I'm trying to parse a url and convert it to an embedded video player in my post's content but I think my regEx is off or I'm not creating a provider correctly.


Here is what I have setup now.

wp_embed_register_handler('brightcove', '/(players.brightcove.net/)([^/]+)/([^/]+)/index\.html\?videoId=([\d]+)/g', 'wp_embed_handler_brightcove');

function wp_embed_handler_brightcove($matches, $attr, $url, $rawattr) {

    // var_dump($matches, $attr, $url, $rawattr);

    $account  = esc_attr($matches[ 1 ]);
    $player   = esc_attr($matches[ 2 ]);
    $video_id = esc_attr($matches[ 3 ]);

    $embed = '<div style="display: block; position: relative; max-width: 142.86%;"><div style="padding-top: 39.3742%;"><iframe src="'
    . sprintf('http://players.brightcove.net/%1$s/%2$s/index.html?videoId=%3$s',
    ) . '" allowfullscreen="" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" style="width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute; top: 0px; bottom: 0px; right: 0px; left: 0px;"></iframe></div></div>';

    return apply_filters('embed_brightcove', $embed, $matches, $attr, $url, $rawattr);


$embed_code = wp_oembed_get('http://players.brightcove.net/1234567890123/default_default/index.html?videoId=1234567789012');

echo $embed_code; // nothing :(

I do have a regEx working on regexr which uses:


and looks for:




How can I get this custom embed handler to function correctly? Can I fix my regEx or am I not calling the methods correctly?

UPDATE: Experiment

I ran into VerbalExpressions a while ago and I wanted to see how this might work. The PHP version is here, but this is using the JS version that I can test on RegExr or RegEx101:

var tester = VerEx()
        .anythingBut(" ")

Although it compiles down to something that works, it still needs some cleanup. Essential only making groups of the things I'm interested in and converting some orignal groups to non-matching groups.

// Before

/^(http)(s)?(\:\/\/players\.brightcove\.net\/)\w+(\/)\w+(\/index\.html\?videoId\=)\w+(\&)?([^\ ]*)$/gm

// After

/^(?:http)?(?:s)?(?:\:)?\/\/players\.brightcove\.net\/(\d+)\/(\w+)\/index\.html\?videoId\=(\d+)\&?[^\ ]*$/gm


Modified slightly from @birgire's answer because account will always be numeric.


1 Answer 1


Just few notes here:

  • We have to be careful using % within sprintf() to avoid confusion with the placeholders. Try to remove the CSS styles.

  • It's sometimes easier to use the # or ~ delimiters in regular expressions, instead of the / delimiter.

  • Since you have the (players.brightcove.net/) as the first match, it might not match this assumption:

    $account  = esc_attr( $matches[1] );

    Try instead:


This seems to work in the content editor:

add_action( 'init', function()
} );

where wp_embed_handler_brightcove() is the callback function defined by @jgraup above.

Here's a related answer I worked on recently.

Playing with PHPVerbalExpressions

@jgraup mentioned the library PHPVerbalExpressions - "PHP Regular expressions made easy".

Here's an attempt to use it:

$regex = new \VerbalExpressions\PHPVerbalExpressions\VerbalExpressions();

$regex->removeModifier( 'm' )
//      ->startOfLine()
      ->then( 'http' )
      ->maybe( 's' )
      ->then( '://players.brightcove.net/' )
      ->anythingBut( '/' )
      ->then( '/' )
      ->anythingBut( '/' )
      ->then( '/index.html?videoId=' )
      ->add( '([\d]+)' );
//      ->endOfLine();

This generates the following pattern:


or if we expand it:


We would have to adjust the matched keys accordingly with $matches.

  • 1
    ps: I don't think wp_oembed_get() is using any cache, so you might want to double check that further, I could be remembering that wrong so late.
    – birgire
    Jan 8, 2016 at 1:56
  • I was only using it in the debug console but thanks for the heads up.
    – jgraup
    Jan 8, 2016 at 1:57
  • ok sounds good ;-)
    – birgire
    Jan 8, 2016 at 1:58
  • I forgot about this project but it might help in the future - github.com/VerbalExpressions/PHPVerbalExpressions
    – jgraup
    Jan 30, 2016 at 5:37
  • 1
    Thanks for that link @jgraup - I attempted to use it here ;-) I didn't find a way to rewrite ([\d]+) other than using ->add( '([\d]+)' ). I wanted to rewrite this in the easy language, using e.g. ->range( 0,9 ) or even a second class instance to generate it, but that didn't work so well ;-)
    – birgire
    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:33

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