We are sometimes asked by our clients about putting music on their websites. This was a trend a number of years back. It was fairly common practice for developers to add music to pediatric, orthodontic, or other types of dental websites.
In those days, having other multimedia elements was not as common as it is today. Now it’s more common for a practice to have videos with audio for their patients to view. Having background music can conflict with the videos on the site.
Although controls can be added to mute the music, because there are no standards for placing the controls, locating the method to do so, even if it’s logically placed on the website, can be frustrating for your dental website users.
It’s a good idea to think about the following scenario. Suppose a patient has a dental emergency and needs to look up your website from work. When the pull up the site music suddenly begins playing on their computer which could be viewed as unprofessional at their place of employment. Their most likely action in this case it to immediately close your website. It’s unlikely they will open it later.
Another good reason to avoid background audio on dental websites is the increase in the use of mobile devices. Mobile devices by design do not allow automated streaming of music and video in order to preserve bandwidth. Even laptop users may be accessing your site through a wireless service provider, so streaming audio can use up their valuable bandwidth.
Many people now listen to music through their computers or mobile devices while browsing the web, so having two music sources playing at once can become a huge distraction.
Copyright concerns are also a factor. You can’t legally put the latest top 40 hit on your website unless it’s specifically licensed for that purpose, a proposition that is usually impossible or too costly to consider. This greatly limits the available music choices.
In summary, background audio on dental websites is a trend that has passed. Unless you’re starting a rock band, it’s better to avoid it. We don’t add background audio to dental websites for the reasons above. It’s more likely someone will leave your website because of the music than stay to hear it.
We help you engage with your patients by focusing on the design of your dental website and optimizing it for use on a variety of devices.