With websites being more dynamic and useful than ever, displaying live data and information such as news and stock updates, it’s no wonder that an increasing number of people wish to display this information on their digital displays. But just how can one achieve this using digital signage? That’s the question that we set out to answer today.
Digital signage and responsive websites
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty, there is one aspect that you should be aware of and that is the importance of using responsive websites on your digital display. Generally, if you are to display the website in a 1920x1080 landscape format, chances are that everything will look fine. However, if you are to combine a website with other content such as a weather widget, news widget, or a background video, you need to ensure that the website you are to display is responsive. Whether you know it or not now, you will likely want to have more information than just your website on your displays.
Having a website be responsive means that the “web page renders well on a variety of devices”. In other words, the website should be just as functional on an iPad or a smartphone as it is on your computer. Regardless of whether you wish to display your website on digital displays or not, having a responsive website is considered best practice in 2021, so if your website does not have a responsive design, you may want to tend to that. Developers should mind the size scale ratio and develop/test accordingly on Chrome, Firefox, Safari.
Websites that can be problematic
Apart from non-responsive websites, other factors can make websites problematic to display on digital displays. For example, websites that require a user to log in can be challenging to display. This is due to security limitations. Generally, requiring a user to log in is to prevent this type of unauthenticated use. However, if you are the owner of the website, you could create a version of the website that allows you to display the website without requiring a user to log in. Most system owners would disapprove of this though due to security concerns.
What you might be able to be to create a webpage that is only accessible on the internal network or preapproved devices (such as specific computers or IP addresses). This would mitigate the security risk as your digital signage software would be able to load the website only from that specific computer or IP address and transmit this information to any or all your digital displays.
Displaying websites on digital displays
With that out of the way, let us take a closer look at what you need to display a website URL on digital displays.
First, your display needs access to the internet. Secondly, your displays will need a player that communicates with your digital signage software and shows the intended content. The player can either be external or internal, but most modern signage displays feature internal players.
Now, some digital displays allow you to simply input the URL without the use of external software, however, you will have little to no control of how the website is displayed or formatted and the support for complex websites varies from display to display. To ensure that your website is displayed as intended, you need digital signage software that supports displaying websites.
How to publish websites may vary from software to software. In some cases, you can publish the website as a standard media file on full screen. In other cases, you can use a widget to display webpages on top of your other content – this is arguably the most modern way to display website pages as you can combine it with additional information making the content more dynamic. There are also cases where you simply have a feature for displaying URLs, this is similar to the first example.
It is fully possible to display website URLs on digital displays, but it is important to know that there are certain limitations. As long as your website is responsive and does not require someone to log in to see the content, all you need is a smart signage display and a robust digital signage solution that allows for websites to be displayed.
However, it is important to keep in mind that not all hardware can display websites regardless of software - this is especially true for older displays. If you are uncertain of what you can display on your digital displays with your software, we recommend speaking to an expert.