How to add live streaming to your WordPress site?
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
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:
- Fastest WordPress Hosting – Beginner’s Guide to Finding One
- The Best WordPress Shared Hosting Providers in the World [By the Numbers + INFOGRAPHIC]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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