The Well Crafted Website
Choosing Images for Your Website
This post covers the topic of choosing the right images for your website.
In this article you’ll learn:
- How image licensing works
- Where you can find stock images
- Where to find free stock images
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and that could not be more true in web design. Images play a huge part in the impact your website will have on visitors.
Finding the Right Images for Your Website
While your text is very important, the images on your site will cause an instant reaction. Images are such a great tool for really invoking emotion that you might otherwise not be able to do. With the right images you will be able to not just show a user what your brand embodies but make them feel it. And that is why you need to really focus on choosing the best images for your site.
What Not To Do
A lot of people aren’t too sure how to go about finding images. One common mistake website owners make when designing their own site is to do a quick google search of a term relevant to their business, download one of the photos that pops up, and stick it on their website. Here’s why NOT to do that. Unless the rights to a photo have been purchased or it is under what is called a creative commons license, you do not have the right to display it on your website.
Just because an image can be saved and downloaded to your computer does not mean it becomes yours. The photographer could potentially come after you for using their work without paying or receiving permission. They are the rightful owner of the photo just like any other piece of property. Aside from the legal issues, if you are using an image for your website it should be high quality and the right size for optimization. Most of the photos that appear in the google search are not going to be either of those things.
There are a lot of stock photo sites where you can purchase images, icons, etc from thousands of options. A couple of common stock photo sites I like are shutterstock.com and stock.adobe.com. Depending on your business, it might be a good idea to hire a photographer to capture high quality photos of your product, food, etc. Either of these routes are going to cost money. But it is another investment towards your business and it is worth it! Images can make or break your website.
The Creative Commons License
I mentioned the creative commons license above. This license enables people to use an otherwise copyrighted object for free. There are several different websites where you can find images under this license. My personal favorites are pixabay.com and unsplash.com. Pixabay has a large selection of photos and unsplash offers more artistic type photos. These sites might be a good option for you when you are first starting out and trying to cut costs. However, they still pale in comparison to the variety offered when you are purchasing photos from a reputable site. It is a good idea to always double check the license on the photo before using it on your website. It should be listed somewhere by the photo or in the website general information.
Looking for more great tips on creating a powerful website? Check out my DIY Web Design Guide!
Until Next Time! Ashley
Until Next Time! Ashley
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