Sound on a Website or No Sound?

When you first visit a website, many things can grab your attention.  Some good, some bad.  This is where the question of sound or no sound comes into play.  Adding music can really make a website stand out from the rest, or it can the opposite effect and turn visitors away.  There are many people that believe that sound on a website is annoying and distracting. Others, on the other hand, may feel that is rather inviting!

There are different ways that you can incorporate sound on your website that will appeal to both masses.  One suggestion would be to have a video.  When a visitor puts sound and visual together in a video, rather than just a song on auto loop, that visitor is instantly entertained, intrigued and interactive.  A website that has some form of interaction, has been a proven way of getting your visitors to stay for an extended period of time.  Though video is a great choice, it’s unfortunately not always the best.  You wouldn’t want a video montage of Bach playing “Cannon in D” on wedding website, for example.  Though a song being played in flash throughout the website by Bach can really enhance a visitors experience!

When it comes down to it, the answer to “Sound or No Sound” is a question that will never have a clear cut answer due to the fact that visitors on the internet change and times are always are changing.  What might be hot today, might not always be hot tomorrow.  Just as how a website layout can affect the overall feel of a website, so can making the decision to put, or not put, sound on it as well.  While it truly is a personal choice, I would go with professional advice and stay away from “gimmicks”, such as video or sound, on your website.  It may take away from the feel that are you trying to create.  It all depends on what the website or webpage is about as well. For example, you have a page that is fun and it is a reflection of who you are personally (perhaps a webpage for friends and family to view), then by all means go ahead and put that sound byte on!  However, if you are trying to achieve clientele with a more professional look and feel, then you may want to steer clear of all gimmicks and stick to the basics.

The best thing you can do is to take your own website for a test drive.  Put yourself in your visitors shoes.  What catches your eyes and ears?  Is the music distracting as you are trying to read text on the website?  What is the first initial feeling that your website gives you?  Once you see for yourself what others will be experiencing, the right choices for your website and its sole purpose, will become clear and you will be able to make the final choice of “Sound or No Sound?”