Should My Website Have Music?

Music is calm, soothing, and can really convey the mood of a brand. But should you have it on your business’s website?
Don't Play Music on Your Website

Even DJs shouldn’t auto-play music on their websites.

The short answer: It depends. If your website has a musical connection — you’re a musician or composer, for example — then having music on your site is a huge part of your brand.

However, if you’re a hotel or restaurant, your customers aren’t coming to your site to listen to music. Worst of all, they may be turned off by it or find it inconveniencing. Below are some strong reasons why you should not have music on your website, unless it’s absolutely essential to your brand.

  1. The user may already be listening to music. A good number of people listen to their own music while working. You don’t want to interrupt the experience they’ve created for themselves — or it may compel them to leave your site without having a look around.
  2. It uses bandwidth. More data = more needed bandwidth. You don’t want unnecessary music slowing down the loading of your website’s pages.
  3. More sophisticated customers may find it gauche. Music on websites was novel — back in 2001. Today, a website that plays music unnecessarily can be considered passé, a word you certainly don’t want associated with your brand. (This post from 2009 shows just how long auto-playing music on websites has been out of vogue.)
  4. You’re not psychic. You can’t predict what kind of music each site visitor will like. If they get to your site to find Celine Dion warbling away, you may lost visitors before they even learn about your brand.
  5. You can’t guarantee a steady flow of the music. As the user clicks around your site and switches pages, the music will start and stop. An inconsistent experience will make your site feel unprofessional.
  6. You could embarrass your potential customer. If someone views your website at work and music starts playing, it immediately draws attention to them. Co-workers may think that person is a slacker for surfing the web while on the clock. The shamed site visitor will make a mental note never to visit your site during work hours — which could mean never.

If you absolutely, positively feel that your site needs music, make sure that the music plays only when the user clicks the play button. You’ll be doing your visitors — and yourself — a favor.

Written by

Jenna Rose Robbins started her life as a nerd on her Commodore 64 coding Mad Libs games for her friends. After graduating from the University of Michigan, she parlayed her digital talents into a career and went on to work at AOL and launch multi-million-dollar websites for Disney. After heading up FIJI Water's marketing department, she opened up shop under the Siteseeing banner, which helps small businesses improve their local presence on the web. When she's not getting eyestrain at her computer, Jenna can generally be found trying to avoid emergency rooms around the world.