31 August 2016

A Better Method for Embedding YouTube Videos on your Website

It is easy to embed a YouTube video but you’ll be surprised to know how much extra weight that embedded YouTube video can add to your web pages. The browser has to download about half a Mb of extra JavaScript files (see screenshot) for rendering the YouTube video player alone. And these files are downloaded even if the visitor never plays the embedded video.

The embedded video not only increases the byte size of your web pages but the browser has to make multiple HTTP requests to render the video player. This increases the overall loading time of your page thus affecting the page speed score. The other drawback with the default YouTube embed code is that it isn’t responsive. If people view your website on a mobile phone, the video player may not resize properly for the small screen.

Embed YouTube Videos without Increasing Page Size

Google+ uses a clever technique for embedding YouTube videos – it just embeds the thumbnail image of a YouTube video and the actual video player is loaded only when the user manually clicks the thumbnail.

YouTube thumbnail images are about 15 kB in size so we are able to reduce the byte size of web pages by 500+ kb. That’s huge!

The video above is embedded using the same on-demand technique (demo).

When a visitor clicks the play button, the thumbnail image is replaced with the standard YouTube video player with autoplay set to 1 so the plays the video instantly. The advantage is that the extra YouTube JavaScript gets loaded only when someone decides to watch the embedded video and not otherwise.

Light and Responsive YouTube Embeds

The standard embed code for YouTube uses the IFRAME tag and the width and height of the video player are hard-coded thus making the player non-responsive.

The new on-demand embed code for YouTube is slightly different. You need not specify the player size as we are now embedding the video responsively. Also, the IFRAME is replaced with a DIV tag and the IFRAME is added to the page only when the visitor clicks the play button.

YouTube Embed Code

Embed YouTube Videos Responsively – Tutorial

Copy-paste the following snippet anywhere in your web page where you would like the YouTube video to appear. Remember to replace VIDEO_ID with the actual ID of the YouTube video.

<div class="youtube-player" data-id="VIDEO_ID"></div>

We will not assign height and width since the video player will automatically occupy the width of the parent while the height is auto-calculated. You can paste multiple DIV blocks with different video IDs if you need to embed multiple videos on the same page.

Next, place the JavaScript anywhere in your web template. It finds all embedded videos on a web page and then replaces the DIV elements with the video thumbnails.


    /* Light YouTube Embeds by @labnol */
    /* Web: http://ift.tt/2bGFoam */

        function() {
            var div, n,
                v = document.getElementsByClassName("youtube-player");
            for (n = 0; n < v.length; n++) {
                div = document.createElement("div");
                div.setAttribute("data-id", v[n].dataset.id);
                div.innerHTML = labnolThumb(v[n].dataset.id);
                div.onclick = labnolIframe;

    function labnolThumb(id) {
        var thumb = '<img src="http://ift.tt/2bGFpex;,
            play = '<div class="play"></div>';
        return thumb.replace("ID", id) + play;

    function labnolIframe() {
        var iframe = document.createElement("iframe");
        var embed = "https://www.youtube.com/embed/ID?autoplay=1";
        iframe.setAttribute("src", embed.replace("ID", this.dataset.id);
        iframe.setAttribute("frameborder", "0");
        iframe.setAttribute("allowfullscreen", "1");
        this.parentNode.replaceChild(iframe, this);


Finally, paste the CSS before the closing head tag of your web template.

This method will reduce the size of your web pages by 500 KB while making your site mobile friendly. You may refer to the annotated code to understanding how on-demand embedding works.

    .youtube-player {
        position: relative;
        padding-bottom: 56.23%;
        /* Use 75% for 4:3 videos */
        height: 0;
        overflow: hidden;
        max-width: 100%;
        background: #000;
        margin: 5px;
    .youtube-player iframe {
        position: absolute;
        top: 0;
        left: 0;
        width: 100%;
        height: 100%;
        z-index: 100;
        background: transparent;
    .youtube-player img {
        bottom: 0;
        display: block;
        left: 0;
        margin: auto;
        max-width: 100%;
        width: 100%;
        position: absolute;
        right: 0;
        top: 0;
        border: none;
        height: auto;
        cursor: pointer;
        -webkit-transition: .4s all;
        -moz-transition: .4s all;
        transition: .4s all;
    .youtube-player img:hover {
        -webkit-filter: brightness(75%);
    .youtube-player .play {
        height: 72px;
        width: 72px;
        left: 50%;
        top: 50%;
        margin-left: -36px;
        margin-top: -36px;
        position: absolute;
        background: url("//i.imgur.com/TxzC70f.png") no-repeat;
        cursor: pointer;


Please do note that Chrome and Safari browsers on iPhone and Android only allow playback of HTML5 video when initiated by a user interaction. They block embedded media from automatic playback to prevent unsolicited downloads over cellular networks.

YouTube Embed Tutorials

  1. Embed a YouTube Video with Sound Muted
  2. Place YouTube Video as your Webpage Background
  3. Embed Just a Portion of a YouTube Video

The story, A Better Method for Embedding YouTube Videos on your Website, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 31/08/2016 under Embed, YouTube, Internet.

How to Create Forms that allow File Uploads

Google Forms are probably the best service for creating online forms but they miss a few key features found in commercial web form builders. Google Forms do not allow file uploads, there’s no option for adding CAPTCHA in forms to prevent spam and, what may be of interest to the legal and retail industry, Google Forms cannot capture electronic signatures.

A school teacher may want a Google Form where students can upload assignments and the files are automatically saved to her Google Drive but in separate student folders. A company may want to build an online form where job applicants can upload their resumes in PDF or Word format. You cannot upload file attachments in Google Forms but there’s a workaround.


Form with File Uploads – Demo | Buy License

Open this sample web form and you’ll find that it has all the fields found  in native Google Forms but a few extra ones. There’s a file upload button (demo), an area for visitors to e-sign the form (demo) and a CAPTCHA.

The form looks exactly like a Google Form and when you press the submit button, the files are sent to the form owner’s Google Drive while the entered data is saved in a Google Spreadsheet.

The form is integrated with Google Analytics so you can also track how many people opened your form, what browser they used and more. You can even choose to receive email notifications when people submit the form.

Add File Uploads to Forms with Google Script

The forms are built using Google Apps Script and you too can build one in minutes with absolutely zero coding. Watch the video tutorial to get started.

You’ll need to buy a license to use the form upload script.

Configure & Install your File Upload Form

The first step is to create the form. If you know a bit of HTML, you can design the form yourself or use forms.studio. This is WYSIWYG form builder where you can drag and drop fields to build your form. Save the form and copy the embed code to your clipboard.

Now that you have the form code ready, you need to configure the Google Spreadsheet that will store your form responses.

Open your Google Spreadsheet and go to Tools -> Script Editor. Click the forms.html file and paste the form embed code. Save the file.

  1. Go to Resources -> Developer Console Project and enable the Google Picker API. This will allow the form visitors to upload files directly to your Google Drive.
  2. Open the install.gs file and specify the Drive folder where files would be stored, your time zone and the email address.
  3. Go to Run -> Install to apply your configuration. You may have to authorize the first time you install the Google script.
  4. Go to Publish -> Deploy as Web App, choose Me form Execute the app as and choose Anonymous under Who has access to the web app.


We are almost done.

Click the Deploy button and you’ll be presented with the public URL of your form. You can use Gmail Mail Merge to send the form to all your contacts in a personalized email.

Things to Know – File Upload Forms

  • If you wish to restrict the forms to users inside your Google Apps organization, choose your domain under Who has access to the app.
  • Unlike Google Forms, file upload forms cannot be embedded on other websites due to some restrictions around web apps made with Google Scripts.
  • If you later change any parameters in the install.gs file, you need to go to Run->Install to apply the new configuration.
  • To stop accepting new responses, go to Publish -> Deploy as web app menu and click the Disable link. Or change the Who has access option to Myself.

The story, How to Create Forms that allow File Uploads, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 30/08/2016 under Google Drive, Google Forms, Internet.