Good website images are vital to an attractive, visually appealing, and modern looking website. You’ve heard the good old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and it’s true in the world of web design. Few people take the time to really read the webpage in its entirety, so it’s important to communicate your message quickly and efficiently. Smart, strategic use of website images is a good way to tackle effective communication on your website.
It’s easy to find images for most subject areas, but it’s important to keep certain rules in mind as you look for them. Not following some of these rules will simply delay the web design process and frustrate your web developer. Not following other rules can land you in deep and expensive legal trouble.
The first and foremost rule when it comes to finding website images is do not use other people’s photos without their permission. We have had clients do Google Image search and send us those photos to use on their website. These images are copyrighted and if you are found in violation of said copyrights, you could be subject to legal action and massive fines. The same would apply for images found on other websites. In other words, if you didn’t pay for the image or didn’t get permission to use it, don’t use it on your website.
The second most important rule of finding website images comes down to image quality. You cannot take a thumbnail image and use it in a full-width image slider. The image will get stretched and will get too pixilated. As a rule of thumb, an image used as part of a website image slider needs to be at least 1,800 pixels wide. And a more general website image used on on a page as a supporting graphic should be at least 600 pixels wide. If you don’t know how to find out the size of an image, Google is your friend. The takeaway here is that if you provide us with low quality website images, it will delay the web development process as we wait to get better images from you.
The third rule when it comes to finding website images, which is somewhat related to the second rule, is don’t take pictures yourself unless you know what you are doing. Phone cameras today can provide enough pixels, but unless you know how to light the photo properly and how to polish it in photo editing software afterwards, the images will not be nearly as sharp and crisp as they should be for optimal visual effect. There are two great ways to get images: buying stock photos or hiring a photographer.
For general images, like a couple holding hands, sunsets, winding roads, a person using a computer, etc. stock images are a great way to go. There are countless images available for purchase. You can find the ones you like and purchase them yourself, sending us the images you want used. Alternatively, if you are not comfortable purchasing the images yourself, you can send us links to them and we’ll buy them on your behalf. For more niche, industry specific, or company specific images, like images of your products or your facility, hiring a photographer is the way to go. Sure, it will cost you some money but you’ll have a library of images to use for your current website and in marketing materials down the line.