YouTube & Vimeo Video Backgrounds

Our recommendation is to put in the URL to the video file – whether you self-host or host on a 3rd party video file hosting service / CDN, just put the URL to your .mp4 (or another supported format). This way it’ll always look good and you don’t have to worry about the embed provider changing things and breaking your design.

Here’s why:

Everyone has been playing constant game of whack-a-mole when embedding videos from 3rd party providers.

We write CSS that makes the video look right. Then the embed providers change something on their end and the video doesn’t look right anymore. We tweak our CSS, but that breaks the design on websites that actually relied on the change the 3rd party made. So then those users write some custom CSS. That then conflicts with further updates we make to our CSS.

So at this point, we don’t recommend embedding backgrounds from YouTube and Vimeo. YouTube is constantly changing things to get their branding into your video background. Make it bigger? In the future they’ll change where their logo appears. Player controls not showing? Lucky you. Wait a month and they’ll change something and you’ll get a big play button in the middle of your video background.

Vimeo apparently doesn’t do this, but regardless, since it’s a 3rd party and Breakdance can’t control the 3rd party styles, you are liable to have an issue if/when they change their styles.

We do not currently have plans to make updates to Breakdance’s CSS to further override YouTube and Vimeo’s CSS on this. If the video appearance is not to your liking, you can write custom CSS to change it, but again, that’s likely to stop working for you in the future when YouTube or Vimeo makes a further update.

Also, our lack of current plans to make changes does not mean things won’t change in the future and we ultimately do make changes to the CSS. So, if you insist on embedding from YouTube or Vimeo for a background, note that updates on YouTube/Vimeo’s end or updates to Breakdance are likely to result in the appearance of your video background changing.