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embedded contentAnyone who has a blog on WordPress knows that embedding content normally goes pretty much smoothly there – unless you have to deal with different types of content and codes.

WordPress Editor is awful when it comes to embedding an iFrame – besides, in some cases, it chooses to strip the embed code once you click from “HTML” tab to “Visual” editor.

Embedly is a new promising start-up that is said to help you “embed anything” to your blog post. It works via the Embedly oEmbed API that currently supports about 100 huge content sources that can be embedded to your blog with one click.


The problems that the plugin is aiming to solve:

  • Different content providers have different embed codes – with the plugin you no more need to worry about that. Just use one unified way to embed anything.
  • Some huge content sources do not provide for a clear way to share their content without hosting it – the plugin expands your possibilities by letting you embed what you have never tried to.

Installing Embedly

The Embedly WordPress plugin is installed just like any regular plugin: choose your preferred way (either manually or with the help of the WordPress admin area plugin installer) and activate the plugin.

Immediately after that you should see a new menu section called “Embedly”. That new section lists all your services that you can from now on “effortlessly” embed to your blog.

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There’s an option to disable any of the services (I couldn’t find a reason to disable any of them – even if I am not going to use it in the near future, who knows, maybe I’ll need it at some point).

embedded content

Besides obvious sources like YouTube, SlideShare and Scribd, you’ll be surprised to see a few popular sites you’d never think to embed content from, such as:

  • Twitter;
  • Craiglist;
  • CNN;
  • Amazon;
  • Digg, etc

Give It A Try

So how exactly does Embedly make it easier to embed content? You are going to love it!

From now on you don’t need an embed code to embed anything. All you need is your content source URL – just paste it in your editor and it will be converted into a rich embed!

Now let’s give it a try. Create a new post, add some short introduction and try embedding, say, your Tweet.

Embedding A Tweet

All you need is to grab your Tweet direct URL and copy-paste it into your WordPress Editor. When you are saving the draft or publishing the draft, this URL will be turned into the embedded Tweet:

embedded content

(Much easier than even BlackBird 4 Easy Ways to Embed Twitter Tweets into Your Blog with Blackbird 4 Easy Ways to Embed Twitter Tweets into Your Blog with Blackbird Read More , isn’t it?).

Now let’s try to embed other types of content:

Embedding YouTube Video

Just grab the video URL and copy-paste it into the editor. I was curious to see which dimensions the embed video was going to be. The choice turned out to be a bit unexpected: looks like the plugin used the small size (see the actual output on my test post):

content in blog

So we tested it with a Tweet and with a video. Now let’s try something different for a change: Compete.com. How has the start-up been doing in terms of traffic? All we need is to copy-paste this URL – http://siteanalytics.compete.com/embed.ly – right into the editor:

content in blog

Looks like a great tool! What are your thoughts about it?  Let us know in the comments.

  1. Vivek Parmar
    January 19, 2011 at 11:40 am

    One question though, using this plugin will update the status (like your content on the sites mentioned in this screen-shot) on other sites, without affecting your content??

    • Ann Smarty
      January 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      Hey Vivek, not sure what you are asking but I think the answer would be no as the plugin creates their own embedded code...

  2. Kibot Rusak
    November 26, 2010 at 2:52 am

    Rog, you can get Apture for free by visiting their own site. >> http://apture.com/ ;)

  3. J.L. "J7" Gatewood StarrWulfe
    November 23, 2010 at 4:36 am

    also make sure you aren't wrapping ANY HTML around your URL that you want auto-embedded. Check the HTML view. It has to be on a line by itself and totally naked. For example:

    http://youtu.be/whatever <<-- will work.
    <center>http://youtu.be/whatever</center&gt; <<--will not work.

  4. J.L. "J7" Gatewood StarrWulfe
    November 23, 2010 at 3:12 am

    I'm going to be working on embedly's plugin to make it use shortcodes optionally for those of us that don't want to place it on a separate line, or just need something like the thumbnail of the video/image/audio cd cover for our sites. If someone out there is good at making wordpress plugins, then please give me a hand! :D

  5. Ann Smarty
    November 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Have you managed to figure the problem, Gav?

    Edit: just saw the comment below. Great you managed to make it work!

  6. Anonymous
    November 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Love it! Embedly is now the default embed plugin for any of my WP installations

  7. Anonymous
    November 21, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I can't find Apture plugin on WP page. Could anybody send me this plugin to roman.rogner.cz@gmail.com? Thanks...

  8. Rogner
    November 21, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I can't find Apture plugin on WP page. Could anybody send me this plugin to roman.rogner.cz@gmail.com? Thanks...

  9. gav
    November 21, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Might have to give APTURE a go for now - thanks for that Kibot!

    • Ann Smarty
      November 21, 2010 at 7:41 pm

      Have you managed to figure the problem, Gav?

      Edit: just saw the comment below. Great you managed to make it work!

  10. gav
    November 21, 2010 at 2:39 am

    Ok - I'm guessing I've got some additional plugin that is blocking this... I tend to use the most common WP plugins that everyone uses, it's late so I gotta leave it for now.. but anyone can suggest what it might be or if I'm just doing something dumb it would be appreciated lol :-)

  11. Kibot Rusak
    November 21, 2010 at 2:38 am

    i'm still using APTURE, work fine on my blog... :p

  12. gav
    November 21, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Damn - i've just tried on my blog and it doesn't seem to work? Anyone have the same problem... unless I am doing something really dumb... it is late i guess I will have another crack in the morning ;-)

    • J.L. "J7" Gatewood StarrWulfe
      November 23, 2010 at 3:08 am

      make sure you deactivate any plugin that also parses the text for URLs first. Sometimes there'll be a conflict with another plug-in too. My apture plugin conflicts with Embedly at times, but I manually changed the plug-in order to make embeddly #1 so it parses first.

    • J.L. "J7" Gatewood StarrWulfe
      November 23, 2010 at 3:36 am

      also make sure you aren't wrapping ANY HTML around your URL that you want auto-embedded. Check the HTML view. It has to be on a line by itself and totally naked. For example:

      http://youtu.be/whatever <<-- will work.
      http://youtu.be/whatever <<--will not work.

  13. gav
    November 21, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Wow! That is seriously awesome, thanks for this I am a WP convert and this makes me love it more!! Keep these coming

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