A picture is worth a thousand words. According to Grant a video is worth millions. So when the content management system (CMS) that is used in millions of websites around the planet switches over to video you can expect billions of words to be transformed into video.

That's exactly what's happened as WordPress recently announced first VideoPress and then VideoPress.com. VideoPress is an update to their powerful and flexible content management system, WordPress in case you hadn't figured that out, that allows you to upload videos right to your blog at WordPress.com. But that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There's a Titanic-sized list of features that go along with this upgrade which could very well change everyday blogging from text straight to video (far cooler than those old B-movies that went straight to video I'm sure).

With the video upgrade (available on your upgrades page, bottom left of dashboard navigation at WordPress.com) when you upload a video it will automatically be encoded into several different bitrates just right for streaming on the web, DVD quality, HD quality, and even optimized for iTunes and Miro.

Videos can be streamed and embedded on WordPress.com or on any site around the world, even in full HD. But what's the price of such coolness? Well it will run you about $5 a month at WordPress.com, not too shabby for a fairly flexible video sharing platform. In fact if you compare it to some of the other major video platforms and you'll see the massive savings potential.

But what about the metrics? They're there too. Currently they're limited to the basics like how often something is viewed or how many times, but in standard WP fashion they're working to integrate more and more into it. Plus one of the really cool things is that the whole VideoPress WordPress video player and transcoder project is under the GPL and open to the world.

In regards to video encoding it will convert your video into h.264 MP4 and come in three flavors if the source material allows:

  • Standard video has width 400 px, and bit rate 796 kb/sec.
  • DVD video has width 640 px, and bit rate 1528 kb/sec.
  • HD video has width 1280 px, and bit rate 3128 kb/sec.

Depending on the width of the embed the player will choose the best of the three to display. But you can also on-the-fly switch into HD mode when available.  Of course your video needs to be of high enough quality to get all three. But your video can be an mp4, mov, wmv, avi, mpg or m4v and it will get processed. They say sizes of up to 1GB are fine and that you might even manage 1.5-2.0GB. That's pretty much a full-length feature film in HD!

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The player can be embedded pretty much anywhere that accepts a flash embed code and they even give you the embed and a short code (similar to YouTube) that you can pass around to all your friends. Heck, it's even customizable! The player has limited CSS-stylable elements in it to let you add your own touch.

What does it all mean Christophor?

Well I'm glad you (I) asked. Think about it. At the most basic level, YouTube is only video sharing. Yes there are some other features that you can setup within your own channel etc, but it's still limited to mostly video. Meanwhile WordPress has been all about words. It has allowed millions to open blogs quickly and easily and do amazing things with them. Now, those amazing things and interesting blog posts can all suddenly, be video-based. This could revolutionize not only blogging in general but video sharing as well. Personally I use WP in multiple places including my own personal site, several sites I built for clients and even my new firm I am starting up (still Top Secret, sort of). It's one of the quickest and easiest CMS to setup and configure. It's highly flexible and it's free. Since the entire VideoPress project is GPL that means that we could possibly see tons of offshoots and new innovative uses of the encoder and player within a matter of months I expect to see some plugin/remote server setups and could see them sliding ads into the mix to cover the bandwidth costs.

Why, I daresay it could be an online video revolution! Videopress could give power to the people and let them decide their destinies and...wait that's a little heavy-handed. It could at the very least change daily blogging from Word to Video at the drop of a hat for thousands. It could also lead to a whole new generation of awesome video content made by regular people... and that means a whole new space for video advertising! Perhaps WordPress (now with Video!) will be the new frontier of the online video advertising war.

The whole package is freely available and if you're one of those DIY people and have enough server power and bandwidth, why you could host all of your own videos on all of your own sites in a very short time, for free (at least the software will be).

What do you think? Let us know!

  • Brett Schaefer

    Wow...this is a really impressive addition to the WordPress stockpile of plugins. I really appreciate the flexibility of this new tool since it's right in step with the direction of the current technology. Can't really complain about the price either. Thanks for the information.

  • http://christophor-rick.com/ Christophor Rick

    But if you have a hosted WP blog and the upgrade you can then take the embed code and drop it on any site just like you can with YouTube. So that's not really so bad as you could still only pay $5 a month and drop the player code where you need it...That's what I was trying to get across as well in the article.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/RussHenneberry RussHenneberry

    Good stuff -- but I am a bit confused... is this available only to those on WordPress.com hosted blogs or to self-hosted blogs as well?

    • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ reelseo

      Russ, it is available via the upgrade only on wordpress.com hosted blogs. For self-hosting and for MU installations, it requires a dedicated transcoding server and a file server. Im looking into what these may take and how easy it might be to create a plugin for those that have self-hosted blogs. Kind of a bummer - Mark

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/traviscampbell traviscampbell

        Ahh, that is important... May still be useful for those who prefer not to host their own WordPress blog. Hopefully they will continue to improve it going forward.

  • Josh

    That's phenomenal! I know several artists and animators that will love utilizing this for their freelance sites.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/traviscampbell traviscampbell


    Thanks for the update, it's about time they get rolling with video :-) It will be interesting to see how reliable the service is, and if they get real traction in the marketplace, not to mention how competitors will respond. Embedding videos in WP blogs has been a bit of a pain for far too long.

    I see you have a YouTube embed video link, I will test it out, and see how it work.

    Keep us posted on your secret project too :-)
    [youtube dPFEdrx0pgA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPFEdrx0pgA youtube]

    • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ reelseo

      It works - the video embed... Although, I would prefer a video more related to the subject matter - that is video blogging...... Oh well, at least you got to try it out... =/

      Thanks Travis.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/traviscampbell traviscampbell


        Yes, I was hoping for a remove or resize option, didn't intend for it to take *that* much space. Feel free to remove it, no worries. Nice job again on the post. -Travis

        • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ reelseo

          Not a problem. Actually watched the whole video and found it very interesting... Sounds like you are doing some great things.... We should connect sometime. Im leaving it cause it doesnt hurt anything ;-)