Background Videos Bad Idea

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Occasionally we will work with a client who insists on using video backgrounds for their pages or even a single row on their page. This is a very bad idea for a few reasons.

While videos are an incredibly powerful marketing tool and should definitely be used to promote your product or service, they need to be used correctly. You will notice that in recent years using video as a background for websites has all but vanished and there are several very good reasons for this.

Videos Files Are Large And Slow Down Your Pages

If you want to maximise how much money your site earns for your business then it MUST be fast-loading. Video files are always large even when compressed and take valuable seconds to download in your visitors’ browser.

A well compressed 10-second video will add a minimum of 1.5 seconds to your page load even if you have excellent fast web hosting. That extra 1.5 seconds could be the difference between the visitor actually seeing your site or leaving because they think your site is too slow to load.

The Cost To You

The above 1.5-second delay while it seems small, will result in a 10% reduction in your conversions whether that be sales, visitors, enquiries or subscribers.

If your site has 1000 visitors a month you will be losing about 100 visitors. 100 people who may have signed up or bought from you but did not. How much lost revenue is that? However much it is, it is simply NOT worth it.

The Cost To Your Users On Mobile Devices

Another thing to consider is people trying to view your site on a mobile device. Firstly, that 1.5 seconds will probably now be 3-5 seconds extra and will more than likely trigger impatience and lose that visitor for you altogether.

Video backgrounds will also use the visitors’ valuable data allowance which they will not thank you for that is costing them money.

Images Are Better

If you currently have a video as a background we will always recommend you replace it with an appropriate image. These load like lightning and are just as professional looking.

But What About My Video?

There is a simple solution here, use your video the correct way, place it on your page as a video with a clear play button, your visitors can then watch it if they want to. Most will, it is hard to resist a play button if visiting a website with a service or product that interests you.

From a speed perspective, we can actually show a placeholder image with a play button which loads MUCH faster and just have the video initialise when they click play.

It Only Matters To You

Now, this may seem a bit harsh but it is very true. A fancy video background will not matter to 99.9% of your visitors. There have been millions of dollars of study done on how people use websites and here are the results in a nutshell.

  1. They visit your site via a link whether that be a search engine result or an ad.
  2. They take a glance at your site which lasts less than one second to establish if it looks professional and trustworthy.
  3. They now want the information they came for and they want it FAST.
  4. The clearer and cleaner your site is, the easier the information the visitor wants is to find the better your results will be. This is what is most important to your visitors not fancy video backgrounds. This is based on what actual web users have said we are not making this up.

Here is the thing a lot of website owners forget, the average visitor does not care about fancy or flashy web design, they have come for specific information so help them find it.

Stop a moment and think about how you use the web yourself. When looking for information or products would you really care about some video background that is not helping you find the information you want?

A Hard Conclusion

If you want your website to be fast then video backgrounds are a no-no! We are professionals at optimising WordPress websites, we rock at what we do but even we can not tuck your website down under that vital 2-second page load if you insist on using video backgrounds. It just can not be done.