Note: While our most popular guides have been translated into Spanish, some guides are only available in English.

Adding background videos

Use background videos to add dynamic visual effects to your site. For example, you can add text and images over background videos to add more dimension and dynamic content to your pages. These videos play on a loop and don't have sound. For background videos, you can:

For a custom look and feel, you can also apply stylized filters and overlay colors.

Tip: You can also add animated backgrounds with image effects and unique background art. To learn more, visit Animations and image effects.

Before you begin

General tips

  • Your video hosting service is responsible for the quality and resolution of your streamed videos. The stream quality is outside of Squarespace's control. If your videos appear low-quality, ensure you follow our design tips. Contact your video hosting service if the quality doesn't improve.
  • While video banners that follow our design tips should display on computers, video may not always display on mobile devices, depending on the visitor's connection speed and browser version. Set a mobile fallback image to appear if the video banner can't load.
  • The page background or banner overlay color displays while the video buffers. If the video takes a few seconds to load, the mobile fallback image may display. Load time depends on your internet connection.
  • While background videos support YouTube and Vimeo URLs, they don't support adding embed code.

YouTube

  • Disable overlay ads, or they'll display over the background video.
  • Your visitors may briefly see a YouTube logo, the title of the video, a watch icon, or a share icon when the video loads. This depends on the layout and device.
  • Video ads that play before the video, also known as pre-roll ads, won't play on background videos.

Vimeo

Design tips

Background videos are a great way to add visual interest to your site, but they shouldn't distract from your other site content. Here are a few best practices to help your background video look great. If you're uploading a background video, learn about our video requirements.

When you're considering which videos to use in a background, follow these tips:

Tip Notes
Keep the video file small

For embedded videos, there’s no video length limit. For uploaded videos, the length limit is 60 seconds. Video length and resolution factor into the video file size.

Large video files take longer to load and can cause videos to pause mid-stream, depending on the visitor's connection. Keep in mind:

  • An ideal frame rate is around 60 frames per second, especially if the video displays in slow motion.
  • Use a resolution of 1080p and a bitrate of at least 3 Mbps.
  • An ideal video length is under 40 seconds.
  • When filming videos, limit the motion of the shot or motion of objects in the shot. Less motion often results in smoother looking background videos.
  • Shorter videos may display the background color more frequently when looping.
Limit number of background videos per page
  • Add two or less background videos per page. This way, you'll reduce your page size, leading to faster loading times.
Choose videos with smooth transitions
  • To keep your videos accessible, avoid content in your video that flashes three or more times in a one second period.
  • Consider transitions and avoid quick cuts or excessive panning. Videos that appear to jump around are jarring to visitors.
Contrast with text To learn about color contrast, visit Making your Squarespace site more accessible.

Step 1 - Prepare your video file or URL

To add a background video, you can upload your video file to a section background in version 7.1. You can also upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and find its share URL.

Note: Ensure the URL doesn't include a time stamp for a specific section of the video, as this will prevent it from loading.

Upload your video

To prepare your video file for upload, ensure your video meets our video upload requirements.

YouTube

  1. Create or log into a YouTube account.
  2. Upload a video or find one you've already uploaded.
  3. Ensure the video is set to Unlisted or Public and allows embedding.
  4. Copy the video's share URL.

Vimeo

  1. Create or log into a Vimeo account.
  2. Upload a video or find one you've already uploaded.
  3. Ensure the video's privacy settings are set to Anyone and allow embedding Anywhere, or Hide this video from Vimeo.com and allow embedding Only on sites I choose.
  4. Copy the video's share URL.

Step 2 - Add the video

The steps to add a video depend on your site's version and where you're adding the video.

Tip: Until you add your URL, you'll see a short video of an ocean as a demo placeholder.

Section backgrounds

You can add background videos to any sections except blog, events, and store sections. Ensure your video follows our video requirements. To add a background video:

  1. In the Home menu, click Pages, then click the page with the section you'd like to edit.
  2. In the top-left corner, click Edit.
  3. Click the section's pencil icon, then click Background.
  4. Click Video, then click the + icon. Choose Upload file to add a video from your device or click Add from link, to add a Vimeo or YouTube URL. After you add a link, click Save.
  5. Scroll down to customize other video settings.
  6. Hover over Done and click Save.

Page banner

In some templates, you can add a video background to a website page banner. This creates a great visual effect when you combine it with text overlays.

  1. In the Home menu, click Pages.
  2. Hover over the page title in the left panel and then click “the.
  3. Click the Media tab.
  4. In the Media tab, click the Video tab.
  5. Paste your video's URL into the Video URL field.

Supported templates

You can add banner videos on the listed page types for these template families:

  • Adirondack - Layout, products, album, events, blog
  • Bedford - Layout, products, album, events, blog
  • Brine - Layout, album, events, blog
  • Five - Layout, album, events, blog
  • Montauk - Layout, events, blog, index (must have a mobile fallback image)
  • Pacific - Layout, products, album, events, blog
  • Tremont - Layout, products, album, events, blog
  • York - Layout, products, album, events, blog, project, index

Video banners on pages in an Index

You can add video banners to the pages within index pages in these template families:

  • Bedford
  • Brine
  • Montauk
  • Pacific
  • York

To add the video:

  1. Open the sub-page's settings.
  2. Click Media, then click Video.
  3. Follow the steps above to add the video URL.

Cover page background

To add the video to a cover page:

  1. Open an existing cover page, or add a new one.
  2. Click Media.
  3. In the Media panel, click the Video tab.
  4. Paste your video's share URL into the Video URL field.

Supported layouts

In most cover page layouts, videos play in a full-bleed background behind the cover page's content, extending to the edges of the browser.

There are a few exceptions:

  • Displays in side panel - Backstory, Flash, Spotlight, Session, Vignette
  • Displays in the circular portrait area - Focus, Monocle
  • Doesn't support video - Flagship, Harbor

Lock screen

You can add a background video to your lock screen in place of an image or a slideshow. All sites support lock screens.

To add a video to a lock screen:

  1. In the Home menu, click Design.
  2. Click Lock Screen.
  3. Click Media.
  4. Click the Video tab.
  5. Paste your video's URL into the Video URL field.

Step 3 - Add a filter

Filters alter the video's appearance and give it a stylized look. Filters also affect the video's mobile fallback image. A filter's effect depends on the color and imagery of the video, so we recommend experimenting to find the right effect.

To add a filter, click the Filter drop-down menu in the Video tab. For all filters except Invert, you can adjust the strength using the slider. Filter effects may render differently across browsers.

Step 4 - Change the playback speed

If you're using a YouTube or Vimeo URL link, you can change the setting under Playback Speed to increase or decrease your video's speed. The default speed is 1x, meaning the video plays at its normal pace.

Step 5 - Add a mobile fallback image

Mobile browsers support background videos, but depending on connection speed and browser version, banner videos may not load for every visitor. You can set a mobile fallback image to appear when the banner video can't load. Filters also apply to the mobile fallback image. For the best results, format your image for web display before uploading it.

How you add a mobile fallback image depends on your site's version. To add a mobile fallback image:

  1. Click Edit on the page, then click the pencil icon on the section with the video background.
  2. Click Background, then click Video.
  3. Under Mobile fallback image, click Add an image to upload an image, or click Search images to reuse an image or add a stock image.
  4. Hover over Done and click Save.

The mobile fallback image also displays while the video loads.

If you don't add a mobile fallback image, a background color will display on mobile instead. This color is set by the section colors.

  1. In the Video tab of the Media panel, scroll down to Mobile fallback image.
  2. Click Upload an image, or Search for image to reuse an image or add a stock image.
  3. Click Save.

If you don't add a mobile fallback image, a background color will display on mobile instead. You can choose this color in these template families:

  • Adirondack - Content background color tweak
  • Bedford - Banner overlay color tweak
  • Brine - Overlay color tweak
  • Five - Banner overlay color and Header background tweaks
  • Montauk - Canvas background tweak
  • Pacific - Overlay color tweak
  • Tremont - Site background color tweak
  • York - Background color tweak

For cover pages, use the Background: color tweak.

Tip: Add an animated .gif as your mobile fallback image to create a similar effect to the video.

Disable the background video

To disable the background video, switch to a background image. The set image will replace the background video.

  1. Click Edit on the page, then click the pencil icon on the section with the video.
  2. Click Background, then click Image.
  3. Click Save.
  1. In the Pages panel, hover over the page title in the left panel and click “the.
  2. Click Media, then click Image.
  3. Click Save.

If you're using a cover page, you can also choose None to replace the video with a background color

Watch a video

This video applies to Squarespace version 7.0.

Was this article helpful?
205 out of 468 found this helpful
Adding background videos