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For users new to WordPress, it can take time to get used to the interface and become productive in site management and content creation. One-on-one training is effective but very time-consuming and expensive, and the WordPress Codex – though comprehensive – is intimidating for a beginner to wade through.
Fortunately, there is a solution: Integrating video tutorials in the WordPress back end makes it super easy for users to learn about using WordPress in their own time and at their own pace. Better still, plugins can simplify the process of providing a video library by making it easy to setup and select videos to display to users.
In this post, we’re going to take a close look at the three best plugin options for integrating video tutorials right into your WordPress administration interface. But before that, let’s take a look at why video works in the first place.
The Effectiveness of Videos for Learning
Videos are one of the most effective ways to learn material because our brains are predominately visual.
Our brains process visual information within milliseconds, so properly produced training videos can help users understand the information being presented much more quickly than text descriptions of screens and actions. Concepts are also more likely to be remembered if they are presented as images rather than just as words.
Video training to demonstrate the use of software like WordPress enables users to see exactly what happens and what they should do. They will learn faster and remember more easily and need less direct support from you, their hard-working WordPress developer.
By integrating video tutorials in WordPress, we are just meeting our users where they are.
Sound good? Yep! So now let’s get onto the best solutions.
The Best Integrated Video Tutorials Plugins for WordPress
Originally started in 2008 by Shawn Hesketh, WP101 is easily one of the better known WordPress tutorial websites. What started as a crash course in WordPress basics has since grown to be one of the best resources for beginners to learn to use WordPress quickly.
Recognizing that other developers needed a way to provide training for their clients, WP101 launched a plugin version of their video content. The plugin, available in the WordPress plugin repository, requires a paid subscription which starts at $99 per year. The repository figures indicate that the plugin has over ten thousand active installs and 5-star satisfaction rating.
After installing the plugin, entering the API key obtained from WP101Plugin.com enables you to deliver tutorial videos within the WordPress back end. The tutorials include a complete set of 20 professionally produced WordPress 101 videos. Additionally, WP101 has partnered with Yoast SEO – considered by many the ultimate SEO plugin – to offer another 13 video tutorials on using Yoast SEO.
The WordPress videos included are:
- The Dashboard
- Posts vs. Pages
- The Editor
- Creating a New Post
- Post Formats
- Editing an Existing Post
- Using Categories and Tags
- Creating and Edit Pages
- Adding Photos and Images
- How to Embed Video
- Using the Media Library
- Managing Comments
- Creating Links
- Changing the Theme
- Adding Widgets
- Custom Menus
- Installing Plugins
- Adding New Users
- Useful Tools
- Settings & Configuration
After connecting with the API, WP101 allows you to select which of the tutorial videos are shown to your users. The Yoast SEO videos are only enabled if Yoast SEO is also installed on the site. If your site includes additional plugins or custom functionality that you want to train users on, you can embed your own custom videos in the WP101 interface.
All the videos included in WP101 are completely white-labelled, with no logos or branding, so you won’t have to explain who WP101 is when you hand over the site to your users. You can boost your own reputation by allowing your users to think you created these amazing videos yourself. We won’t tell!
To add to the professional allure of the WP101 presentation, the videos are updated with each new release of WordPress and automatically updated within your users dashboard. You don’t have to install an update and the content will always match the latest version of WordPress with no work on your part.
With all of these features, you might think you have to choose carefully on which of your user sites to install the plugin. But your annual subscription entitles you to install the plugin on all your sites, including multisite networks. The lowest package at $99 allows you to install on up to 250 sites. With the maximum number of sites, that’s less than 40 cents per site.
If you are looking for an easy way to teach your users the basics of how to use WordPress, you really can’t go wrong with WP101. And if you are using Yoast SEO, the WP101 plugin will save you tremendous amounts of time getting your users up to speed on how to properly configure their SEO settings.
This next plugin on our list comes from a team down under who aim to help WordPress developers and consultants provide top class service to their clients. Video User Manuals is the flagship product of this group who also gave us White Label CMS and Google Analyticator.
Video User Manuals is a premium plugin available only on their site. This plugin varies by having a single site option for $70, but the higher tiers ($24 per month, or $240 per year) allow for installation on an unlimited number of client websites.
The tutorial videos provided by Video User Manuals are displayed inside the WordPress administration interface as expected. But this plugin takes video training to a whole other level by providing nearly 100 professionally produced tutorial videos, including in-depth WordPress videos such as:
- The Dashboard
- The Admin Bar
- The Editor
- The Media Library
- Working with Images
- The Image Editor
- User Profiles
The videos include step-by-step instructions on how to use WordPress, as well as videos for WooCommerce, Yoast SEO and Gravity Forms. They also provide Google’s official Analytics Academy videos (with permission, of course).
Like WP101, you can select which of the included videos to hide or show to your users, and include custom videos for other plugins and custom functionality for your site. An important point to note is that the tutorial videos are all presented from the perspective of the Editor user role, so not all functionality may be included.
Again, all the videos included in Video User Manuals are completely white-labelled, with no logos or branding. But this plugin takes it another step further by allowing you to add your logo in the settings so that it appears above all the videos. Your clients will be amazed at your professional video tutorials.
With the frequency of WordPress updates, it is important to keep the tutorial videos in sync so that the interfaces presented match what the user sees. Video User Manuals makes sure to add updated videos with each new release of WordPress. These are automatically updated within your user’s dashboard without installing an update. Another nice feature is that this plugin will actually check which version of WordPress is running and show the correct version of the tutorial videos.
As part of their efforts to make you seem more like the professional you are, Video User Manuals also provides you with a Photoshop thumbnail template to ensure that the display of your custom videos matches the built-in ones. You also get a 100-page PDF manual for those last few holdouts who want to have a written user manual for their site.
The single site licence may work for you if you really only have one site, but it is worth getting a developer licence to install on any number of sites. The value provided by this plugin will quickly outweigh the higher price tag.
If you are looking for an in-depth manual to teach your users the ins and outs of WordPress, you should seriously consider Video User Manuals. If you are already using Yoast SEO, WooCommerce or Gravity Forms, this plugin will enable you to rapidly get your users to a productive level.
The final plugin on our list comes from the folks over at WPMU DEV, whose goal is to give their members the tools to make creating and maintaining online platforms easy. Integrated Video Tutorials is their plugin in this space.
The WPMU DEV model is a pretty straightforward membership club. For one subscription (starting at $49 per month, billed annually), you get access to all their over 140 themes and plugins, including Integrated Video Tutorials.
Once you have installed the plugin and registered your domain for access to their Video API, you get access to the WPMU DEV library of video tutorials. The library contains over 40 high-quality videos that walk users through essential WordPress functionality.
The videos in the library include:
- The Media Library
- Plugin Installation
- Theme Installation
- The Customizer
- Pages vs Posts
- Image Galleries
- The Editor
- Managing Widgets
- The Admin Bar
- The Image Editor
- The Dashboard
In the plugin settings, you can choose to hide specific videos from the built-in video page or groups. Videos can be displayed singly or in groups. The Integrated Video Tutorials plugin allows videos to be displayed, not just in the WordPress dashboard, but also in pages and posts anywhere on the site using embed shortcodes. Like all WPMU DEV plugins, it is multisite capable by default, and tutorials can be displayed in both the front- and backend across the network.
One of the things WPMU DEV promotes across all its plugins is the white label feature. As such, Integrated Video Tutorials is completely unbranded. To ensure you stay up-to-date, the video tutorials in the WPMU DEV library are updated with every WordPress core update.
WPMU DEV says plugins can be used on as many sites as needed. However, the Integrated Video Tutorials plugin page states that the API allows for use on up to 1,000 domains. You can have as many subdomains as you want, so for most developers this is virtually unlimited.
If all you are looking for is video tutorials for your client site, you might want to look at one of the other options described. But if you are interested in any of the other plugins offered by WPMU, the subscription will likely pay for itself in a very short time indeed.
Choosing the Perfect Video Tutorials Plugin
Choosing the right plugin to integrate tutorial videos into your WordPress site is a big part of providing your clients with top-notch customer service. As we’ve outlined above, the best one for your site will depend on what other plugins you’re using, the depth of video coverage you require and the amount of customizability you need.
If you just want a basic tutorial solution that covers the basics, WP101 is a solid choice. For more in-depth tutorials, definitely go with Video User Manuals. Video User Manuals is also the best option if you want to be able to add your own branding to the plugin displays. If you have several other plugin needs, or are looking to use video tutorials across a multisite network, Integrated Video Tutorials is the best bet.
Creating training videos is expensive and time-consuming, as is providing one-on-one training, but plugins can make it easy to setup and manage a video tutorial library. Integrated video tutorial plugins can save developers and site owners a great deal of time that would otherwise be spent on training and support. Using a plugin provide access to a library of video tutorials is a simple choice and well worth the money.
Every site is different, of course, but we’ve outlined a range of solutions above that we hope will hit the sweet spot for potentially every use case.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the plugins we’ve highlighted. Have you used any of them to integrate video tutorials? Or is there another plugin you think is worth considering? Get in touch via the comments and let us know!
Thumbnail image via Pranch // Shutterstock.com