YouTube is a fantastic resource in all sorts of ways, and one of its most useful functions for business websites is the ability to ‘embed’.

This is basically a bit of techie sleight of hand. It LOOKS as though the video is on your site, with its size and shape placed where you decided looked best, and you can indeed play it in from there. But really, the video is on the YouTube site. You get the benefit of playing the video without having to host the huge video files. All your site has to handle is a ‘stream’ – like a flick book, played in one frame at a time.

So we spent a few years thinking this was all very wonderful, but people are never satisfied, and they started noticing the YouTube branding – the titles at the top, the video player at the bottom, the ‘recommended videos’ at the end. And YouTube eventually conceded that if you’re a techie genius and can work out the code, you can get rid of nearly all the branding.

I’m not such a genius but by dint of careful study I figured out how to do this. I’m afraid this assumes you have a WordPress site, as I do.

1) Go to your website.

2) If you’re viewing the site like a visitor, I e no access to the techie bits, look at the site name (url) in the top bar and see if it ends with /wp-admin

3) If it does, press return and you will be asked for your username and password. Type it in and press return.

4) If you don’t see ‘wp-admin’, type it in on the top bar. Now press return, and you will be asked for your username and password as in (3).

5) Now you’re on the Dashboard, and there’s a black bar along the top. On the right, click your own name and then ‘edit my profile’.

6) There’s all sorts of stuff on the profile page, but for now you just want to make sure ‘Show Toolbar when viewing site’ is ticked. That makes it easier to flick between viewing the site and looking at WordPress.

7) Scroll right down to bottom of page and click ‘Update Profile’.

8) Top left, click on the site name and then ‘Visit Site’.

9) Go to the page where the video is, click to open the page, then on the top bar, click ‘Edit Page’.

10) In the computer code (css) box there are two tabs, ‘visual’ and ‘text’. Click ‘text’.

11) Find the YouTube embed code, which will look something like this. I have put spaces in the word YouTube to stop it inserting the actual video into this post:

[y o u t u b e  i d=”OcmDx4IVshE” width=”300″ height=”167″]

12) If you are as innumerate as me, this next bit will be a bit scary, but just follow this exactly and you’ll be fine. The YouTube code is the sequence of letters and numbers within the first ” ” quotes and after the first = equals. You are going to insert some more code. First put your cursor before the final ” and press return. This is just to create some space for yourself. It doesn’t affect the code’s meaning. You now have something like this:

[y o u t u b e I d=”OcmDx4IVshE
” width=”300″ height=”167″]

13) Now select and copy the following horrendous-looking code:


14) Paste it after the final letter of the YouTube code but before the “, like this:

[y o u t u b e I d=”OcmDx4IVshE?&autohide=1?&autoplay=1?&controls=0?&modestbranding=1?&rel=0?&showinfo=0

” width=”300″ height=”167″]

15) Put your cursor in front of the “ and press ‘backspace’ to get rid of the return space you inserted before. Make sure you don’t accidentally erase any code.

[y o u t u b e I d=”OcmDx4IVshE?&autohide=1?&autoplay=1?&controls=0?&modestbranding=1?&rel=0?&showinfo=0” width=”300″ height=”167″]

Spot the difference? We’ve just deleted the space between o and , that’s all!

16) On right hand side, click ‘update’; at the top click ‘view page’.

17) Did it work? You may get some branding at the very beginning but it disappears within a second or two.

18) If you are getting black bars at the sides or top & bottom of the video, try adjusting the width & length numbers. Just type a greater or lesser number between the quote marks until it’s just right.

To see the effect of this, check out the videos on my ‘about’ page:

Good luck!