First, thank you for the bug reports. Without them, new & enhanced versions simply won’t come out.

The plugin now has better video detection capabilities, and a serious bug regarding the auto thumbnailing feature is fixed.

You can download the new version at:

Any bug reports, feature requests or comments are welcomed in the comments section below.

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63 Responses to YouTube Thumbnailer v1.1

  • Ken says:

    Hi I am trying to use your youtube plug in however it does not seem to work for me. It is active and is in my tools menu. how exactly do I post the vidoe so that the plugin sees it

  • Will this work if you embed local videos, for example with FLV Embed, as well?


    Kermit Woodall
    Managing Editor

  • Hmmm… I’m not actually seeing this work. Part of the problem may be that I don’t know what you mean by “embed your Youtube videos the way you usually would” since the built-in system didn’t work, Youtube Embed plugin didn’t work. Nothing I’ve tried for embedding the videos seems to be recognized by your plugin to make thumbnails.

    Also…does it generate WP 2.9.1 compliant thumbnails or just copy the thumbnail location to the custom field? Also — do you use the HD version of the thumbnail from Youtube?

    Kermit Woodall
    Managing Editor

  • Josh says:


    I too am trying to figure out where these thumbnails are? I want to have these thumbnails as a sidebar widget, i see this plugin is not a widget, so what widget should i use that will pull from these thumbnails?



  • Oren Yomtov says:

    These thumbnails are saved in a custom field named “thumbnail” or whatever you change it to in the settings page.

    I don’t know what widget, sorry.

    The plugin detects the HTML embed code you get from YouTube.

  • Oren – did you have an answers for my questions?


    Kermit Woodall
    Managing Editor

    • Oren Yomtov says:

      It just copied the URL to the custom field.
      I am not sure about the image quality. I use the following template:$video_key/default.jpg

      And as for the detection process – the plugin just fetches the first YouTube video link that exists in the post. Well not exactly, only if the URL is in an HTML attribute like a link (href) or an embed tag (src).

  • Josh says:

    Hello Everybody, Kermit, and Oren,

    Thanks Oren, by the way for this plugin! It is a huge help!

    Here is a good explanation that could help people figure this plugin out. What is meant by “embed your Youtube videos the way you usually would” is going to youtube, and getting the “embed code” off to the right, and inserting that whole block into your post. Hit puplish or update, and you will now see a custom field with the URL of the thumbnail. You can use a plugin like “Advanced Most Recent Posts” Widget to grab that URL from the custom field and give you a sidebar widget that shows the thumbnails of your recent posts!

    Hope that helps everyone!


  • That’s the key! See, there are so many ways to embed Youtube videos that are specific to WordPress I had no clue what was meant. The most obvious way, since I was thinking WP, was the Media Uploader and use it’s URL option but that wasn’t the right way obviously.

    This works very well now! Thanks Oren.

    Now if I can only find something that will automatically tag a locally uploaded FLV with a thumbnail I’m set.

    Kermit Woodall

  • Josh says:


    I am trying to modify your plugin to look for the format used by many youtube embedding plugins, which just has you insert the full youtube URL instead of the youtube embed code

    Youtube URL looks like:
    The URL inside of embed code looks like:

    I see your plugin scanning for that embed URL, so how do i modify for it to do the same magic but for the “watch?v=” version instead of the “v/” version?

    Thank you very much!!!


  • Josh says:

    I got it!

    My youtube embedding plugin (Vipers Video Quick Tags) formats the youtube video embed like this:


    so i changed the code in two spots to this:
    if (preg_match(‘#http://www\.youtube\.com/watch\?v\=([^&"\' ]*)\[\/youtube]#

    it used to be this:
    if (preg_match(‘#http://www\.youtube\.com/v/([^&"\' ]*)#

    Hope this helps further the success of this plugin!

    Oren, could you have your plugin do its search for the youtube url in a post searching for it in different formats, and do an if/else situation to know how to format the thumbnail image?



  • Peter says:

    Hello Oren,

    Thanks Oren, by the way for this plugin!
    I have installed it in my blog but it is not working. I am using Studio press Lifestyle 4.0 theme. Has anyone got it work with this theme?


  • matt says:

    using viper quick tags plugin and your fix josh gave my fatel error, right on the line of the fix

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_VARIABLE in /home/ozcorps/public_html/bmrs/wp-content/plugins/youtube-thumbnailer/youtube_thumbnails_script.php on line 55

    not really sure where to go from this

  • Oren Yomtov says:

    @matt May I see your line 55?

  • Matt says:

    There considerable difference from firefox where it shows NO images to IE where it shows one failed inmage and the rest are x out
    line 55 is below

    if (preg_match(‘#http://www\.youtube\.com/watch\?v\=([^&"\' ]*)\[\/youtube]#’,$p->post_content,$match) )

    thanks for your help

  • Oren Yomtov says:

    You need to add a “{” at the end of that line (without the quotes).

  • matt says:

    Thanks for the reply, i did i didnt copy that in the paste. is there a difference between firefox and IE view?

    also when calling it up do i still have o use extended fields options in the post or does it automatically just add it in excerpt im totally confused, if you want i can give you access to the admin side of things of the site. lemme know

    once again thanks for the help

  • matt says:

    seems like it wont call anything with vipers plugin
    im guessing too much cross code confusion also, to know or not to know if im supposed to modify the theme code to support this i have managed to get it to work by placing in my theme

    <img src="ID, “thumbnail”, true);?>” />

    above the

    now i add in the posts custom field
    thumbnail –

    works fine shame though the plugin only worked by itself using the youtube embed code would have saved me alotta work manually adding but i cant go back and modify all the 100 or so post i have

    if you manage to find a fix or want to gain access on my admin side ill contibue to work but the more i test the worse it seems to get

    Thanks for your time

  • Oren Yomtov says:

    Give me access and I’ll try to do my best.

  • Matt says:

    whats yah email or something ? ill give yah the admin there

    i really do appreciate this btw

    will make the major difference to the site

  • Matt says:

    Oren yOU ARE awsome, ITS looks GREAT

    Thank you so much

  • diff says:

    Oh, but please share the solution here also :)
    I have the exact same problem as Matt did
    Thanks in advance

  • mssbee says:

    I am not able to get the thumbnails to show. I am making a leap of assumption that some script must be added to my theme template to grab the thumbnail. I am currently trying timthumb, which is not working with the address of the thumbnail. I have tested the address in my browser and can see the thumbnail, any help would be appreciated.

  • Oren Yomtov says:

    @mssbee Email me with admin access to your website and I’ll try to solve the issue for you.

    & @diff May you please post the problematic code line here? Or email it to me.

  • mssbee says:

    I just found out the answer on the web. Timthumbs doesn’t work with images called from outside urls. I inserted this custom field call and now I have images:
    ID, ‘thumb’, true); ?>

    <img src="” alt=”” />

    (I renamed my field thumb)

    Thank you for the your generous offer of help and the wonderful plugin.

  • mssbee says:

    Some of the code got cut off:

    ID, ‘thumb’, true); ?>

    <img src="” alt=”” />

    EDIT:Some of the code got cut off: ID, ‘thumb’, true); ?> <img src="” alt=”” />

    EDIT2:Well perhaps you should moderate out that code as I can’t seem to get it to print out the php parts, sorry.

  • Oren Yomtov says:

    I’m sorry, try placing the code in tags.

  • Jeff says:

    Hi Oren

    Thanks for this plugin – very handy. However, I have a problem.

    In my case I’m running the Smart Youtube plugin by Vladimir Prelovac, so for me the Youtube URL must be changed to “httpv” rather than just “http”. Thanks to Josh’s post, I also edited the script on lines around 107 and 149 to:

    [code]'#httpv://www\.youtube\.com/watch\?v\=([^&"\'? ]*)#'[/code]

    The thumbnail is generated, but unfortunately doesn’t show. I think this has something to do with my theme activating the thumbnail due to WordPress 2.9.

    Does this sound right?

    Any help would be much appreciated!


  • Jeff says:

    Hi Oren

    Ok, thanks for that explaination – I’ll try and find out where in my template it’s going wrong!

  • Kira says:

    Thank you for this very useful plugin!
    Is there a way to alter the image size?
    thanks a million.

  • Kermit Woodall says:

    Oren – which image are you retrieving from Youtube? They offer an HD image that’s pretty large.

    Kermit Woodall

  • Kira says:

    Perhaps – for a future update – it is possible to add definitions for width (resp. height) in the thumbnailer settings. The larger thumbnail you linked to earlier could be resized. That would be awesome!

  • Mary says:

    Hi Oren -

    I’m creating a website for a client and would like to use your plugin. The site also uses a featured content slider and we’d like to be able to add posts that have youtube videos to the slider. The slider takes the value of a custom field and then uses timthumb to resize the images to fit nicely in the slider. (Currently I have this turned off, the slider is using the actual size of the image rather than uses timthumb to resize.

    So basically my problem is that I’d like to be able to use your plugin but have it create the thumbnail on our server so that timthumb can be used with the thumbnail.

    I tried changing your code:
    to this:

    and made sure the permissions were set correctly on the server but no files get created in the thumbs directory.

    Can you please help me with this or maybe point me in the right direction?

    Please let me know if you need more information from me.



    • Oren Yomtov says:

      Hey Mary,

      Is the path to the thumbnail image hosted on YouTube.

      What I believe you want to do is to download the image to your server and then save it in your desired location, which is I guess:

      Read on file_get_contents and curl. They might help you download the image.

      Good luck,

  • Hi Oren

    First of, thanks for the plugin, it’s really REALLY useful!

    It’s been working great on my site, except one annoyance. Ever once in a while (and I haven’t pinpointed why it does this), it inserts the URL for the thumbnail, but it puts the URL onto 2 lines, and often inserts part of the code from the actual post, so that it will look like:

    When it does this I have to deactivate the plugin, edit the URL, and then reactivate the plugin – if I didn’t, every time I edit the URL it just changes back to the incorrect one.

    Any ideas why it’s doing this?

  • Oren Yomtov says:

    I think it’s somehow related to the way the YouTube video is embedded.
    If you give me access to that specific post, I may be able to pinpoint the issue and fix it.

  • Hi Oren

    Sorry for the late reply.

    How do I give you access to the specific post? It hasn’t published yet – it’s scheduled to go out on the 1st June…..

  • Oren Yomtov says:

    You can give me admin access. Only if you want to.

  • Niema Bryson says:

    This plugin seems to be what I’m looking for but I can’t get it to work. I installed it now what. I already have a video embedded in my post and a image. Please someone help so I can play with my kids. Thanks

  • Niema Bryson says:

    Thanks for responding so quickly. I still don’t understand. I’m new at computers. I was reading the forums earlier today and the information is just all over the place. I’m doing something wrong. I’ll keep trying for awhile until I get tired. Thanks for your help, but I would really like to use your plugin though.


  • Mike says:

    What I did to get this working was:

    Creating a new posted I pasted the entire embed code from Youtube and also pasted the url from the address bar on a seperate line. Published or updated the post…..then returned and removed te entire ember code just leaving te url and it’s working great

  • neon says:

    hi, I am using theme “news magazine” and it uses post thumbnails. i installed your plugin (very easy to use!). I see the correct youtube thumbnail link in the custom fields box, but the thumbnail custom box information is still not communicating with the theme. Still no youtube thumbs on the site.

  • Cathi says:

    I have a video inserted in my post using Smart YouTube where the http adds a v, so it is an httpv://…….. video. I have installed Thumbnailer v1.1.1 and clicked run. The Thumbnailer custom field name says Thumbnail. The add thumnail posts when saved or updated says yes. I update the post. When I go to my blog the video does not show up as a thumbnail. It still shows as regular size. Am I doing something wrong? Thank you.

  • BB3 says:

    I am having the same problem… how can i fix it? it seems like its only having a problem in embeding ID] version

  • Don Dadda says:

    Is there a way to resize the thumbnail? It’s too small and is repeating.

  • Don Dadda says:

    I need to resize the image to width 192 and height 120.

  • Kadu says:


    Can this plugin download the youtube thumbnail and attach in post, as a wp_thumbnail ? ( wp_insert_attachment )


  • Jeff says:

    My WordPress theme utilizes timthumb to resize and display the images. I changed the $match code to the high-res version and changed the YouTube param to the new \?v. I also needed to create a temp folder with 777 permissions where the timthumb plugin exists. A quick tweak to have my theme prioritize the custom field over other thumbnails, and this plug-in solved a major issue for me. Thanks so much!!

  • DCastillo says:

    just to Echo Josh, is there a way to pass both of these:

    if (preg_match(‘#http://www\.youtube\.com/watch\?v\=([^&"\' ]*)\[\/youtube]#


    if (preg_match(‘#http://www\.youtube\.com/v/([^&"\' ]*)#


    Sorry, not so familiar with php.

  • Matt says:

    Is there a way for this to set the thumbnail as the featured image automatically? I think that would be really helpful. What I would really love is for it to set the image as the one Facebook picks up as its thumbnail when you share a link. You can hardcode that image for FB using meta tags but I believe it will pick it up as long as its the “featured image” in WP. I could be wrong on that though.

    Any thoughts?

  • asumaran says:

    First, thanks for your plugin,
    I modified your plugin to save the yt video thumbnail as a Post Thumbnail, in a few days I’ll posted here,
    because I can’ isn’t right?

  • eread says:

    Hi Oren,

    Nice plugin, but has this stopped working? the custom field in the post gets populated with the youtube image, but it doesnt show up on homepage.. any idea?

    Im using thesis 1.7 and wp 3.0.2

  • JA says:

    Oren, can I hire you to do some custom work on my site? Email me about your plugin and implementing some customization of it on the site.

  • Irwanbee says:

    Hi Oren,
    its a great plugins. Thanks to make it free

    For somebody that want a more high quality of thumbnail, you can change the “default.jpg” inti “hqdefault.jpg”
    ex : $img=”{$match[1]}/hqdefault.jpg”;

    maybe this simple methods could help anyone.

    One think that i want to ask to you Oren, and i think this idea will helps the others to
    How to create one more custom fields with the youtube ID as the value?
    just assume like this :

    youtube url :
    the custom field key : “oren-youtube-id”
    value : WLd77Zk7QyM

    could you help?

  • spoonjab says:

    Great plugin! Been using it for a while. One question, do you plan on supporting the new Youtube iframe embed codes?

  • Driezzie says:

    Anyone knows how to get it working on Theme Mystique ? Don’t know what the custom field for youtube is in Mystique…


  • Dito says:

    I love the plugin but the thumbnail quality is poor, can we adjust that somewhere?

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