It takes mere seconds for visitors to decide whether they want to stay on your website or go elsewhere. So it’s important that you grab their attention immediately and convince them to explore the rest of your site.
A great way to captivate and impress your audience is with a video background. In this post, we’ll take a look at the benefits of adding a video background to your site. Then, we’ll discuss some best practices and show you four easy ways to do this in WordPress.
What is a video background?
Video backgrounds are a way for you to provide a more engaging experience for your visitors. Instead of adding a solid color or image behind pieces of your content, you can use a video instead. These videos often loop (repeat) and are silent so as to enhance rather than take away from the rest of the page.
You can add a video background behind blocks of text, images, buttons, forms — whatever you’d like! — or even use it as the background of an entire landing page.
Strandberg Guitars, for example, displays a beautiful video background of their products in action right when visitors land on their site. Their header, intro text, and call to action button are layered on top of the video in a way that all content is still visible.
What are the benefits of a video background?
There are many benefits to using a video background. To begin, it can make your pages look more professional and attractive. When someone arrives on your site and sees a moving video, it grabs their attention in a way that stagnant content cannot.
Video backgrounds can also be an excellent way to showcase products and services in action. Feature the beautiful rooms in your bed and breakfast, show kids happily playing with the toys you sell, or share clips of the experiences you offer.
Best practices for adding a WordPress video background
If you’ve decided that your site can benefit from a video background, there are a few important things to consider. First, you’ll want to use videos sparingly but effectively. Having too many large videos on your WordPress site can slow it down and dilute the impact.
You’ll also most likely want to disable the audio. Sound can be off-putting for visitors when they simply want to view your website. The last thing you want is for your music to disrupt a visitor’s meeting or appointment.
If you’re placing content like text and buttons on top of your video background, it’s important that there’s enough of a contrast so that people can easily read them. This is particularly important for visitors with visual impairments. This color contrast checker is a great way to get a quick read on your site. Just type in your URL, and it will identify any improvements you need to make.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to use a fallback image. This sets the picture you want to display in the background if, for some reason, your video doesn’t load.
How to add a video background in WordPress
Now that you know a little bit more about video backgrounds, let’s explore some ways you can add them to your WordPress site.
1. Use the built-in Cover block
This is the simplest and most effective solution, requiring no external plugins or tools. With the Cover block, you can layer content like text, buttons, and forms on top of a photo or video background. This makes it a great option for hero sections or banners.
To get started, create your new page/post or open an existing one. Then, click the blue + icon in the top left corner. This will open up all the block options. Search for “Cover block,” then add it wherever you’d like on the page.
In the toolbar that appears, select Add Media. There you can either select a video from your media library or upload your own.
You can customize your video settings in the right-hand panel. Choose a focal point, select the opacity of the overlay, and more.
Then, add any blocks that you’d like on top of your video background by clicking the + icon within the cover block. For example, you might add a heading, line of text, and button. Remember, it’s important for that content to stand out from the background, so adjust the color and the background opacity as needed.
Once you’re happy with your cover block, save or publish your changes, and that’s it! Just a few simple steps to achieve an effective, beautiful video background.
2. Use a video plugin
If you’re looking for a very specific feature — like a full-site video background or scroll effects — video plugins could be a good alternative.
In this example, we’re going to use the Advanced WordPress Backgrounds plugin.
This tool enables you to create a range of background types, including images, self-hosted videos, and videos from third parties like YouTube. The best part is that it still works from within the WordPress block editor.
Once you’ve installed the plugin on your site, head to the page or post where you want to add a video background. Then, click the + icon to add a new block and search for “Background (AWB).” Add it wherever you’d like on the page.
In the right-hand settings panel, select the Video tab, then choose between YouTube/Vimeo and Self Hosted. Depending on which you select, you can either upload your video or enter an external URL.
Then, click the + icon within the Background (AWB) block to add the content you want to display on top. In this case, we’ve chosen to add a contact form.
From there, you can customize the settings using the right-hand toolbar. Choose a video start and end time, select the devices on which you’d like it to appear, add parallax effects, and more. When you’re all finished, save your page.
3. Use a page builder
If you’re already using a page builder like Elementor, you can use that to add a video background to your site. Create your new page with the builder and drag an Inner Section element onto the screen.
By adding your video to a section, you can overlay additional elements like text and buttons on top of your footage. Click on the dots at the top of the section to open the Section Editor. Then, navigate to the Style tab.
Next to Background Type, click Video and paste your video link into the box.
Here, you can determine start and end times, and adjust other display settings. You can also set a fallback image in case your video doesn’t play. You can then add any elements that you’d like on top of the video as you typically would.
Under Layout, you can change the height and width of your content. Then, you may want to add a background overlay and adjust the opacity to make other content in the section more visible. You can access these settings by scrolling to the bottom of the Style section.
4. Add a video background with your theme
Some themes automatically enable you to upload images, videos, or GIFs as background elements. These can fill your entire screen, or you can use them as headers or sliders.
To find a theme that allows for video backgrounds, head to your WordPress dashboard and click Appearance → Themes → Add New. Next, search for “video background” and select a theme that offers this functionality. Or, you can always upload your own premium theme.
Colibri WP is one excellent, free option. Once you’ve installed and activated the theme, go to Appearance → Customize. Then, select the Settings icon beside the Hero element.
Switch to the Style tab and change the Background type to Video.
You can either paste an external URL or upload a video file to the media library.
Then, you’re all set to customize your video background. You can apply color overlays and tweak the opacity of your video. Once you’re happy with your design, publish your changes.
Frequently asked questions
Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about using video backgrounds in WordPress.
Will a video background slow down my site?
Large video files can negatively affect your site’s performance. But the good news is that you can use a tool like Jetpack VideoPress to minimize the impact that they have on your site. It hosts your videos off-site and serves them through a powerful CDN, while helping you avoid third-party ads.
If you’re looking for ways to almost instantly improve your WordPress speed, Jetpack Boost is a great option.
What’s the easiest way to add a WordPress video background?
The built-in Cover block is the simplest way to add a WordPress video background because it requires no additional plugins, tools, or custom code.
Instead, you can create your video background directly in the WordPress editor. This makes it an excellent option for all users, even complete beginners. However, you can still customize your background, with options for overlays, focal points, and more. This is just one great example of how the WordPress block editor makes creating a beautiful, effective site accessible to everyone.
Where should I host my videos?
You can host your video on the same server as your website. This way, you can skip the limitations of third-party platforms and provide an ad-free experience for your visitors.
But, self-hosted videos can require a lot of server bandwidth and you might be unable to upload large files. What’s more, they could slow down your user experience and result in a lot of buffering and other distractions.
VideoPress is the best of both worlds. It takes all of the weight off of your server, but also gives you control over how you display your files. Plus, there are no ads to pull visitors away from your content.
With VideoPress, you can manage your videos in the same space that you manage your site.
Boost engagement with video backgrounds
With so much competition on the internet, it can be difficult to make your site stand out. Fortunately, you can add a WordPress video background to grab your visitors’ attention and create an engaging experience. The key to success is choosing the best method for hosting and displaying this valuable content.
VideoPress is one of the best video plugins for WordPress. It’s easy to use and can be accessed directly from your WordPress dashboard. Plus, it can help you provide an excellent user experience with fast-loading, ad-free videos.