May 15, 2012

The New Wistia Wordpress Plugin!

Alyce Currier

Marketing

Wordpress is a great blogging platform. It’s easy to make posts and revisions, or to customize your theme. There’s a smorgasbord of plugins at your fingertips. To that smorgasbord, we have now added our own Wistia plugin!

Wordpress can be a volatile place for web video. Javascript, Flash, and HTML5 elements — these are all things that historically have trouble making it from the post editor to the user’s screen. External scripts get stripped, inline scripts get mangled, HTML tags and attributes get removed. And this is all happening at multiple levels: in the editor itself and when the page is displayed.

Of course, there are some good reasons for this behavior, and I think it’s important to understand that many of these limitations are intentional. For example, external scripts and Flash are blocked by default to prevent common hacks like cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. IFrames can’t be transparent because, theoretically, a malicious iFrame could take over the entire page. Javascript is often mangled so that it can be validated as XHTML, but the Wordpress parser is imperfect. And TinyMCE, the editor used by Wordpress, has its own set of filtering rules!

In the past, our solution at Wistia was to provide an oEmbed link and a Wordpress plugin to enable it. This worked well enough for a while, but it’s ultimately an imperfect solution. Our feeling at Wistia is that, if you need to use a plugin, then why shouldn’t any Wistia embed code work flawlessly?

To get the Wistia Wordpress Plugin, go into the Plugins section of the Wordpress admin panel, click “Add New,” and search for “Wistia.” You should get a result for “Wistia WordPress oEmbed Plugin” or “Wistia Wordpress Plugin” — we’re trying to get the name changed. Click Install Automatically, activate it, and you’re done! Now any embed code generated from Wistia’s SuperEmbed Builder should work flawlessly in your Wordpress posts. Paste it when you’re in HTML mode, then feel free to switch editing modes. The embed code might change slightly, but it should still work just fine!

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