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[June 2020] Alternatives to autoplay embedded videos. What to do since it’s not working, with CRO in mind.

​​All browsers changed their auto-play policies in 2018.  ​If videos are set to autoplay, it will be muted on desktop, and not autoplay at all on mobile devices.​

But there are a few solutions.

1. ​Plugin for WordPress

​WordPress Plugin​ with the autoplay functionality

​This ​Embed Plugin​ (Pro Version) for WordPress has an option for auto play. ​The autoplay is only one features amongs a lot of them.

See all features on their website.


If using a WordPress plugin is not an option, ​​I have found a few creative ways to ​​encourage people to click on our videos.

​​Here are ​4 solutions:

​1.​ Animated Video Thumbnails
2. No Auto-Play, ​​but a great thumbnails with a Call to action and arrows
3. ​​​​Only​ have a video on your landing page when it loads.
​4. Keep on using Auto Play, but with the sound muted.

​Here are more details for each of those solutions, with a lot of examples.

Alternative 1: Animated Video Thumbnail

a) Youtube animated thumbnail with PlayBoost

Playboost is an easy way to add an animated thumbnail to your videos.  It works on multiple platforms, and is a affordable option at $27 for a lifetime license.

Watch this 1-minute video

​b) Wistia embed example

​Wistia comes with a built-in animated video thumbnail.  As you can see in this example below, you want to record your videos so you can see the face of the person before the button is pressed.

Watch this 9-minute video
​Price: $USD $99/month
Free Plan for up to 3 videos.

Visit Wistia​.com

​​c) ​Vooplayer with ThriveArchitect embed example

Vooplayer is a lead-generation video platform with a lot of options, they do have a animated play button built-in.

Watch this ​10-minute video
​Price: $USD $​1​4/month
Free Plan for up to ​5 videos.

Visit​ Vooplayer

​​d) For WordPress, ​there is a plugin that I personally use ​called Thrive Architect. ($67 one time).

It allows to put an animated gif for the thumbnail.
Please note that the website visitor will need to click play on the popup, chrome has disabled auto-play on the pop-up (lightbox) as well.

​Or create a simulated popup with a static page

​Price: USD $​67 (one-time)

Visit  ThriveArchitect

​​e) Alternatively, you can possibly create a background section that streams a video with no sound (built with Thrive Architect).

for WordPress
​Price: USD $​67 (one-time)

Visit  ThriveArchitect

​Alternative 2: No Autoplay, ​but a conversion-focused thumbnail with a Call to action and arrows.

​Great thumbnails (often with a human being on it) can make a difference in click-through rates.

Here ​is an example.  Of course that could be done in may different ways.

a) ​​Youtube Embed example

​Thumbnail Generation Tool

Price: USD $49 (one-time)

Visit  RelayThat

​​​Alternative ​​3: ​​​Only Show a video ​when your landing page loads.

​Use white space and Hide everything on the page until they click Play.

​Click the orange button to open a new page to see an example.

It will open a new page/tab with the Auto-Play Video

​Please note that the examples below are accessible by clicking the orange buttons. ​You can test with different browsers​.

​​​Alternative ​​​4: Keep on using Auto Play, but with the sound muted at first.

a) Pressplay for Youtube, Vimeo, S3, Wistia

​Click the video thumbnail below to see the​ PressPlay​ in action on their website.

PressPlay has a lot of features all focused on lead generation and conversions.

​b) ​Options without a paid tool using an arrow

​If you just want to use YouTube, you could still use the autoplay function, but as you will see in this demo, the sound will be muted, and people will have to find the unmute icon, and will have missed the beginning of the video.

It will open a new page/tab with the Auto-Play Video

​Want more Conversion Rate Optimizations tips using videos?

​For all the examples mentioned above, embedding your videos in multiple places on your page often results in more click-throughs.

​If you want more inspiration and ideas, have a look at this blog post ​with more examples of ​design considerations when using videos for conversions.

Other Considerations

USe ​Closed Captions

Closed captions is probably a very good element for conversion. Companies like allows for videos to be transcribed for you with the timing in place.

​News laws now mandates the use of closed captioning.

FAQ: ​What actually happens to a embedded video if it's set to Autoplay?

​​​As a general rule, this means that ​videos can be autoplayed on desktop, but without the sound. Some conditions allows for sound to be played, when a user has interacted with the domain for example. You can see all conditions for Chrome Autoplay Policy Change.

​On Phone and Tablet, ​autoplaying videos do not work ​in most cases.  

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    About the author 

    Denis Ethier

    Thrive Themes Designer, Integrator and Consultant.

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