I use this code to add a post to Wordpress:

$new_post = array(
    'post_title' => $title,
    'post_content' => "test   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g3e8XwVIYc   https://youtu.be/LPpW_8c5jE4",
    'post_status' => 'publish',
    'post_author' => $author,
    'post_type' => 'post'
wp_insert_post($new_post, true);

The problem is that youtube links will not be embedded. However, if I post it manually to WordPress then the links will be automatically embedded.

What do I need to do in order for WordPress to automatically transform youtube URL to embedded videos?

Another answer from this site says to use wp_insert_post() but how would I extract youtube URL's from the post content considering there are various youtube URL syntaxes. Embeds page on WP Codex says to just put the "video URL into the content area". I am surprised there is not a function to automatically embeds all youtube videos when using wp_insert_post() ...unless I am missing something?


1 Answer 1


Youtube urls and other services that embed content in post content work via a feature called oEmbed. You need to use wp_oembed_get() to fetch the embedded content for this to work.

In your case, you're inserting content directly, so you probably don't want to just call wp_oembed_get() and call it a day. That won't work. It's better to run the functions WordPress has built in to support post content.

apply_filters( 'the_content', $content );

This runs when you output the_content() in your template and includes things like shortcode expansion and oembed discovery. But, it only works if your content is formatted in the right way. You said, "Embeds page on WP Codex says to just put the "video URL into the content area" which is correct with one clarifying point:

Make sure the URL is on its own line and not hyperlinked.

Your insert will look like this:

$new_post = array(
    'post_title'   => $title,
    'post_content' => 'test
    'post_status'  => 'publish',
    'post_author'  => $author,
    'post_type'    => 'post',
wp_insert_post( $new_post, true );

Notice the new lines for your post content. This will convert these youtube urls into the appropriate embeds when it's output in your template.

  • 1
    You shouldn’t call the_content when inserting content. This filter is run every time the content is obtained from DB and is about to be displayed. Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 3:42
  • 1
    @KrzysiekDróżdż Thanks for the comment. You're right. Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 13:05

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