How to add live streaming to your WordPress site?

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If you look around, you won’t see a lot of live streaming talks when it comes to WordPress, as not too many businesses and companies use this kind of service. But if you have a site that requires a 24/7 coverage from a specific place or you simply want to launch a website with live sports competitions, then you need to learn how to do it right. Call live streaming a niche if you want.

Live videos can boost the engagement of your site because people will often come back to check the pulse of an event or place and to watch various things they won’t be able to see another way.

Well, there are a couple of essential steps you need to take into account to run a successful live streaming website.

Take a strong web host

live video

Self-hosted videos don’t work the same as the embedded ones. They will weight your site and consume your bandwidth more than usual, let alone the big traffic generated by the people who watch the live video simultaneously. So, it does matter what hosting you have. Because if you want to stream high-quality videos and do it very well – without facing a site or a video crash – then you need a strong one.

To pick the right web host for your live broadcasting site or blog, don’t hesitate to do some advanced research before choosing one. For a better knowledge, you might want to read these articles:

Sometimes, for a better speed, you could try a CDN to increase your site’s loading times considerably. There are a lot of CDNs for multimedia sites out here, but it’s not really necessary to take one until you’re facing speed issues with your site.

Start with a good host and go for secondary solutions just in case.

Make sure your theme handles live streaming

Basically, live videos can be simply added through plugins or video platforms to any site or blog, but not all the WordPress themes can support live streaming. Before choosing and installing a specific theme, find out if it can handle multimedia files. Because if it doesn’t, then you can’t proceed and you’ll need to change it.

There’s nothing WordPress people miss, anyway. There are a couple of themes primarily made for big live broadcasting sites.

livetheme

For instance, Live Theme and VideoPress are two themes built to work as video streaming themes, which means that they come with a ready-made interface for this kind of purposes and you don’t need to do too many customizations to transform a normal theme into one that works as a broadcasting theme.

You need a special live streaming theme only if you want to use it for this very purpose and want to broadcast lots of events. But if you need a single live video that won’t get too many people watching it at the same time – live streaming of the Christmas market in a specific city, recorded with the webcam, for instance – there’s no need to use such a theme.

How to add live streaming in WordPress?

Okay then, now that I mentioned these two important steps in preparing your site for live broadcasting, it’s time to talk about how to effectively add a live video to your WordPress site or blog.

There are a couple of video platforms here that you can use to stream your events. The most popular ones that come to mind now are Ustream, Livestream, Webnethosting, and YouTube.

livestream

Also, ever heard about Periscope? It’s a live video coverage app for smartphones, owned by Twitter, that lets you stream anything you like on your social media channels, with the mention that the videos are deleted after 24 hours. Anyone can see your video and interact with it through comments, likes, or shares.

Anyway, if you’re looking for more professional video streams, Periscope is not a good idea. It’s more for fun or for small side-projects somehow.

Setting up any of these resources linked above is not difficult. Each one comes with its own “rules” and pricing plans that you need to follow. The thing you need to know is that, after setting any of these live streaming platforms, the providers will give you a unique code which you will embed in your site.

WordPress plugins never miss from the list

Is there anything in this world that WordPress plugins can’t do? Apparently, live streaming is not on the list because WordPress comes with its own free plugins that do a great job.

The most popular of them is VideoWhisper Live Streaming that is simple to manage right from the dashboard.

videowhisper live streaming

This plugin has lots of great features and tells you everything you need to do to have it all setup. It is simple to use and helps you to successfully stream live videos on your site.

VideoWhisper Live Streaming plugin is really cool and does the job for you, but for professional and big websites based on live coverage – like television or media sites – I recommend you to use the specialized platforms I listed above, for a “master” approach and a better support. When even the smallest detail matters to you, you should take the best tool out here.

Still, VideoWhisper plugin is great enough if you want to cover something from your workplace, to show the atmosphere from an event, or to introduce a product live. It really depends on how much you are going to use the live streaming.

For example, for showing live video from a city market or the weather on the beach, you won’t need a very professional service.

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Conclusion

Each type of live broadcasting involves a specific type of tools. Adding live videos to your site could be very interesting and fun and will totally bring you a bigger number of users, especially if you’re broadcasting some popular events everyone knows about or something extreme. It’s up to you to pick the right service, and for that, you need to know your goals very well.

Do you need it for showing up webcam images from time to time or for broadcasting TV shows and news 24/7 hours? Because there’s an appropriate tool for each of your choices.


Author Bio

Adelina Tuca a writer and WordPress blogger at CodeinWP and Of living & pressing. I love sports, hiking, books, rock music, and I like to put on paper everything I find challenging and unique.


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  • Sarah

    Hi, thanks for the information. I want to start a website – it’s a free service but will have a payment area for VIP access, merchandise etc. I will need to have live streaming and I’m hoping the popularity of the site will be as popular as TedTalks or YouTube. However, there will only be one livestream on at any one time so if you had say 1 million Viewers or more at one time logging in, it’s important it’s not going to crash, that the livestream works effectively, that the site can handle the volume of people in one go as well as the possibility that they will all check out the site at the same time when the livestream is complete. With all of these things in mind a) do you think WordPress can handle this because I’ve been told numerous times over the past couple of weeks that it doesn’t integrate well and that it can be quite difficult? b) do you think Livestream (which is my product of choice but my mind could be changed) will be able to embed/integrate and still maintain it’s efficiency at time of play? c) I can’t think of a ‘c’ but you might be able to answer a question I need to know that I haven’t asked…. Really appreciate your comments.

    • Hi Sarah. It’s great to know that you are going to start a website. Our best wishes for you.
      Regarding your query, if WordPress can handle a live streaming site or not I suggest you to employ the professional developers and designers, a premium theme specifically built for a live streaming site and secure plugins. Some of the themes and plugins are suggested above on the blog as well. If you put best efforts to ensure quality, WordPress platform will rock for your live streaming site.
      Thanks, Sunita

  • Hi jeff,
    Thanks for writing in.
    There should be various ways but one of the simplest and free methods is to stream in the youtube. And then you will be able to add the embed code anywhere you like and in any number of websites you want.
    I hope it helps you. 🙂


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