A Comprehensive Guide to Optimal Background Image and Video Sizes for Your Website

January 10, 2024 — James Fulton

A Comprehensive Guide to Optimal Background Image and Video Sizes for Your Website

Recommended Image and Video Background Sizes

Using background images and videos on your website is one of the easiest ways to capture the attention of your audience. Videos and images are typically located at the top of a page, and they’re perfect for setting the tone and breathing life into your site.

Even if you’ve selected the ideal image or video, failing to optimise this content can be a major turnoff for potential customers. So before you input your brand’s logo design or a captivating clip, you need a basic understanding of sizing guidelines.

Choosing the proper size and format for your photo or video will ensure high resolution, crisp clarity, and the best user experience possible. To make that happen, follow this guide to recommended image and video background sizes and formats.

Sizing & Format Guide for Background Images

Before you upload a photo to wrap up the website design process, consider the format of the image. In the past, it was acceptable – even recommended – to use formats like JPEG and PNG, but nowadays, WebP is the ultimate formatting choice for uploading images.

WebP formatting was launched by Google in 2010 to improve loading times across the internet. This format allows users to display high-quality images with much smaller file sizes compared to JPEG and PNG files, therefore reducing the time it takes to load these images.

SVG formatting is another one to consider. SVG files use vector graphics to maintain a high resolution, regardless of the file size. If you’re worried about image clarity and quality, definitely give SVG formatting a shot.

Recommended Sizing for Background Images

In terms of size, there’s no need to use images that are larger than 2048 x 1536 pixels. In fact, the image file size should be as small as possible; using large files can reduce the load time and performance of your website, and nobody wants that!

Compressing a background image is one of the best ways to optimise it. Several WordPress plugins work to automatically compress images while uploading, or you can use a tool like Imagify to automatically resize the photo for you.

Sizing & Format Guide for Background Videos

When uploading background videos to your website, it’s best to take a “less is more” approach. There’s no need for Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080; you can export your video in the standard HD resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels with great results.

The same goes for frame rate. You can avoid overloading your site by keeping the frame rate low (no higher than 30 frames per second). Using a frame rate higher than 30 FPS and a resolution higher than 1920 x 1080 will just overload your site and waste bandwidth.

Another helpful tip for background video upload is to keep things short and sweet. Remember, this video will play on a continuous loop, so it’s best to keep it under 10 seconds.

For video size, keep it under 5 megabytes. A video file size over 5MB will just overload the site and can negatively impact the user experience. To top it off, the recommended maximum bitrate is 6K, although preferably you’ll keep it between 3.5 and 4K.

More Helpful Tips for Uploading a Video Background File

  • Remove the audio channel – your video should autoplay with no sound attached.
  • Use the WebM format for mobile users and the standard MP4 format for desktops.
  • Consider offering an optional Pause function in the video controls.
  • If you have text overlaying the video, provide enough contrast for the text to be visible.


If you want your site to rank and reach your target audience, optimising all of your website content is a must – and that includes background images and videos.

It’s not just about selecting a stunning photo or seamless video clip that represents your brand. You also need to consider file formats, sizes, frames per second, color contrasts, and more.

To recap, background images should be uploaded in the WebP or SVG format, while videos are best in WebM or MP4 depending on the browser type. Keep your images small and try compressing them to reduce stress on your site, and avoid using a video file that’s larger than 5MB


Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here is a list of common questions and answers to help you on your way!

Have another question?


What size should a digital background be?

Digital background images should be no more than 1920 by 1080 pixels. Most screens operate best at this resolution, so this is a good rule to follow for optimising your background content.


What is the best aspect ratio for video backgrounds?

It’s best to use a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio for background videos as well as images. This display size pairs well with most screens, including smartphones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and even TVs.


Why is it recommended to compress images for background content on my website?

Using large background images with insanely high resolution will only reduce the loading time and functionality of your site. By compressing your image and uploading it in the right format, you can increase upload times and improve overall page performance.

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James Fulton

Since founding the company in 2012, James has been the driving force behind SGD's success. As a visionary leader, he guides the SGD team, encouraging them to continually excel in digital design. James inspires a culture of growth, challenging each team member to surpass their own limits and set new standards in the field. This commitment to excellence not only propels personal development but also ensures SGD consistently delivers exceptional results for its clients.

Read more posts by James Fulton

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