How to Make a Website Like Youtube

Want to make a site like Youtube?

You don’t need to hire expensive developers.

In fact, every tool you need is already made and ready to use.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to make a video site like Youtube that will allow visitors to register and upload videos, create channels and playlists, like/dislike videos, and more.

How much does it cost? Making a site like Youtube from scratch with WordPress will cost $130.40 with an annual cost of about $70/year after that.

The site you’ll create

The website you’ll make will look like this:

VideoPro WP theme

The image above is just one of 11 available layouts you’ll have for the homepage. Here’s a link to the demo site and more details if you want to check it out now.

There are numerous layouts for video pages, video series, channels, and so much more. You really need to see the demo for yourself to get a feel for how much variety there is in this theme.

How to create a site like Youtube

There are only six steps to creating a website like Youtube.

  1. Purchase a domain
  2. Signup for web hosting
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Choose a video theme
  5. Install & configure the theme
  6. Launch

I’ll walk you through the WordPress site setup, share the best theme you can choose for creating a community video website, and show you some resources for customizing and configuring your site.

What you need

You don’t need to go out and buy a ton of software. In fact, you only need two things to setup your site.

WordPress

First, you’ll use WordPress to create a website. WordPress is open source and entirely free to use, forever.

Wordpress Logo

You can follow my step-by-step tutorial to build your first site with WordPress.

Create WordPress Site

How to Create a WordPress Website Today

In the guide, you’ll learn:

  1. How to find a great domain name
  2. My recommendation for hosting
  3. How to install WordPress

You’ll get your site online within the hour, no problem. Then it’s time to setup the theme which will transform your basic WordPress site into a full-fledged community video platform.

VideoPro

The only other thing you need is VideoPro.

WordPress uses “themes” to change the look of a site. VideoPro is a theme that will give you a Youtube-like design, and also add a ton of functionality to make it work like Youtube too.

VideoPro video page

There are tons of video WordPress themes, but VideoPro is by far the best for recreating Youtube.

Finding a beautiful, customizable theme that looks good on mobile and desktop computers is surprisingly easy these days. VideoPro stands out because of its emphasis on community. But more on that later!

Why use WordPress

You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to website creation. However, most won’t come even close to what you need. I’ll explain.

Squarespace and Weebly are great for creating simple websites like:

  • Blogs
  • Business sites
  • Basic eCommerce stores

However, they don’t have any of the features required to build a community site (member profiles, uploads, etc.). It’s surprising how quickly your options run out when you want to make something a little different.

If you Google around, you’ll find some Joomla solutions and PHP scripts, but these aren’t easy for non-developers to use. And to be honest, if you are a developer, you’ll find WordPress nicer to work with anyway.

WordPress is user-friendly and doesn’t require writing any code to use. Once you install VideoPro, you’ll have all the tools you need to create an entire website with simple interfaces and zero coding.

Why use VideoPro

VideoPro is a great theme, but it earns my recommendation for two reasons: the huge feature set and the customer support.

VideoPro’s Features

VideoPro has an insane number of features. Ready for this?

VideoPro Preview

VideoPro comes with:

  • Member channels
  • Front-end video submission
  • Integration with BuddyPress
    • Direct messaging
    • Profiles
    • Activity feeds
    • Notifications
  • Video importing from Youtube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Facebook, and Twitch
  • Playlists
  • Multi-episode video series
  • Live video streams
  • Floating video player
  • Google AMP support
  • Facebook Instant Articles support
  • Two header layouts
  • Dark/light color schemes
  • Ajax search (instant suggestions)

That’s a ton of functionality! And that doesn’t include any of the layout or shortcode options either.

To be honest, you need all of these features if you want to make a site similar to Youtube. It’s a sophisticated website.

Normally, I would place more emphasis on design when choosing a theme, but you need so many of these features that it would quickly get costly to have them custom made for another theme. It’s much cheaper to have the design modified if needed and that’s why VideoPro gets my recommendation.

Customer support

It’s always nice to know you can get help with your site especially if you’re new to WordPress.

VideoPro currently has a 4.5-star rating on ThemeForest thanks to CactusThemes’ excellent support.

VideoPro customer support
A few recent customer reviews

In addition to the support, CactusThemes has a large library of video tutorials for using VideoPro.

If you do get stuck on anything, the good news is that WordPress is over a decade old, so there is an incredible amount of information online. You can also find tons of WordPress tutorials here on our blog 😉

How to setup VideoPro

First, follow this tutorial on installing WordPress themes. It’s a quick and easy process.

Once the theme is installed, your dashboard will update with all the new settings. Feel free to look around and see what’s available before moving forward.

The next step is to import the demo site data. This makes it way easier to learn how the theme works and you can delete the sample data later.

Once you have the sample data added, you can configure the homepage layout exactly how you want it.

This will give you a good look at how your site will be setup in the future. The remaining steps are largely up to your preference – what layouts to use, color scheme, etc.

Getting the site setup how you want is the most time-consuming step. There won’t be any deeply technical steps, but just like learning any new software, it will take time to get to know the interface. Luckily, between the huge amount WordPress info online and the video tutorials CactusThemes’ has published, there is a lot of help available.

Alternative to VideoPro

While I think VideoPro is the best choice, there are some good alternatives.

The Video theme by MyThemeShop, in particular, is great if you’re not as concerned with community features. Visitors can still submit videos, but they can’t create their own channels and playlists. Videos are reviewed and published by the site editors instead. The design of the theme is great, and there are also some excellent social sharing features.

Video theme

Launch your own Youtube site

I hope this guide has helped you see how easy it can be to create a site like Youtube, even if it’s your first website.

There’s a lot to learn, and you won’t finish the site overnight, but you also won’t be stopped by huge developer fees or overly technical steps. It’s amazing what you can build these days without writing code – there’s never been more opportunity for aspiring web entrepreneurs to launch their projects online.

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10 Comments

  1. Jerome Jerome

    Hi There

    This sounds great. One question. Can you have a site like this automatically export your videos to youtube? The reason for this question is that youtube is the ‘ go to’ video sharing site so people will always go there to find content and may not learn or want to learn to go to a new site.

    I want to create a community around community(music) uploaded videos but they shouldn’t feel isolated from the the rest of the (youtube)world.

    Thanks
    Jerome

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      Hey Jerome,

      I’m not sure if there is an option to export to Youtube, but the opposite is true. If you upload the videos to Youtube, the theme recommended in this post can automatically import them to your site.

  2. Rajkumar Dipu Rajkumar Dipu

    nice wordpress theme but is there any plugin that let user share revenue with the admin (like youtube partner)

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      I don’t know of any plugin that would allow you to split the ad revenue with your members. I think you’d have to calculate this manually yourself at the end of each month.

  3. Anthony jones Anthony jones

    Can you allow uploads of mp4s?

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      Members will be able to upload videos in a variety of formats including mp4.

  4. md rajan md rajan

    may you make a site likes youtube free. also the site will pay me some money by adsense or anyhow?

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      Sure, you can allow visitors to register and upload videos for free. There are a variety of ways you can monetize the site including with ads using an ad network like Google AdSense.

  5. Banned Banned

    But I’m looking to make a website that looks 100% like YouTube and can load as an API on all smart T.Vs and as an app on all mobile devices. You’ll never compete with Google’s One World Order unless you do this. Can it be done easy with a Javascript book and Swift 5 or do I need other languages to?

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      The tools here will allow you to create a community site where visitors can register, upload videos, and manage their own channels allowing you to create the same type of site. Developing your own app, making an API, and getting listed on smart TVs as well as attempting to directly compete with Youtube is a massive project and not something you can learn from a book or tutorial. You would need a team and likely investment capital for all of that.

      You shouldn’t try to directly compete with Youtube. You should choose a specific niche for your video site so that it has its own community that prefers your site over Youtube.

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