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INTRODUCTION

This is not a tutorial, but more like sharing a nice geeky road-trip ;)

I have a pretty good understanding of the Youtube Data API, as I have actively used it on portalZINE TV in the past, to upload videos and dynamically link them to my local post-types.

For one of my latest customer projects (TYPEMYKNIFE / typemyknife.com), the task was a bit more complicated and the goal was to make it as future-proof as it can be with the Google APIs :)

Prerequisites / References to get you started:

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | youtube data api

THE GOALS

The goal for the setup was to actively synchronize WooCommerce products with linked / attached videos, with their source at Youtube.

As the website is multilingual, WPML integration is critical as well. And as Youtube allows localization of title and description, that can be added into the mix quiet easily in the future ;)

The following product attributes should be mirrored and optimised for Youtube:

  • Product Title
  • Product Description (5000 character limit at Youtube)
    My customer already has a pretty long and detailed description, which is perfect for Youtube!
    We average around 2900-3000 characters.
  • Product Tags (500 character length limit at Youtube)

The following attributes should be integrated into the description to enrich the Youtube description:

  • Introduction
  • Product Link to WooCommerce Product / Shop
  • Socials
  • Legal Information
  • Hash Tags (local post-type to add recurring / important hash tags)
  • Outro

All of these attributes will be collected internally and assigned using a simple template system, which allows the customer to move parts around freely and freely layout the description for Youtube.

The following stats will be collected for review:

  • Products without a video linked (no relation)
  • Products with the same video linked (duplication)
  • Videos without a product in the system
  • Total amount of videos / amount of video-pages (50 videos max per page)
  • Total amount of products with videos

Youtube SEO

These are the relevant key aspects, that help to get your videos more views.

  • Relevant text featuring at least 1,000 characters
  • Keywords that are relevant on Google Search and YouTube and describe your video
  • Hashtags, can also be used within the text
  • Timestamps Links to related content / affiliate links
portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | youtube data api auth

PREPARING AUTH / OAUTH2 AT GOOGLE

In the past access to the Youtube Data API was far easier and less limited, when it comes to offline / none expiring OAuth2 refresh tokens.

When you are building a server-side application that is only available to your customer or moderators, it makes no sense to run that app through the Google App verification. Your app will never be used in public.

The Youtube Data API and its scopes, are defined as sensitive and therefor require third-party security assessment for public access.

The scopes I am requesting are https://www.googleapis.com/auth/youtube.upload + https://www.googleapis.com/auth/youtube.

Because of that its far easier to just setup OAuth 2 in test mode and restrict access to your customer and specific additional accounts only (up to 100 test users allowed). What all these account need, is access to your own or Brand Youtube Channel.

Preparation in the Google Cloud Console:

  • Activate Youtube Data API
  • Create OAuth2 Client ID
    • Name
    • Allowed Redirects
  • Setup OAuth-Consent Screen
    • Name of the App
    • Support Email
    • Logo
    • Allowed Domains
    • Typ: External
    • Setup all test-users, all of these need access to your Youtube channel already

A detailed description can be found here.

You can circumvent verification for the consent screen, by using an organisation setup at Google. Here some infos about that. With that setup offline refresh tokens should work fine.

Update: Just tried that, but wont work with a branded youtube account, even though the cloud user has admin access to it. Not giving up yet, but Google / Youtube really makes it difficult to just have a simple offline solution for specific tasks ;) BTW also forced the login hint, to make sure the right account is logged in : $client->setLoginHint(‘YourWoreksapceAccount’); !

You might have heard of the “The League of Extraordinary Packages“. It is a group of developers who have banded together to build solid, well tested PHP packages using modern coding standards.

They also offer an OAuth2-client + OAuth2 Google extension that can be used.

SERVER SETUP

On the server, the Google API PHP SDK can be easily integrated using Composer.

In my customer plugin I neatly separated all relevant areas in classes & traits:

  • Online Authentification, with a 60 minute session
  • Offline Authentification, with a 1 week expiration (might explain that in more detail in the future.)
  • Error handling and debug information
  • Listing of videos
  • Updating of videos
  • Updating of tags
  • Updating hashtags
  • Backup old data locally, before update. There should always be an option to restore, especially with 500 videos :)
  • Settings & templates
  • REST routes / endpoints

You can check the expiry time of your access token by accessing:
https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v1/tokeninfo?access_token=YOUR_TOKEN

“A Google Cloud Platform project with an OAuth consent screen configured for an external user type and a publishing status of “Testing” is issued a refresh token expiring in 7 days.” – Google

Basic Auth example from the SDK:

A simple upload example can be found here .

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | youtube data api list

UPDATING A SINGLE VIDEO
BULK VIDEO UPDATES

All operations to and from the Youtube Data API are rate limited. What is important for us, are the queries per day.

The default quota is 10.000 queries per day, sounds a lot, but is easily gone after updating 150-200 videos. You can request this limit to be raised, but again a lot of paperwork and questions that are just not needed.

The above limit just means, that you need to cache as many queries as possible, to only query live when needed ;)

Something you learn fast, when experimenting with different things! I hit that limit multiple times in the first few days, with around 500 videos in the queue.

Different operation cost you different amount of units

  • A read operation that retrieves a list of resources — channels, videos, playlists — usually costs 1 unit.
  • A write operation that creates, updates, or deletes a resource usually costs 50 units.
    10.000 / 50 are 200 updates per day :)
  • A search request costs 100 units.
  • A video upload costs 1600 units. Glad we are not handling the upload as well, but technically easy ;)

It also helps to use the Google Developer Playground to testdrive the Youtube Data API with your own credentials while optimising your own code.
You can define your own OAuth 2.0 configuration by clicking the cog in the upper right corner.

I setup the bulk updating to allow splitting it over multiple days, if required. For this an offline refresh token is needed, as the standard token expires after 60 minutes.

My customer can also just update a single video, when changes are applied to the product or a new product has been added.

If more frequent updates are required, I will ask for a raise of the queries per day. You can circumvent the limit by using multiple Google Cloud Platform accounts with new OAuth credentials, but really an overkill right now. I have done that in the past ;)

LAYOUT & DESIGN

The GUI is just based of Bootstrap, to make it simple and clean. Using my own wrapper to make it work within the WordPress admin.

For all ajax operations, I am using htmx and _hyperscript, which I will talk about in another article in the future.

Really neat and clean way to build single page interfaces.

The whole plugin runs of its own REST API endpoint. Just love using WordPress as a headless system.

I used TWIG / Timber for the templates, to separate logic and layout. Timber has been my goto solution for years now. It drives my own and many customer websites.

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | road ends

CONCLUSION

This has been a lot of fun, maybe a bit too much LOL

I do geek-out about many of my projects, but this experience helped me to bring my WordPress toolbox to the next level. This will help to drive other things in the future.

Working so deeply with the Youtube Data API has been fun and feels so easy now, after all remaining problems have been solved.

Would have loved this during my portalZINE TV days ;)

I you read all this, you just earned yourself a badge for completion ;)

Need something similar or something else? Just say hi and we can talk.

ENJOY CODING ….

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Getting started

“WPML (WordPress Multilingual) makes it easy to build multilingual sites and run them. It’s powerful enough for corporate sites, yet simple for blogs.” – WPML

I have been running and setting up multilingual websites for more than 12 years. WordPress and related integrations have gladly come a long way to make our life’s a lot easier.

For basic content WPML is almost plug & play, but I do see more and more sites / customers struggling with more complex setups. WPML is one of the most popular multilingual plugins and is used on x00.000 of websites.

Just so you know, WPML is a commercial solution!

Settings for almost everything

The amount of settings has increased a lot over the years and offers possible solutions for almost any content / plugin setup.

But for more complex setups, I would suggest to hire a professional to look over the settings or study the plugin documentation carefully.

Especially with a lot of content, it can quickly increase problems and the need to revisit specific content over and over again.

How to translate

WPML lets you translate any text that comes from themes / theme frameworks (DIVI, Elemetor, Gutenberg …), plugins, menus, slugs, SEO and additionally supported integrations (Gravity Forms, ACF, WooCommerce …).

You can translate content internally for yourself, using translation management to translate with an internal team of translators or get help from external translators / translation services.

The latest version also offers AI translations, which allows you to get a decent start for most of your content.

In addition to the above, WPML String Translation allows you to translate texts that are not in posts, pages and taxonomy. This includes the site’s tagline, general texts in admin screens, widget titles and many other areas.

Is it worth its money

Well, I am a bit biased. I have not looked much at other solutions for the past 5 years, as it offers all I really need.

I have used it on projects from 2 to 15 languages and it scales nicely. At least with proper hosting attached!

Anything can be tweaked through the API, Hooks and custom integrations. I have build additional WPML tools for my customers, to streamline some of the repeating / boring tasks.

Their support is responsive and the forum already provides a huge amount of answers to most of the questions that might come up.

If you develop / maintain multiple customer websites with multilingual content, the investment is quickly
amortized. I do offer WPML to my maintenance package customers, maybe something to consider ;)

Its an essential solution in my WP toolbox.

WPML 4.5

WPML 4.5 is on its way and will include a “Translate Everything” feature, among other fixes and enhancements.

Translate Everything allows you to translate all of your site’s content automatically as you create it. You can then review the translations on the front-end before publishing.


portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | wpml logo transparent

WPML / Documentation

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FINDING A COMMON GROUND!

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity |

The first contact is always critical in order to define a possible project or future collaboration. I always have some time during the week to talk to potential customers about possible solutions.

In a casual first conversation, you can clarify what both sides need.
Either the chemistry is right or not :)

THIS IS GOING TO BE
WAY TOO EXPENSIVE?

It doesn’t have to be at all!

There are approaches and solutions for every project size. Most projects can be split into phases to keep everything manageable and affordable.

My projects are always tailored personally and predefined as precisely as possible.
If you don’t ask, you end up paying more everywhere!

HOW CAN I HELP?
WHERE CAN I HELP?

I have been looking after private individuals, startups, medium-sized companies and larger companies for years.

As a full stack developer, I can provide my customers with a complete project overview and help classify the effort. I also have design and advertising experience, as well as an above-average basic commercial and legal knowledge.

My customers know that I have no problem sharing my knowledge and can provide assistance in all areas.

Again, just talk to me and lets find a common ground :)

MULTILINGUAL.
DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?
PARLEZ-VOUS FRANÇAIS?

Until about 5 years ago, my main focus was on international projects. But in the last few years I have also built a solid foothold in the German-speaking arena.

I have implemented projects with up to 15 languages. For me, English sometimes runs better than German, which is also reflected in my portfolio and my BIO . I can write, read and speak French well (even if it’s a bit rusty!).

If you want to set up a multilingual site or translate parts of it, you’ve come to the right place. Of course also for WordPress via WPML .

Again, just say hello or Moin!

ONE PAGER
STATIC WEBSITE
HEADLESS CMS
WORDPRESS
YOUR OWN SOLUTION?

For me everything is actionable and can be worked out together depending on the project. Nobody needs to pay more than is really absolutely necessary. Sustainability is also a big topic and flows into all my projects.

Over the years I have also developed many of my own internal solutions, in order to be able to implement special solutions quickly.

Every project puzzle can be solved!

SEO
ADVERTISING
SOCIAL MEDIA
DATA PROTECTION
COOKIE MANAGEMENT?

It does not work without those and cannot be disregarded in any development phase of a project. I have a lot of experience in that area and can also contribute ideas and solutions where needed.

WHAT ELSE?

There are certainly still a few things that could be listed here, but I would rather clarify this in a personal conversation.

Gladly by phone or live via Skype!

Just ask for an appointment!

Contact / About me

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for your interest!

Greetings

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity |

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18. November 2019

Structured Data – I love it!

You might have heard about Structured Data, Schema.org and JSON-LD.  

Search engines read structured data and use it to enhance search engine results. Structured data helps search engines to understand and categorize page content.

Example

This structured data, in JSON-LD format, describes a simple Article.

Schema.org is a collaborative, community activity with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet. But not all structured data endpoints are actually used by Google, Bing or other search engines yet.

Allowed Structured Data

Google provides a detailed overview of structured data allowed and used for search results.

There are basic enhancements you can use, like the Article structured data above. There are also many other more specific uses, like Video, LocalBusiness, Events, FAQ, Job Postings, Recipe and so on. Bing also provides a basic overview, but their documentation is scattered and feels incomplete.

How to integrate Structured Data

If you use a modern CMS, many structured data endpoints are already integrated out of the box (Article, Website, Logo, Person …).

Also modular content management systems often offer additional functionality through plugins, those help integrate structured data directly. Some do it better than others!

But if you really want to dive deep and integrate all those little things, structured data is still far more powerful when added manually. Especially things like events, products, job listings, courses, Q&A can greatly be enhanced by hand.

Alex@portalZINE

Validating Structured Data

Google and Bing offer validation tools for structured data. Both integrate it into their Webmaster Tools. You can also use the JSON-LD Playground to validate the JSON-LD itself or RDFa Play, Structured Data Linter, Facebook Debugger, Schema.org Generator and many other tools.

Need help?

I am a huge structured data fan and have been working with it for years now. I am constantly looking for new supported structured data endpoints, to enhance my own or customer websites & data.

Google constantly updates their documentation and highlights experimental structured data endpoints. Like Speakable for example, that highlights sections of a websites that are best suited for audio playback.

Fresh structured data helps to promote your content and enhance SEO, directly enhancing your discoverability and your search engine position. Your content becomes more meaningful for search engines, making it easier for them to promote it to the right potential user. It also ties into the GO GREEN concept, as you are reducing bounces of your website for users getting offered the wrong content.

Things like recipes and how-tos are already pushed to the top of the search index. A perfect way to promote your website and get noticed.

Have fun using or discovering structured data!

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