Do you know the right way to embed a YouTube video?

Last updated by Brady Stroud [SSW] about 1 month ago.See history

When you embed a YouTube video it will increase your page size from 500kbs to 1.5Mb or more, depending on how many videos are embedded on the page.

video embed load time
Figure: A side by side comparison – everyone wants less requests and a smaller page size

video embed bad
Figure: Bad example - Don’t add embed code directly from YouTube. For more details read "A Better Method for Embedding YouTube Videos on your Website"


Figure: Bad example – The evil HTML code

There is a clever, lightweight way to embed a YouTube video, which Google itself practices on their Google+ pages which reduce it to 15kbs. All you have to do is, whenever you need to embed a video to a page, add the below tag instead of the YouTube video embed code. (Remember to replace VIDEO_ID with actual ID of the YouTube video)

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

Figure: Good example – The good HTML code

Note: This script needs to be added at the end of the document:

  /* Light YouTube Embeds by @labnol */
  /* Web: */
  document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", function () {
    var div,
      v = document.getElementsByClassName("youtube-player");
    for (n = 0; n < v.length; n++) {
      div = document.createElement("div");
      div.setAttribute("data-id", v[n];
      div.innerHTML = labnolThumb(v[n];
      div.onclick = labnolIframe;
  function labnolThumb(id) {
    var thumb = '<img src="">',
      play = '<div class="play"></div>';
    return thumb.replace("ID", id) + play;
  function labnolIframe() {
    var iframe = document.createElement("iframe");
    var embed = "";
    iframe.setAttribute("src", embed.replace("ID",;
    iframe.setAttribute("frameborder", "0");
    iframe.setAttribute("allowfullscreen", "1");
    this.parentNode.replaceChild(iframe, this);

..and this needs to be added in the CSS:

  .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: 0.4s all;
    -moz-transition: 0.4s all;
    transition: 0.4s 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("//") no-repeat;
    cursor: pointer;
We open source. Powered by GitHub