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:
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.
- Purchase a domain
- Signup for web hosting
- Install WordPress
- Choose a video theme
- Install & configure the theme
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.
First, you’ll use WordPress to create a website. WordPress is open source and entirely free to use, forever.
You can follow my step-by-step tutorial to build your first site with WordPress.
In the guide, you’ll learn:
- How to find a great domain name
- My recommendation for hosting
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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 has an insane number of features. Ready for this?
VideoPro comes with:
- Member channels
- Front-end video submission
- Integration with BuddyPress
- Direct messaging
- Activity feeds
- Video importing from Youtube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Facebook, and Twitch
- 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.
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.
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.
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.