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How to Add a Video Background to Your WordPress Website

wordpress video optimization

What is a Video Background?

A video background is an engaging website design element where a video is placed as the backdrop behind the main content of a webpage. Unlike traditional static images or solid color backgrounds, video backgrounds offer a dynamic and visually appealing experience that can capture visitors’ attention more effectively. 

These videos typically loop continuously, ensuring that the motion is seamless and that there is no interruption in the visual experience. By adding movement and life to what would otherwise be a still background, these videos can create a more immersive environment that enhances the overall aesthetics of a webpage.

Why Adding a Video Background Matters

Adding a video background to your WordPress website can enhance visual appeal and engagement. It’s a great way to grab your visitor’s attention immediately and make a solid first impression. However, if you’re still getting familiar with the process, it might seem daunting. Don’t worry, it’s pretty straightforward.

In this tutorial, we will guide you through different ways to add a video background to your WordPress website, and by the end, you will see that it’s easier than you might have thought.

Let’s get started!

wordpress upload video

Selecting a Theme with Video Background Support

One way to add a video background is by choosing a WordPress theme with built-in support for video backgrounds. This method simplifies the process and might be more suitable for those who prefer a more integrated solution.

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Click on ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Themes’.
  3. Click ‘Add New’ and search for themes with “video background” functionality.
  4. Select a theme that supports video backgrounds.
  5. After activating the theme, use the Post editor area to select ‘Video Source’.
  6. You can choose from Self-hosted, Vimeo, or YouTube videos.
  7. Upload or add your video link in the corresponding field.
  8. Apply all the necessary settings and publish your post.

This method is particularly useful for users looking for a streamlined way to incorporate video backgrounds without additional plugins.

Using the Built-in Cover Block

A simple way to add a video background to your WordPress website is using the built-in Cover Block. This method doesn’t require any additional plugins and is relatively straightforward.

1. Select the Cover Block

Open the page or post where you want to add the video background. In the WordPress editor, click the ‘+’ icon to add a new block and select the ‘Cover’ block.

wordpress video optimization

2. Add a Video

Once you have added the Cover block, click the ‘Upload’ button to upload a video from your computer or insert a video from your media library.

3. Add Foreground Content

At this point, a preview of the background video should be visible. Feel free to add foreground elements to the Cover, like text or buttons.

4. Adjust the Settings

After adding the video, you can adjust the settings of the Cover block. You can change the alignment of the content position and add an overlay color if needed. Preview your changes to see how it looks on your website.

And that’s it! You have successfully added a video background to your WordPress website using the built-in Cover Block. This method is relatively easy and doesn’t require any additional plugins. However, if you are looking for more advanced features or customization options, you might want to consider using a plugin.


The Video Background Plugin

You can also use the Video Background plugin, which is free and easy to use. (Although it has a premium version that includes more features, if you’re looking for specific functionality). To configure the plugin, you need to fill in four mandatory fields:

  • Container: Specify the location where you want the video background.
  • .mp4: Provide the link to the .mp4 file for Safari and IE support.
  • .WEBM: Provide the link to the .webm file for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera support.
  • Link to fallback image: This will be used as the fallback image if the video background is not supported, for example, on mobile devices.

Additionally, there are five optional fields to enhance the appearance of your video background:

  • Overlay: Add a color overlay over the video, which helps optimize the text’s readability.
  • Overlay Color: If the overlay is enabled, you can choose the overlay color using the color picker.
  • Overlay Alpha: If the overlay is enabled, you can determine the level of transparency.
  • Loop: Enable or disable the looping of the video background.
  • Tap to Unmute: Add a “Tap to unmute” button to your video backgrounds to allow your users to engage with the sound. This feature is compatible with Chrome’s latest autoplay policies.

After configuring these settings, your video background will be set up and ready for optimal performance and user engagement.

Using the AWB Plugin

The Advanced WordPress Backgrounds (AWB) plugin is another excellent tool for adding a video background to your WordPress website.

1. Install AWB and Add Its Content Block

First, install the AWB plugin. Once installed and activated, go to the page or post where you want to add the background video. Using the WordPress editor, click to add a content block and search for and select the Background (AWB) block.

wordpress video optimization

2. Add Your Video

The AWB plugin allows adding color, image, or video backgrounds to the element. Select ‘Video’, then paste a URL from YouTube or Vimeo. Alternatively, the plugin has a ‘Self Hosted’ tab for uploading local videos.

3. Adjust the Height and Width of the Video Background

Initially, the content block is designed to occupy only a portion of the page area. To adjust this, click the editor’s ‘Full Height’ button. There’s also a button to extend the video background to full width.

You can also drag or insert content, such as text, buttons, or images, on top of the background video.

4. Modify the Video Background Settings

Adjust the settings you want in the Block tab: start time, end time, looping, always playing, and video opacity.

It’s advisable to add a background color overlay with decreased opacity; this makes the overlaying text easier to read. Do this by navigating to the ‘Block’ tab and selecting white or black as the ‘Background Color’. Then, slightly decrease the ‘Opacity’ using the slider to ensure the background remains visible.


Adding Video Background Using Elementor

Elementor is a popular page builder plugin for WordPress that simplifies creating visually appealing pages and posts without coding. One of its many features is adding a video background to your sections.

1. Click the “Video Background” Icon

Open the page or post where you want to add the video background. In the WordPress editor, click on the “video background” icon. This icon is usually in the toolbar at the editor’s top.

2. Insert a YouTube Link or a Self-Hosted Video

After clicking the video background icon, you will be prompted to insert a video link. You can insert a YouTube link or a self-hosted video in MP4 format. Ensure your chosen video is high quality and relevant to your website’s content.

3. Set a Start and End Time

Once you have inserted the video link, you can set a start and end time for the video. This is particularly useful to highlight a specific video section as your background.

4. Set a Fallback Image

Not all devices or browsers automatically play videos. Therefore, it’s essential to set a fallback image that will be displayed on devices that don’t preview videos automatically. This image should be a snapshot of the video or something relevant to your website’s content.

5. Use the Background Overlay to Personalize the Video

Lastly, you can use the background overlay feature to personalize the video. This feature allows you to add a color overlay on top of the video, which can help to make the text on your website more readable and give your website a unique look.

And that’s it! Using the video background icon, you have successfully added a video background to your WordPress website. This method is straightforward and doesn’t require any additional plugins. However, if you prefer using plugins or need more customization options, other methods are also available, which we will discuss next.

Exploring Additional Video Background Plugins

Apart from the Video Background and AWB plugins mentioned earlier, several other WordPress plugins can be used to add video backgrounds. These include:

  • Easy Video Player WordPress Plugin
  • Elementor Background Image & Video Slider
  • Video Gallery – YouTube Playlist, Channel Gallery by YotuWP
  • Video Player & FullScreen Video Background
  • Smart Slider 3
  • Divi Builder

These plugins offer unique features and functionalities, from simple video embedding to advanced customization options like sliders and full-screen backgrounds. Depending on your website’s requirements and your comfort with WordPress, these plugins can provide additional flexibility and creative control over how video backgrounds are displayed.

Using Cloudinary

Using Cloudinary to add a background to videos in WordPress involves a few steps. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Upload Your Video and Background Image

Go to your Cloudinary dashboard, click on ‘Media Library’, and then click on ‘Upload’ to upload your video and the background image.

wordpress video optimization

2. Transform Your Video

Once you have uploaded your video and background image, you can use Cloudinary transformation features to add the background image to your video. To add a background image to a video, you can use the “l” parameter in the Cloudinary URL syntax to add a background image to a video. The “l” parameter allows you to overlay an image on top of the base video. You can adjust the dimensions and position of the overlay using the “w” (width), “h” (height), “x” and “y” (x & y coordinates), and “g” (gravity) parameters.

3. Get the Transformed Video URL

After transforming your video, you can get the transformed video URL from the Cloudinary dashboard. Now that you have the transformed video URL, you can add it to your WordPress website. You can use any method to add a video to your WordPress website, such as the WordPress media library, a video block, or a video background plugin.

wordpress video optimization

4. Preview and Publish

After adding the transformed video URL to your WordPress site, preview your changes to see how the video background looks on your website. If satisfied with the result, you can publish or update your page or post to save your changes.

And that’s it! You have successfully added a background to your video in WordPress using Cloudinary. Cloudinary allows you to host and manage your videos and offers various transformation and optimization options to enhance your videos and improve your website’s performance.

Powerful Visual Experiences with Cloudinary

Incorporating video backgrounds into your WordPress site enhances its visual appeal, engages users, and conveys messages dynamically. By following user-friendly methods and utilizing tools like Cloudinary, you empower your content to resonate effectively and create a more captivating online experience.

Ready to Transform Your Site’s Visual Experience?

Unlock the full potential of your website with Cloudinary’s advanced video management and transformation solutions. Sign up now and start creating more engaging and visually appealing content today! Why wait? Join Cloudinary today and bring your website to life!

Last updated: Jun 2, 2024