How to Embed a Video in Your ActiveRain Post (2019 Edition)

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

I have recently been going back and reviewing my old posts as I plan my schedule of upcoming new posts. The more I look, the more I realize that the methods I described were for how things used to be and so those methods no longer work! Today's post is one of such needed updates:
How to embed videos in ActiveRain posts

Like a few other things here in ActiveRain, we are in  'workaround mode' until (when and if) we get some updates to our blog composition tools. Meanwhile the workaround procedures do work for us and today's how-to is going to show you that.

Let's start with a video that you want to share. To illustrate, let me use a fun and informative video about making Onion Soup, by Dick Greenberg. When you are on a youtube video page, you'll need to copy the video URL to your clipboard as shown below.

In the blog composition toolbar, there is a nifty button to Insert a Video. If you use that button and paste the URL that you have on your clipboard, voila! done! ...errr, well that is how is USED to work. Now when you check your preview mode, you just get a blank frame where the video should be.

The workaround fix is quite simple once you know it. After you insert the video via the above method, select the video and then click the same 'insert/edit video' button again. Those with eagle eyes will notice that AR adjusted the original URL that you had pasted and now the modified version includes /embed/ in the video path. But this URL transformation ALSO causes one tiny thing to be omitted that is the reason why your video does not appear and that is the letter 's'

Since youtube is now all https: based, when AR removes the s a the end of the http, your video will not appear. Once you are back in the editing box, simply put the s and the end of the http and you'll be all set! 

There's one other adjustment that I highly recommend that you consider. Notice in the illustration below what happens when you accept the default dimensions from the insert video button. 425x350 pixel sizing is not the same proportions as videos are. This causes black bands on the top and the bottom known as letter boxing. I suggest you consider using 560x315 for a medium sized video embed or 700x394 for a video embed the full width of the blog post content area. In either case, UNcheck the 'constrain proportions' setting so it will let you enter these pairs of values.

Finally, if you have any blog posts in your archives with video embeds, you may have to spend a little time editing these old posts to put back the s in the https embeds. Otherwise, the videos in your older blog posts may no longer be showing!

And below is Dick's video embedded so you can check it out! After watching it, I suggest all of you head over to his onion soup post and leave a comment and tell him we are thinking of him!

The second method of inserting a youtube is to get the embed code that youtube will generate for you. Let's pick another video to share and we can illustrate the embed code technique. Debb Janes has a great video explaining why she has such a great insight on multi-generational homes.

In the above illustration, you can see how the share > embed option will generate the HTML code that can be used to embed a video. Once you see that screen, use the COPY link at the bottom as the easiest way to get the code on your clipboard.

Once you have the code, in your ActiveRain blog editing screen you'll need to use the 'view source code' button in order to paste the text. But before you do that, I suggest you give yourself a breadcrumb (i.e. a unique word like videogoeshere) that you can search for. Use the Ctrl+F (Command+F on Mac) shortcut to search for the word in the jumble of HTML code. Once you find that word in your HTML source, delete the word and paste the code that you have on your clipboard.

Tech tip: if you want the 700x394 sizing of the video embed, you can also edit those numbers in your HTML code to get that size video.


And below is Debb's video embedded so you can actually watch it.

Here's a link to Debb's video post so you can be sure to stop over there and leave a comment. Be sure and tell her what a wonderful job she's doing!! :)

If you have any questions about the above technical how-to's, you can watch my demonstration video below where I walk you through the steps (I recommend clicking the full screen button in the lower right corner once the video starts so you can see the details better)

Postscript additional thought - I discovered as I inserted the above tutorial video, that if you want users to have the full screen viewing option, you should use the second method shown (copy/pasting the HTML embed code). This is because in that embed code is a parameter setting that allows full screen viewing, whereas if use the insert video button on the toolbar clicking the full screen button when viewing the video will give you a "not allowed" type of message.

And there you have it, how to embed a video into your ActiveRain blog post (the 2019 edition). Did you learn anything new today? I hope so, mission accomplished! See you next week with another Craig's Classroom post.

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Craig Daniels
This blog is all about technology and helping you to use it smarter! Your digital footprint is your chance to attract new clients. What kind of impression are you making via your website, blog, and social media? We’ll be talking about that! Are you as productive as you can be? What apps might help you out? Do you know how to use all the best tools inside the apps? I enjoy photography and videography, you can expect to see those topics also on this blog.
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PS - get ready for some homework… :) 

Comments (29)

Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 602.710.8161 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Craig, thanks for posting this tutorial. I book-marked it, and will come back when I finally decied to post the video I did in December. I had been wondering how to do it, and now I have step by step guidance. Thanks very much!

Dec 26, 2019 08:46 AM
Craig Daniels

hi Steffy - I love the part that says "post the video I did" - add it to the youtube thursdays group when you do the post so we have a chance to see it :)

Dec 26, 2019 09:02 AM
Matt Brady
Watermark Capital - Del Mar, CA
One of San Diego's Best Lenders

WOW! That is a lot of information, and surprisingly a lot of great information. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Merry New Year!

Dec 26, 2019 09:26 AM
Craig Daniels

Hi Matt, glad you enjoyed the info! thanks for stopping by :)

Dec 26, 2019 01:29 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Craig - more valuable stuff - definitely bookmark material.  On a side note:  it's always good to see Dick Greenberg make an ActiveRain appearance even when he is used as an "example".  

Dec 26, 2019 09:28 AM
Craig Daniels

Michael - too bad there aren't more hours in a day, right? I know he'd like to be back if he had the time. Hope he knows we were thinking of him :)

Dec 26, 2019 01:30 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Nice post, and I am glad that many will get to refresh their videos, in case they disappeared...A

Dec 26, 2019 10:22 AM
Craig Daniels

hopefully the edit is now more clear and quick even if it is a bit of a pain to deal with. thanks for the visit!

Dec 26, 2019 01:32 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

Another truly excellent tutorial.  Thank you for that.

Dec 26, 2019 10:44 AM
Craig Daniels

glad to see you came over for a visit Alan, thanks!

Dec 26, 2019 01:33 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I always appreciate your special tips, Craig.  They are helpful to quite a number of us here on ActiveRain.

Dec 26, 2019 11:53 AM
Craig Daniels

this one was perplexing me until I was able to uncover the one little missing but essential character. thanks Myrl!

Dec 26, 2019 01:35 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Craig, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Dec 26, 2019 11:53 AM
Craig Daniels

awesome, thanks!

Dec 26, 2019 01:35 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Craig:

The tutorial was excellent and a terrific plus for the post - it's nice to have a couple of options should they be needed.

Interestingly I checked a couple of recent posts with video and things were fine, other than the size - I had used the AR embed link and the code from YT and there was no issue with https missing. I suspect if I look back further I will find problems to fix. GOod to know what to do now.


Dec 26, 2019 05:05 PM
Craig Daniels

Hi Jeff. I enjoyed recording a video tutorial again. It had been a while and it was good practice to remember the edit skills required in post production. As long as you used the embed code, you should be fine since AR hasn't been altering those to http. But if you do find any old http video embeds at least you know it is an easy fix! thanks for coming to check out the post! :)

Dec 27, 2019 05:38 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Hi Craig, I usually add my videos using the HTML Code. but, now I can also use the other method you provided here.

Dec 26, 2019 05:48 PM
Craig Daniels

Hi Rebecca. I'd say keep doing the embed method if you already are used to it! The more I think about all the 'workarounds' needed for the video button, plus no full screen viewing option, the more I recommend that latter option (embed). great to see you!

Dec 27, 2019 05:39 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Once again...I am so glad that you're back!!!! I've been inserting videos via the embed method where you go into HTML, not because I know HTML but it's how I was taught (probably by you) and I didn't want to rock the boat. Now I'd better go back and look at old videos.   I'm also going to take some notes for the better sizes. Thank you!!!!!

Dec 26, 2019 06:56 PM
Craig Daniels

Hi Kathy, keep doing the HTML embeds, great job! Because you did them that way already the http/https problem should not be an issue in your older posts (AR has not been altering the code when you do it this way). But good that you make a little post it reminder on the embed sizing (haha in my video, I needed that note as I kept on forgetting the numbers). Good to get the videos to the full 700 width of our posts!

Dec 27, 2019 05:42 AM
CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren


I like using the embed video. It makes it easy and not complicated at all.


Dec 27, 2019 12:12 AM
Craig Daniels

Lauren, that's awesome. The HTML embed copy/paste option is the way to go for those willing to venture into the source code view :)

Dec 27, 2019 05:43 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Thank you for that very informative post. Much appreciated being somewhat new to Active Rain.

Dec 27, 2019 06:24 AM
Craig Daniels

so glad I can be helpful Leanne, thanks for letting me know! :)

Dec 28, 2019 02:05 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Thanks again for all your contributions to the members in Active Rain.  We appreciate it. 


Dec 27, 2019 07:09 AM
Craig Daniels

thanks Debb! now we just keep nudging people to be embedding their own videos, right?? ;)

Dec 28, 2019 02:06 PM
Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I've been using your 2nd method but sometimes have a hard time figuring out where to insert it. Using a "breadcrumb" is a great idea - thanks!

Dec 27, 2019 10:41 AM
Craig Daniels

hi Margaret, yeah sometimes it's like now where did I park again?? I know it's here somewhere :)

Dec 28, 2019 02:07 PM
Marie-Denise Kratsios
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Huntington, NY
Where ever you are, that's where I'll be!

As always, a very helpful post, Craig. I had a tough time a while back trying to insert a video. I kept getting that darn blank frame. With the help of another Activerain member we figured it out, but he even had a tough time time trying to figure out why I kept getting the empty frame. This is definitely a post to bookmark.
By the way, my husband and I are enroute to Jersey as I write this and we're just about to enter Staten Island. I'm waving!

Dec 28, 2019 09:50 AM
Craig Daniels

hi Marie, waving back, did you see? :)

Dec 28, 2019 02:08 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

I love that you are so helpful to the membership, Craig - have I told you how much you were missed?!! 

Dec 28, 2019 01:49 PM
Craig Daniels

hi Debe, thanks!!!   

Dec 28, 2019 02:11 PM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Wow!    Once again, your step by step tutorial explains exactly how to do something some of us had know idea how to do.  Bookmarked!  Thanks!

Dec 29, 2019 10:45 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Great tutorial & this one is a little tough to understand I think for newbies. I know it & I had to laugh because I just found 3 videos just this week that I had to insert the 's' on. Somehow they were missed.

Dec 29, 2019 01:54 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Craig, for sharing this very helpful advice.

Dec 30, 2019 04:36 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Thank you so much for sharing this. I've not been very active lately and had no idea there was an issue with posting videos. I'll have to make some time to go back and review my older posts. 

Dec 30, 2019 08:08 AM