing” next to it. Make sure this box IS NOT checked. If it is, uncheck it, and click the “Update Options” button. After that, you’re ready to publish your first video.

Click on the Write tab from the main menu to create a new post. Just above the Post box, you’ll see a quicktag that says “FLV.” Click that button. This will open a new box that asks you for the file name of your video. It will probably already have “/video” in the box, so all you have to do is add the video’s file name after so it’ll end up like this /video/filename.flv.

The next series of boxes that come up should be filled in by default. The final box will ask “Do you want this video to start playing automatically?” Just click the cancel button because you DON’T want the video to start playing automatically (there’s nothing more annoying than going to a site and immediately some strange video starts playing in your face).

After you click the cancel button, you’ll end up with something in your post box that looks like this: [flv href="/video/filename.flv" width="320" height="240" autostart="false" /]. If you want to also write some commentary on the video, you can do that as well. If not, just click the publish button, and you’re all done.

And that’s it. You now have a video blog (minus the RSS video distribution). If you do use this tutorial to add video to your site, I’d love to hear your feedback, and see your site, so please shoot me an email or leave a comment on this post. Likewise, if you have troubles, share those as well, and I’ll try to help you get them sorted out. Happy Vlogging!

About the Author (Author Profile)

Solostream provides Premium WordPress themes that are professional and easy to use. Templates suitable for personal or business blogs, websites and online magazines.

Comments (72)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ola Michael, tenho uma dúvida, se eu quiser criar uma pagina com vários vídeos pequenos de microempreendedor como se fosse o youtube para depois esses vídeos abrirem em outra página, devo proceder da mesma forma?

  2. Dave says:

    Great info and vlogging is going to be next on the list for me :)

  3. Christ says:

    Anyn thing new on this matter? I was lost on the last bit and still struggling on the “Just above the Post box, you’ll see a quicktag that says “FLV.” Click that button.”>> I don’t see a quck tag thats says FLV

  4. Raz says:

    Hi, great tutorial – thanks! Any ideas on how to sell the video? (ie make it into pay-per-view)?

  5. Sandip says:

    Very good post. Video blogs will be more common in near future.

  6. Terrific article. Looking forward to implementing this. Thank You!

  7. Faifai11 says:

    Thanks, that helped alot! :mrgreen:

  8. Simeon says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks so much for this informative post. I’ve tried out several video player plugins and until now I’ve had no luck. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

  9. Vanessa says:

    Have you any idea how to add a thumbnail image? There are instructions in the wordpress forum that direct you to the plugin site, but it is no longer active. Thanks in advance!

  10. DancingKim says:

    Hello, i’m a professional dancer. i’d like to see to make a showreel with regard to my promotions. I also would like to use some animation. Can someone suggest me a good animation studio, but definitely not very expensive? I’m here for 3 months for a tour.
    Love
    Kim.

  11. Javaun says:

    So you cant use wordpress.com to make videoblogs?
    I dont have wordpress.org’s software.

  12. max says:

    great ,thank you very very much, it`s working

  13. Scott says:

    Thanks so much! this was WAY helpful.

    You saved me HOURS AND HOURS of time and heartache and mad this project possible and EASY. SERIOUSLY. Thank you for taking the time to post this :)

    I own a fitness company and I am using this to train my employees through an admin page which has video tutorials. I ended up using the DOP player plugin on wordpress for video and it works AWESOME. The full screen option was not workign properly for me using the link provided in your tutorial. DOP is an AWESOME plugin and makes it WAY easy :)

    Cheers adn thank yoU!!!

  14. Hey excellent article. I was looking around for same kind of information adding video to my wordpress blog, and the plugin you suggested here seems to be working fine.
    Thanks

  15. Really a good technical guide. Simple & the flow of the info, mekes me to read the content till the end. Easy to follow..

    Keep-up your writing …

  16. Vlogariffic says:

    Great post! According to the media there are more than 50 million blogs online. In a world where uniqueness matters video blogs are becoming more of a commodity. Once you’ve started your video blog there are ways of promoting it. One way is submitting to a free video blog directory such as vlogariffic.com. They are a 100% human edited directory and best of all there is no charge.

  17. Master Jogi says:

    thankssssssss for sharing

  18. Jaysone says:

    I have a question. If we’re hosting wordpress as an internal website for a company (intranet) and we wanted to insert videos without hosting it with a 3rd party service, can this be done?

  19. thank you very much. Nice share…

  20. What about the speed of opening a web site as it relates to SEO? Any concern there? I heard Google was adding this component to their algorithm.

  21. Bob Nolin says:

    For step 2, the plugin you mention seems to be defunct. Click on the link, you’ll see what I mean. Is there a work-around?

    Thanks -

  22. Is there a way to restrict some users from accessing the video on my site?

  23. Adriana says:

    I tried to follow the instruction above, but the first thing I realized is the WP-FLV plugin is outdated. So I downloaded FLV Embed. I followed your other instructions to create a video folder and include the flvplayer.swf file in it. I also added my video files in that folder. But I am still lost…..any suggestions on what to do next? I don’t understand the FLV Embed Plugin on WP…..your suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

  24. Moloy says:

    Hey!!

    Thanks to solostream team.

    I was recently trying to insert video into my wordpress blog by the “Add video” button in the admin panel with the expectation that the video will show up when I click on the “Insert video into post” button but finally I just got a link when I published the post. Browsing through I just found this post here and I am happy to learn that there is a pluging I need to install to get it right way. That was really great. I also subscribed for solostreams newsletter by the id moloyart@gmail.com :)

    Anyways, I found a lot of guys visiting this post. It would be great if someone could help me answer a simple question.
    Does anyone have any idea which software may have been used to develop these?

    1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMSqxSDsXdM

    2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsZMxvROR_M&feature=player_embedded

    I just keep wondering how magnificently the screen shots have been animated with a 3D feel. Everything seems to be so 3D but I cannot imagine this to be a 3D max output.

    Can anyone help!

    Regards

    Moloy

  25. Umrah hajj says:

    Its no surprise that WordPress is getting so Video savvy to say. I am sure, 2 years down the line, almost all Blog sites will have a video in it. Humans relate far better to a Video ( Talking man ) than spend hours reading text.

  26. Toma says:

    Thanks very much for this information. Long live the internet and the community of people, such as yourself, that make it what it is.

  27. Myrtle Beach says:

    I consider video blogging to be sooner rather than later more popular then mere text blogging, if only a picture is worth a thousand words.

  28. MELISSA says:

    What If I want to also make short how to videos and sell them on my site?
    How would I set that up?
    would I be able to do that via wordpress or do I need another blog site or my own website?

    I can put everything on youtube except what I want to charge for… just trying to figure this out.

    dance101.org has 3 dance class videos you can download and buy on their site, this is kindof what I am interested in on top of keeping an interesting enough blog

    • Michael says:

      Hi Melissa. You’d likely need to use some sort of membership plugin, such a Wishlist Member, so that only your paying customers could have access to the videos.

    • Johnny G says:

      This might be off topic and a long comment, but Ive recently completed a similar project so I cant resist helping others with similar issues.

      There are many number of ways you can do this, Melissa, depending on how technically savvy you are.

      For starters, I second the Wishlist member suggestion though I think that this option would be good if you’ll be adding videos regularly and sell them via a monthly membership model.

      I saw dance101.org and I think if you only want to sell a few videos a la carte, then you dont need any plugin, just a paypal account and a secure place to store your videos. After completing the paypal transaction, paypal would automatically redirect them to a webpage with instructions and password on how they can access the video/videos.

      The problem with hosting your videos in youtube is that other people may freely access those videos. Unless of course, you set your account to private (under broadcast options -> private) but last time I checked, only 25 people can subscribe to a private channel, and you’d be doing this manually.

      You may have to host your own videos in your server or hosting account or find some other third party provider to host the videos for you. Check out AMazon S3 service for some affordable hosting.

  29. Kulin says:

    Thats a nice article

  30. estetik says:

    Thanks for sharing an article …:))) much fun ….

  31. mindy says:

    Personally i think this is a good post. I’ll be sure to come back for more..
    Also, i have bookmark your site!

    Mindy

  32. shahram says:

    You said: “If the video files and video player are not in the same folder/directory, this won’t work.” Do you mean, this method will not work at all? Because it sounds like you identify the file during the blog posting process. Would it not be possible to just enter the full path or URL to the Flash movie file? I’m hosting my video on a seperate site.

  33. zayıflama says:

    What settings would I use?

    Thanks

  34. Video blogging will have an edge over text blogging just because a picture is worth a thousand words.

  35. primrosemill says:

    I’ve been text blogging on WP to date. WP must rank as the e pluribus unum amongst blog sites. This added feature of video blogging I have not attempted, but do intend to soon enough.

  36. this is good job!It was a very nice idea! Just wanna say thank you for the information you have shared. Just continue writing this kind of post. I will be your loyal reader. Thanks again.

  37. Antonio says:

    i’m working with swf only, i have a swf for each page, is there a way this system can be used for swf?

  38. Ooine says:

    I’ve done it as well. You just have to use code view and never look at your post in visual mode again. You don’t need to use a plug-in.

    Cheers.

  39. niks says:

    this is nice blog
    i am always looking for this type of post

  40. oyun says:

    Rather than using the Riva Encoder, I used Macromedia Flash 8 Video Encoder. Worked like a charm! Thanks for your help.

  41. assos says:

    thanks for contribution. very nice and useful article..

  42. Are there any updates to the article its very interesting but if there is any updates I would like to know about them before I start. But thanks for the original.

  43. Pat says:

    Hi, I see comments here as far back as ’06. Im new to WP… Is the tutorial uptodate? Just wondering if there’s a better way today

  44. David Ostrow says:

    I think I followed the instructions in this blog http://www.solostream.com/2006/08/05/set-up-a-video-blog-or-how-to-add-flash-video-to-your-wordpress-site/

    My blog is at new.fitgolf.com. I added the video folder to the folder NEW on my server. This folder NEW is on the root of the server so the path to it is /new/video. I put the flash player in that directory so it is a /new/video/flvplayer.swf, and I uploaded a video that I converted to flash. The file is 4Some.flv. its path is /new/video/4Some.flv .

    I followed the directions you gave in the blog above to set up the post. I used the FLV button in the editor…and yes I turned off the visual editor. This is what shows in the editor after I insert the video using the FLV button. then I click on the save button and it changes the text to this : Foursome Training

    I then published the post, and clicked on preview. If you click on this link you will see what I get: http://new.fitgolf.com/recent-news/1704 . If you click on the “Foursome Training” Link you will see the error I get…”Page not Found”.

    In the WP-FLV Options I have this http:///video/flvplayer.swf as the path to the player. Quicktag is set to yes. Default URL to video is /video , size is 320×240, autostart is no, and xhtml code is no. In the (x)html to be place before each player is and in the (x)html to be place after each player is

    What am I doing wrong.

    Dave

  45. islami video says:

    i just used Roel Meurders’ plug-in for the first time the other day and I love it. thanx for the other tips too.

  46. mssbee says:

    Important: the player needs to be named flvplayer.swf for the video to show up on your blog. I had to rename mine.

    Change line 198 of wp-flv.php to have the flv button appear in both new posts and new pages:
    if(strpos($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'], ‘page-new.php’) || strpos($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'], ‘post-new.php’

  47. Rspre says:

    Michael,

    I searched all over the internet for a tutorial like this – and finally found it here. Thank you SO much.

    Daniel

  48. Nickler says:

    I am very much a newbie in all respects. I have attempted to follow to a t the specific instrutions. Whenever I “save” I only get a blank video format and when I place my pointer over the blank a gray outline appears and the message click to activate but nothing happens and no video appears at any time. I know this may be difficult to diagnose considering all of the many steps involved, but would you have any clue at all?

  49. What about tag pages? I’m finding that alot of my traffic is coming from tag pages. I didn’t see any settings for true/false with regard to tag pages. Thx.

  50. oyun says:

    Thanks for the content. Vlogging is a powerful new tool to use which I am working on

  51. youtube says:

    Hey, thanks so much for taking time to write this easy to understand tutorial…it made it so easy to install a flash video on my customer’s WP site…thanks a million!

  52. Mike Durkin says:

    No updates at this time. We will look into that idea.

  53. Mike Durkin says:

    No updates at this time.

Leave a Reply

No Theme Support Questions Please

We will not respond to theme support questions submitted via this form.. If you've purchased one of our themes or a Premium Themes Membership, please visit the Solostream Support Forum for support questions. To do so, login to the Solostream Member's Area, and click the link for the Solostream Support Forum.