There is still a debate in the web design community about whether the video backgrounds of websites are good or bad.
However, we’ve seen websites that use full-screen video backgrounds have grown in recent months like never before. But is it really an effective strategy? Does it help engage with the audience? Does it affect SEO? Let’s find out.
In this guide, we aim to find answers to these questions by comparing the pros and cons of using full-screen video backgrounds in website design. We’ll also give you a few tips for implementing a great video background with examples. Let’s dive in.
Benefits of using full screen video backgrounds
There’s a reason why full-screen video backgrounds are so popular in web design these days. There are many benefits to using them. While you should convince the client to use a video background, these points are helpful.
Attract attention immediately
Video backgrounds are more effective in attracting attention than image or monochrome backgrounds. The page section above is the first thing a visitor sees when they visit your website. And you only 3 seconds reassure the visitor to stay on the site and continue browsing.
With a video background, you have a better chance of grabbing their attention and keeping them on your site for longer.
Simplify complex topics
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth at least a thousand pictures, right? Probably because 93% of marketers believe video is an important part of their strategy.
Videos can simplify and explain even complex topics to any audience. This makes less well-known brands, products, and communities able to explain their services to the public quite easily.
Demonstration products and services
Video backgrounds also provide a way to present your products and services in a more compelling way.
For example, adding a video background to a hotel website featuring luxurious rooms and spas will certainly give your potential customers a reason to make a reservation.
The same goes for landing pages, business sites, restaurants and even ecommerce sites. With a video background, you can showcase more products than you would with a picture carousel.
If there’s one point that gets you and your client interested in the video background, it’s this. Using video backgrounds can really help improve sales and conversion rates.
In one case study, adding a video background to a home page added a website conversion rates 138%.
In fact, adding a simple explanation video to your landing page is enough to increase sales. With a video background, you have a subtle way to present your services without interfering with the user experience.
Make an emotional connection
The video backgrounds of the sites also work wonders by introducing more sensitive topics to the public. And they are very effective in creating an emotional connection with the user as well.
For example, if you’re making a website for a charity or nonprofit, you can use a video background to give context or give a behind-the-scenes look at what you’ve done to help the cause.
Disadvantages of using full screen video backgrounds
There are more advantages to disadvantages to using full-screen video backgrounds. But these disadvantages can have a huge impact on the growth of your website.
Affects website loading speed
The biggest drawback to using video backgrounds is the slow download speed. Because videos are much larger than images, they take longer to load. This is especially problematic for users with a slow internet connection.
According to the report over 50% users said they were willing to give up videos and animations on websites for better download times.
Not available on mobile devices
Auto Video Background is still fully played on mobile devices. As a result, most websites that use video backgrounds have to use a static image version of a mobile website.
Offering a completely different experience in the mobile and desktop versions of the website only confuses users.
Compatibility issues with older browsers
While more and more people are migrating to the latest versions of browsers and applications, a significant percentage of people still use older and outdated browsers.
Statistics show that there are people who still use outdated browsers like Internet Explorer 9.
HTML 5 full screen video background is not supported in such older browsers. While it’s easier to ask an audience to use a modern browser to explore your website, it’s not convenient for the user.
CTA is difficult to emphasize
Unlike a picture or a monochrome background, videos have many scenes with different colors and flashing lights. This makes it very difficult to highlight titles and prompts above the full-screen video background.
Unless you want to use colors and components from the base color palette, it’s not easy to pay attention to your website’s title, subheadings, and CTA when using video background with fast-moving scenes.
Examples + tips for full screen video background
You can avoid many of the disadvantages of using a full-screen video background by implementing the right techniques when adding a video background.
Here are just a few tips and an example of how it should be done.
Choose the right video
This is the most obvious but more important part of using full screen background video – Choosing the right video makes a huge difference in how much impact you make. As well as how it blends well with the overall user experience of the website.
For example, instead of using fast-moving videos with flashing lights, you need to choose a video that has a calming and slower pace.
Keep it short
We live in a rapidly changing world with very little patience. It’s safe to assume a person doesn’t want to stare at your background video for 3 minutes or 5 minutes. In addition, you want them to prefer to research another website and persuade the user to take action.
So it is best to use a very short video in the background. A video less than 30 seconds long would be a perfect fit for a website. And if you’re going to add a video to loop, make sure it has a smooth loop transition.
Avoid annoying videos
(Example: Phantom rental)
Videos can also sometimes interfere. For example, videos with high-contrast colors, visual effects, and flashing lights can really distract the user from important parts of your website.
It’s hard for a person to focus on a call to action or even read the title of a website when the background video distracts from it.
It is best to use a video with fewer distractions or distractions.
CTA is arguably the most important part of a website or landing page. You want your visitors to see it clearly and persuade them to click the buy button.
Highlighting CTA is a challenge when using a full-screen video background. But it is not impossible.
You can use filters to saturate video colors, make the video black and white, or even use videos with less color or a minimalist look so you can easily highlight CTA and headlines on a website.
Do not include audio
(Example: The Hidden Worlds of National Parks)
Adding background sound to a website can help create the atmosphere of a website, but playing audio automatically is not the way to do it.
You always have to keep in mind that people are visiting websites from different places and devices, no one wants to suddenly get a sound through the phone when blowing up on the bus. Or when you visit a website in the office.
To fix this, remove the audio from the video before using it as a background for the website, enable the option to change the audio only when the user wants to, or at least give the user a warning when loading the website.
Optimize for speed
You can optimize your video in a few ways to have less of an effect on your website’s load times in the background.
Proper video compression is crucial. You can use tools such as the handbrake to achieve this goal. Also consider using the correct video resolution. Removing audio also helps reduce file size.
YouTube vs. self-hosted video backgrounds
(Example: Black negative)
There is also the question of whether to host background video on YouTube or a self-hosted server. There are advantages and disadvantages to using both methods.
If you are hosting a background video on the same server, the user will have to wait for the video to download before accessing the website. But it makes sure the video is only under your control and not found on YouTube.
Of course, you can avoid this by adding a download box to your site.
Hosting a video on YouTube improves download times and has less impact on bandwidth. But it gives you less control over how the video is displayed.
Overall, there are more benefits to using full-screen video backgrounds than other formats. Then again, it depends on how and why you use it. Because video backgrounds are not suitable for all websites. It can make the website user experience or break it.