Including videos in the blog posts could be an excellent idea to bring some variety in your content. Nowadays, most bloggers have their own video channels (so does Harsh Agarwal, the founder of ShoutMeLoud).
If you have a video channel in YouTube and frequently embed the videos in your website, you should generate proper thumbnails for them. An appropriate thumbnail will provide your visitors with a better chance to understand what the video contains and what to expect from it.
While it is possible to create a thumbnail manually, there are easier options for smart Shouters like you. In today’s post, I will show you how to generate YouTube video thumbnails for WordPress within a minute.
You can also use Tubebuddy to generate thumbnail using your existing video. Also check out this awesome youtube tip in below video:
Note: This plugin works for Vine, Twitch, Vimeo & few others along with Youtube.
Getting Started with Video Thumbnails plugin:
In order to add video thumbnails, we will use the Video Thumbnails plugin. You can download this excellent, free plugin from WordPress plugin repository.
Once you have installed and activated the plugin, it will create a new submenu titled ‘Video Thumbnails’ under the ‘Settings’ menu.
Setting up Video Thumbnails
Go to Settings > Video Thumbnails to setup the plugin options. You will be taken to a screen like the following –
As you can see, the settings page is divided into several tabs. ‘General’, the first tab includes the basic options. By default, the first two options will be checked. Among them, ‘Save Thumbnails to Media Library’ will save a copy of the video thumbnail in your server.
The next one will automatically set the thumbnail as the featured image for that post. However, if you have already selected a featured image, that will not be changed by the plugin.
Then, in the ‘Post Types’ field, you can select for which post types you want to enable the video thumbnails. After making the necessary changes, click ‘Save Changes’.
The ‘Providers’ tab lets you configure various options if you are using videos from other sources like Vimeo, Tufou or Google Drive. Since we are concentrating only on YouTube videos, we can skip this tab.
Next, the ‘Mass Actions’ tab has two advanced options. ‘Scan All Posts’ will scan all the published posts and add video thumbnails where applicable. ‘Clear all Video Thumbnails’ will delete all the existing video thumbnails created by the plugin.
The ‘Debugging’ tab lets you run some basic tests to make sure that the plugin is working properly. And lastly, the ‘Support’ tab includes solution to some common problems.
How to add Video Thumbnail in WordPress:
Now that you have gone through the configuration process, let’s see how to add video thumbnails to a post.
For this purpose, you can create a new post or edit an existing post. In the post editor, you will notice a new metabox titled ‘Video Thumbnail’.
Since I don’t have any video in the post, the meta box couldn’t find any thumbnail for the post. Now, find out the video you want to include and copy the video URL.
Then, get back to the post editor and paste the URL where you want to display the video. WordPress will automatically convert the URL into an embedded video player.
Click ‘Update’. In the next screen, you will see that the plugin has automatically created a video thumbnail and also set the thumbnail as the featured image (if you didn’t set a featured image manually).
If you have checked the relevant option in the settings section, the video thumbnail will also be saved in the media library. You can use the thumbnail for promoting the post or other activities.
The Video Thumbnails plugin lets you save some time by creating the thumbnails automatically. If the plugin was not available, you had to open each video, take screenshots, edit them and finally upload them to your website. That is a long, tedious and unproductive way for smart shouters like you.
Let me know your thoughts about the plugin. If you are already using it, don’t forget to share your experience with us. And if you are using any other plugin for creating video thumbnails, let me know the name too.