New Feature Plugin Proposed: oEmbed for WordPress Posts

WordPress has a whitelist of 31 trusted sites from which users can oEmbed content, but one source is noticeably missing – WordPress itself. During this week’s feature plugin chat, Pascal Birchler and a group of contributors proposed the idea of oEmbed for WordPress Posts:

Basically, we want to make WordPress an oEmbed provider. Users should be able to paste an URL from a WordPress blog and the post gets embedded right away. Difficulties here are discovering other WordPress sites as oEmbed providers and whitelisting them. The oEmbed endpoint requires the WP-API to be in use, so this can’t land in core until the API does.

The oEmbed API proof-of-concept feature plugin is currently in development on GitHub. It requires WordPress 4.3 beta 3 or later and version 2 of the WP REST API plugin.

Mel Choyce, author of the trac ticket requesting the feature, created a mockup of how embedded WordPress posts might look:


The ticket is home to an active discussion with excellent reasons on both sides of the argument for why this should or should not be included in core, highlighting the many considerations that would be involved with having oEmbed discovery turned on. Tackling abuse of the feature could also pose a significant challenge.

The feature plugin is still in the early development stages and discussion regarding its implementation is ongoing. Birchler said the team needs help with design and development, particularly with the oEmbed auto-discovery part of the project. If you’d like to get involved with the discussion, you can join in the weekly chats in the #feature-oembed WordPress Slack channel.


15 responses to “New Feature Plugin Proposed: oEmbed for WordPress Posts”

  1. I can see this being possible, but fraught with peril. Some *very* strict filters will be needed to maintain security. Possibly not worth the effort, in the long run. Not sure.

    Definitely something that will need an off switch though. Or a way to avoid accidental usage.

    • It’s a great feature, oEmbed. I do notice the WordPress whitelist is mostly video providers who are actively encouraging embedding of their content elsewhere. Perhaps oEmbed should be off by default but a checkbox in Settings –> Discussion settings to enable.

    • I didn’t think about security concerns at all. But, I think most of the US doesn’t pay as much for bandwidth. My first concerns were slowing down my sites, costing more for bandwidth (at the ISP as well as site speed) and accessibility. I’m not visually impaired but I do consider that and visitors who use small mobile devices. How will the embedded content show up? I’ve been less than thrilled with embedded content from Twitter, Instagram, etc.

  2. Wouldn’t this also mess with a big SEO no-no which I thought was double (identical) content? How does Tumblr deal with this? Does it matter? Neat! Will be easy enough for original content creators to turn off who don’t want their content “stolen.” Perhaps settings for excerpts will be easy, too.

    • As long you source the original you should be fine avoiding duplicate content penalties. Here is Google’s syndication recommendation:

      “Syndicate carefully: If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.”

  3. If all of the concerns already mentioned can be dealt with (and I hope they are!), then I hope that WordPress provides a way for us to track when our posts are embedded elsewhere because that would be awesome!

    I’ve seen talk about moving Post Formats out of core and into a plugin, but if oEmbed is enabled for WordPress posts, Post Formats would be awesome for that! oEmbedding an image post? Pull the image and make it a linkback, for example.

    Obviously, real world examples will be far more complex and it may not even be possible — nothing stopping somebody from writing a 20,000 word essay and calling it an “Image” post, after all. But there are possibilities there for those creative/talented enough to wrangle it into reality.

  4. I think this is a great idea! Yea, sure, you’d have to think about security and, of course, how will SEO be affected, however, much the same way we can embed content from FB, YouTube, etc. into a Website, users should be able to do that as well.

    I see if formatted much the same way Jetpack displays Related Posts on a self hosted site, except with an excerpt. So, a square or 4:3 ratio image (if available) with the title, excerpt, author, and domain in the embed.

    I can see this replacing the Press This in the future much like the way Menus and Link Post Types replaced the Blogroll.

    • I still use the blogroll format. I like the flexibility – especially with Link Library plugin. It gives me a bookmarklet to quickly add new links without going back to my site each time. I think the biggest change in links has been the end of link exchanges. This has left lists of links to be real resources for readers rather than link farms.

  5. Before they add more and more sources and forms of media could they make it easier to find and sort the media itself? Please! A site with a lot of images/ media is just a mess to look through unless you remember what the file name is. I usually don’t.

    Plus, I find the embedded content does not show up with an image. So I need to upload an extra image to the media gallery. Usually, I don’t see any value in embedding from another site at that point. I can save bandwidth and use plain text cut and paste and HTML links instead.


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