Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why You Should Not Have Music on Your Website

Designing a website for your business is a lot of fun and, while we understand that it can be tempting to personalize your website with your favorite music, there are some serious reasons that you should keep your website silent.

As a general rule of thumb, unless music is a part of your business, you do not need music on your website. As a DJ or videographer, you may benefit from having music on your site so that your potential clients can get a feel for your style & taste, but it is still helpful to take note of the following:
Speed - Streaming a song as your website's background music can require a significant amount of bandwidth. This causes slower loading times, and unhappy visitors. 

Discontinuity - With most music players, the music will start and stop each time another page is clicked on or whenever the page is refreshed.  

Taste - Everyone has different tastes in music.  If your website visitor does not like your style of music, they will automatically get a negative impression of you if music is blasted at them as soon as they go to your website.  We may like to listen to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" all day & night, but we know not everyone shares our unique enthusiasm.

Dueling Banjos - Many people browse the web while already listening to music through Spotify, iTunes, or Pandora. Even if your visitors like the music on your page, they are unlikely to enjoy 2 songs played on top of each other.

Public Spaces - There's not much more annoying than using a computer in a quiet office, coffee shop,  library, etc and all of a sudden being serenaded by the unexpected loud music from a website you are visiting.  This will result in your site being exited in seconds, especially if the visitor cannot find where to turn the music off. Offices are particularly sensitive. If a bride-to-be, for example, is browsing for a wedding vendor while at work (and maybe shouldn't be), she will not be happy if she is outed by her computer speakers.

Browser Compatibility - Different browsers behave differently, not every browser is capable of playing every type of audio file. Old or out of date browsers may have a tendency to lock up when attempting to play music. 

A Few Alternatives:

Storing Audio on Inspherio- Music can be uploaded to the Audio section of the Inspherio Resource Library.  These Audio Files can be embedded into your website by selecting the button that looks like headphones in the website rich editor.  These will not play automatically.  Your visitors can click the play button and control the audio on the site.

Using a Playlist that does not AutoPlay - If you must have a music playlist on your website, we recommend using SoundCloud.  This allows you to create a playlist & has the option to not Autoplay when the page is opened.  Each playlist can be embedded into your Inspherio website using the "Embed Media" button. 

Photo Credit: JD Hancock

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