Choosing Photography for your Website
When creating a website for yourself, no matter if it’s for a business, hobby, or for just because, one of the most important things about your website is going to be the creative content. Can you recall a time you visited someone’s website and they either had really badly written content or images that were blurry or with super low resolution? If you have been lucky enough to have visited a site like this, then you probably remember looking for those back or exit buttons so you could leave the site as soon as possible. If you are about to build a website and want to learn more about how the images you use can either make your site or break it, then I highly recommend that you continue to read.
One of the first things that you want to think about when choosing images for your website design is the branding that you are going for. Why is this important? Well, let’s say that you are building a website for a fashion brand that is known to be really bright and fun, geared towards the younger generation. When choosing the images, are you going to choose images that display older people wearing dull suits? Absolutely not. As soon as the audience who is being targeted gets to this site, they will see the suits and dull colors and click on that red “x” at the top right of the screen. This is why branding is important when it comes to choosing images. If done correctly, having the right images can lead to more organic traffic and conversions. Remember, photos and images for a brand should easily showcase and represent what the brand is all about.
Image Sizes and Resolution
This leads us to our next topic, image sizes, and resolution. Have you ever visited a site and found yourself looking at an image that was either really small on the screen or pixelated and you couldn’t even figure out what you were looking at? Yes? You, my friend, have been a victim of viewing a site with bad image quality. When choosing images for your site, it is important to review them to make sure that they are a good size and resolution. The best way to do this is to ensure you are using real, high-quality photos with a phone or camera, logo files, and stock photos. Try to make sure that your images are between the sizes of 1500 and 2500 pixel and avoid bad practices such as taking photos of other photos, using screenshots, or pulling images directly off Instagram Anything below 1500 pixels will be stretched out and made blurry when uploaded, anythings with 2500 pixels and over will be compressed and may also look a bit funny when uploaded. Remember, it is easier to make a large image smaller than it is to make a small image, bigger.
One of the biggest DO NOT DO’s in web design is to use any content on your site that is not yours or that you don’t have the right to use. By using images you find in a Google search or content you find in a book or other site that isn’t yours, you are opening a whole can of worms and possibly future lawsuits that you do not want. Also, having duplicate written content will negatively affect your SEO and the site you are copying it from.When downloading stock images off of a site, make sure that you review the permissions of the images as some, even if you have paid for them, have restrictions on what they can be used for.
Alt text, it is something that you may or may not heard of before, but you most likely have encountered alt text surfing the web. What is it? Alt-text is a text that is linked to an image that describes what the image is. It usually appears when you hover your mouse over the image. It is a huge practice and a must-do when it comes to your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The purpose of alt-text is to help people with disabilities that may be on your site know exactly what is going on with an image to help them understand what’s on the page they have landed on. Depending on how you built your site, there should be a place or a container where you can put your own alt-text for each image on your site. If you have taken the long route and coded out your whole site out (which if you have, you probably wouldn’t need to be reading about this stuff), you can simply add an alt attribute into your image element.
Images on Your Site Matter
Whenever you are adding images to your website, remember that content is everything. It can be what makes your site successful, or what makes your site get no traffic at all. Google states that you have just 3 seconds to grab someone’s attention, and what better way to do that with unique, attention-grabbing photos that tell your story? User Experience is everything, and if your users aren’t having a pleasant experience when they visit your site, they will be gone.
About the Author
Pablo lives in San Antonio, TX with his wife and two sons. He spends most of his time playing at work and working at play, with the same goal: having fun doing it. If you’d like to connect with Pablo, you can find him at linkedin.com/in/pablocalvo322.
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