YouTube recently redesigned channel pages to make them more dynamic and easier to customize. The beta channels are now a hodgepodge of your uploads, favorites, playlists, and numerous in-channel editing options. Should you upgrade to the new design, you have a greater chance of creating an eye-catching channel that’s likely to keep your viewers engaged for longer.
YouTube originally made the redesigned channels available to a select group of elite members and new users. Now however, the video site is letting anyone upgrade their channel, and eventually they’ll be moving all remaining channels over to the new version.
As previously reported, the redesign allows for wider videos and better organized pages; the result is a viewer-friendly experience centered around your content. As such, we wanted to highlight some of the best ways to maximize the redesigned channels and show you how to customize them to your liking.
First things first: upgrade your channel. There’s absolutely no reason not to. The new design is sleeker, more viewer-friendly, and is just more dynamic than the old design. Plus, it’s pretty painless to upgrade. Simply visit your Channel Design page and click “Upgrade my channel.”
You’ll notice immediately that most of your previous channel customizations are already carried over in the new design, which is good news if you put a lot of time and effort into designing your channel’s look and feel.
Now that you’ve upgraded, you’ll immediately want to edit the video content settings for your newly enhanced channel. Thankfully this can be done with just a few clicks. Find the edit button in upper right-hand corner to view the content selection menu. You can opt to display uploaded videos, favorites, playlists, or a combination of all three.
If you select the playlists option, you can then individually select the video playlists you want to include. You also have the option to adjust the featured content set and the featured video for your channel. Since the featured video is the one channel visitors will see first, we suggest you peruse your options to find the right setting.
In-channel editing is the new black on YouTube, and though basic in concept — you can edit everything without leaving your channel — it’s a key time-saver and an incredibly useful upgrade.
You’ll notice that the new design is replete with editing options everywhere. You’ll want to take advantage of these to tweak the information displayed about you, your activity, and your videos.
Here’s what you can edit right from the channel page: recent activity, privacy settings, displayed settings for profile information, subscriptions, subscribers, friends, and channel comments, as well as channel settings, themes, and modules. You’ve got a lot of power right at your fingertips.
When it comes to theme and module editing, users with no CSS or design experience will find themselves completely at ease with beautifying their channel design. The themes and colors are pretty self-explanatory, so you can pick a preset theme, start toying with colors, and get an as-it-happens preview while you tweak. You can still upload a custom background image and adjust the coloring for every element of your channel. Once you’re done, just click save to publish the new design publicly.
Also make sure to take a quick look at the modules tab if you’re interested in removing or displaying content modules. You can do away with, or include, these modules: comments, recent activity, friends, subscribers, groups, and subscriptions.
Extra Channel Tips
Adjusting background image file size: One annoying thing about YouTube background images is that they’re constrained to 256 KB, which means if you have a high resolution image, you’re out of luck unless you’re able to compress the file size with a photo editor. If all of this sounds foreign, not to worry.
An easy way to downsize your image is to use an online photo editor like Picnik . Simply upload or access your online images from Flickr or Facebook, and click the “Save and Share” tab. You’ll notice that you can select from a few different photo formats (try JPG), and then use the sliding bar to compress the image file size below 256 KB. Click to save your photo, and now all you need to do is upload it to YouTube (Edit Channel -> Themes and Colors -> show advanced options).
Expand your color palette: YouTube also only lets you select from 64 different colors, but you can really use any browser-safe color by inputting the right hex code. Why not use a web color chart like this one to have even more choices? Just enter the code of your choosing into the box next to the color palate, hit enter on your keyboard, and your preview is instantly updated.
Keep up with what’s new: YouTube has an under the radar blog dedicated to the Channels Beta project. Since this is a beta offering, YouTube is pushing out changes and adding new features on a very regular basis. Subscribe to this blog to be the first to know about what’s new.