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Should you put music on your web site? 


There are only two circumstances when you should consider putting music on your web site:

1. If you sell music, your visitors will want to hear a sample of your product before they buy.  All of the popular online music sites offer this feature.  Visitors to those sites expect it, and they know that they will have to wait for the short download to begin playing.

2. If you are a musical performer (singer, wedding dance band, etc.), then your visitors will want to hear you before they book you.  By putting clips of your performances on your web site, you can instantly "perform" for your visitors.  Those who like what they hear can contact you for more information, and when they do you will know they are serious since they liked what they heard.

In most other cases, music is a bad idea. 


1. When unexpected, music usually seems out of context and unprofessional.  Unless you are selling music or musical services, your visitor is not coming to your site to listen to music - they are coming for another reason: to make a purchase, to read a story, to learn a skill, etc.

2. When repeated, music becomes annoying.  If your visitor is spending time on your web page (which is a good thing) and your web page is playing the same little ditty over and over again, it quickly becomes annoying.  You don't want to drive your visitors away.

3. When large, music files can take a long time to download.  Not everyone has a high speed connection, and if the music files associated with your page is large, it can take a long time for your page to download for some users.  Most will not stick around. 

4. When illegal, music files can you get into a heap of legal trouble.  Do you have the proper legal rights to "broadcast" the music?  If you don't, you are stealing, and you could get into legal trouble.  Unless you composed and performed the music, you probably need permissions and rights to put the music on your site.

If you decide to use music

If you determine that music is appropriate for your site, be sure to give your visitors a choice on if and when they listen to the music.  Don't pay it automatically when the page loads. 

Include clear, prominent buttons for turning the music on and off.  In addition to being a welcome choice for users, it can also help to make your page load faster - your visitor only downloads the music file if the elect to listen to it.

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