In this tutorial, you will learn:
- How to quickly setup a free Cloudup media hosting account.
- How to create Media Collections.
- How to embed collections and individual media into WordPress.
Steps for Creating a Cloudup Account and Embedding Media
- First, go to cloudup.com, then click the Sign up Today button.
- Fill in the registration form, then click the Join Now button.
- Be sure to click the Confirm email address button in the email that you receive.
- Navigate through the 5 second tutorial. Optionally, you may install the Desktop and Mobile Cloudup software. I am going to skip that step. Finally, you will be in the Cloudup Dashboard where you can create streams and upload Media. Streams are a collection of Media of any type, and are often simply called Collections. I will use the terms Streams and Collections interchangeably. Upon uploading your first Media item, a stream will be created. You can embed streams, as well as individual Media items into WordPress.
- Let’s start by creating and configuring an empty stream. Click the Plus button at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
- Your stream is now created, and has a unique URL. Streams and Media are private and only accessible by their unique URLs. You have the option to password protect these URLs if desired. Click the Edit link at the top left of the screen to make changes to your stream properties.
- Give your Collection a name in the Title box, and specify a password if desired. I am not going to include a password in this demonstration.
- Now you have the option to add Media files and URLs to your collection. Click the Select Files button to locate files on your computer to upload to your collection.
- The URL in the Address Bar of your web browser is the URL that can be used to share your stream on your web site. To do so, copy the URL to your clipboard, then go to your WordPress Dashboard, click Posts, then click Add New.
- Give the post a title, and paste in the URL. Provided that the URL is pasted in as a plain URL on it’s own line, WordPress will invoke the OEmbed API, which will go out and get the proper Embed HTML for the stream. Save the post, and preview it on your web site.
- Back in Cloudup, click on the back arrow near the top left of the page. Here’s where you can privately navigate your stream, and get the embed links for each individual Media item. If you would like to embed items individually, click the left or right arrows to find the item, and copy the URL and paste into WordPress in the same way you did with the Stream URL. Let’s try it now for the video I uploaded.
- To close the stream and get back to the Cloudup Dashboard, click the X at the top right of the stream page. In here you can see your existing streams and create new ones.
- To delete a stream and all the Media within it, click the stream, then click Edit, then Delete, then confirm your decision.
I like Cloudup because it’s free and simple to use, and is a solution provided by WordPress’s Automattic. And anytime you update a stream within your Cloudup account, it gets updated anywhere it is embedded. Plus, you can create a mix of content like: images, audio, PDFs & slideshows and other docs, plus links, and videos. It’s nice too to be able to embed an entire collection, or individual items.
Now, when a video is part of a stream, and you embed the video, the rest of the stream becomes available as well, which may not be a desired effect. The workaround though, is to include a video in a stream all by itself. Another concern may be that all Media elements get hyperlinked automatically from WordPress. From those links, others can download and/or embed your content, which may not be desired.
Overall, Cloudup to me feels like it has some features that are only partially implemented. With that said, it is a good free alternative for video hosting, when YouTube isn’t wanted.
For a premium video hosting and delivery solution that works natively with WordPress and the Media Library, VideoPress by WordPress feels like a good solution and is available for about $100 per year. Other choices that can also protect content from being downloaded or embedded on any site but your own include Vimeo and Amazon S3.