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Adding background videos

You can embed background videos from YouTube and Vimeo on page sections, banners, and other areas, depending on your site's version. Background videos play on a loop without sound and add a dynamic visual effect to your site. For a custom look and feel, you can apply stylized filters and overlay colors.

Before you begin

General tips

  • 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.
  • Video banners sometimes won't display on mobile, depending on the visitor's connection speed and browser version. Set a mobile fallback image to appear when the video banner can't load.
  • There's no time limit for videos, although shorter videos may display the background color more frequently when looping.
  • Background videos don't support embed codes.

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 that will keep your background video looking great.

Keep the video file small

Video length and resolution factor into the video file size. Large video files take longer to load and can cause the video to pause mid-stream, depending on the visitor's connection.

While there's no official time limit, we recommend keeping background videos under 40 seconds if possible. One way to keep videos short is to choose content that loops seamlessly, which makes the video seem longer but takes up less space.

We recommend using videos with:  

  • A frame rate of around 25 frames per second.
  • A resolution of 720p, which is 1280 x 720 pixels.

Choose content with smooth transitions

When you choose a video, pay attention to transitions to avoid quick cuts and excessive panning. Videos that appear to jump around catch the eye and can be jarring.

Ensure contrast with text

Keep your background video compatible with your site's styles, especially the color of any text you place over it. Ensure visitors can read your text at all points during the video.

If there's not enough contrast, you can:

Step 1 - Find your video URL

To add a background video, upload it to Youtube or Vimeo and find its share URL. It isn't possible to upload a video directly to Squarespace or embed videos hosted by a different service.

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

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 the 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, event, and store sections. To add a background video:

  1. In the Home Menu, click Pages.
  2. Click the page where you'd like to add the video, then click Edit.
  3. Hover over the section and click the pencil icon.
  4. Click Background, then click Video.
  5. Paste your video’s URL into the Video field.
  6. Scroll down to customize other video settings.
  7. 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 (YouTube only)

If you’re using a YouTube video URL, you can select a Playback Speed to change your video's speed. The default speed is 1x, meaning the video will play 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.

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Adding background videos