How to choose the best website images
Written by Milica Skocic
18 May 2017
You have your website builder, you decided what to say on your soon-to-be great new website and all you need now are some images to complete the set. Without them, your website might look empty and boring. Is that the impression you want to leave?
Let’s face it, first impressions are important. When meeting new people you want to create a good impression and you will most probably remember those people who impressed you. So why should it be any different with your website?
Think of a website as a mirror of your business (or yourself if you’re a blogger) - that’s the first thing people see when they express some kind of interest and want to “meet” you.
While text is the best way to show off your expertise, you can’t just leave it like it is. If people visit a website and see nothing but text, they will leave because it looks boring. You need images to visually break down the monotony of words on the page and make your website seem more appealing.
Putting just any images on the pages of your website won’t work either. These images need to represent you just as the text does; they need to speak to your audience, send out a specific message and, of course, look visually appealing. It basically comes down to this: people who visit your website will subconsciously link the quality of images to the quality of your product or services.
In this article we are addressing the issue of choosing the right website images, so let’s start with some advice.
1. Your audience needs to relate to your website images
In order to choose the best images for your audience, you first need to know who your audience is. If you’re making a website for your company, this is, of course, not a step you should take when you get to the website, but the one you should take when you’re making a business plan.
If, however, you are a blogger, think who you are writing for. Does your audience consists mainly of men or women; young or old people; company workers or freelancers; etc. List your audience’s characteristics and you’ll have a clearer picture of who might be interested in reading your blog.
Now that you have an idea about your audience, it should be much easier for you to choose the best website images. At least you know what images you shouldn’t use, like photos of businessmen in suits if you’re addressing young, alternative people.
2. Make sure people are smiling on your website images
If you’re determined to use photos of people on your website, be sure they are smiling. No matter if your website is about your company, product, service or just a blog with general advice, it’s always better to see happy people in the photos.
This is because people go to a certain website with a problem they need a solution for. They will relate to the smiling people in the photos because they want to with see their future selves (smiling) after using the product/service listed on the website.
Look at it this way: if you need a dentist, you don’t want to see people with serious facial expressions or in pain on the website; you want to see smiling people, showing their beautiful white teeth. Or, if you want to go to a club, you want to see people having fun in order to make a decision and go to that club.
3. Don’t forget about your brand when choosing website images
Whether you choose vectors or photos for your website, be sure they are in line with your brand’s guidelines. The images selected for the website should be consistent with that brand. This applies primarily to color, but keep in mind that brand is so much more than just visual representation.
A brand is not just a logo and color palette. It is so much more! Think of your brand as a person. What is that person like? Friendly? Outgoing? Serious? What characteristics separate it from the competition? When you’ve identified this “person” you want to introduce to the world, you’ll have a better idea which images to use for your website. And when you do choose a style of images that goes well with your brand’s identity, make sure you stick to it every time you upload a new image.
Of course, colors don’t make a brand, but they are important. Every color has a psychological meaning or a way it is subconsciously perceived by the people. In a study titled “Impact of color on marketing,” researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone. For example, red can symbolize power, energy, excitement, etc., while blue can stand for determination, ambition, and goals. Pick the dominant colors for your brand and website and try to choose images that contain those colors or at least go well with them.
4. Choose quality over quantity for your website images
While it’s sometimes nice to have a website with a lot of images, don’t overdo it (unless you have an online store or you’re a photographer who wants to showcase his photos). Too many images can completely take the attention away from the text and also generate a negative reaction.
Also, since most of the images you can use for your website cost, never go for quantity instead of quality. Don’t choose low-quality images just because you want a lot of them but don’t want to spend a lot of money.
If you feature low quality, low resolution, and granulated images on your website, no one is going to take you seriously. It looks bad and sends a message to your visitors that you don’t care enough about your website to find better images. This could be a deal-breaker and you could lose potential customers.
Choose high-definition images but don’t make them larger than they have to be. In technical terms, large images will take longer to load and that’s not so good for your overall website ranking. So, choose high-quality images, but be sure to resize them to an acceptable size that also works for the overall look of your page.
5. Make website images relevant
All images you choose for your website have to be relevant to your business or to the theme of your blog. Images that are not relevant to the content presented on the website might lead to confusion among your visitors and, again, generate a negative response. You want to keep people on your website and you won’t do that if they feel confused by the images.
To put it simply, if your website is only about cakes, you won’t put the photo of a beach just because it looks nice. Or, if you have a blog where you write about relationship advice, you won’t put a photo of a factory. It wouldn’t make much sense, right?
If you are trying to sell your products, use the photos of your products, not someone else’s because that would be misleading for your audience and also a lie.
Keep all content on your website, including images, relevant and use social media networks to post images that you like.
Where to find the best website images?
You can’t just google something and use the first image you like for your website. If you don’t have the rights to use it, you can’t use it at all. If you do use it, you might get in some legal trouble. For your information, there are teams of lawyers ready to sue you for using an image you weren’t supposed to.
There are several ways to get images for your website and it’s up to you to choose the best one for yourself.
Hire a professional photographer
With a professional photographer, you will probably get the best possible images for your website – relevant, in line with your brand, high-quality, and just the way you imagined them to be. On the other hand, good photographers could cost you quite a lot and you might have to hire them more than once as your business grows. If the photos are intended for business, you should consider this cost as an investment that will potentially pay off, but do the calculations and see if it’s an investment you are ready to make at the very beginning.
Make the photos yourself
If you don’t want to invest in a professional photographer, you can always make the photos yourself. This will cost you only your time, but keep in mind that photos still need to be high-quality, so if you were thinking of making them with your phone, think again. Try to find a good camera, take care of the lighting and start making photos, but don’t forget that photos can’t be blurry, over-exposed or under-exposed. If you want to start your fashion blog, you won’t be able to pay a professional photographer every time you make a new post (at least not at the beginning of your blogging career), so this way might be the best solution for you.
If you don’t want to hire a photographer and have no way of making good photos yourself, stock websites are the perfect choice for you. These websites already have images of pretty much anything you could imagine. Your job is to search for the right ones.
While some people don’t like stock photos on account of them looking fake and familiar at the same time, websites offering this kind of images are a great source for personal websites, blogs or small business websites. It’s not a secret that even some large companies use stock images. The prices for a single photo go from 0 to tens of dollars, depending on the website you browse. Some of the best stock websites include Shutterstock, iStock, Depositphotos, Unsplash, Pixabay, etc.
We here at Ucraft prefer Unsplash to other websites and that is the reason Unsplash is now integrated with Ucraft. All the photos you’ll find on Unsplash are high-quality and completely free to use with CCO license. This means you can download the photo and use it for anything you like (personal use, promotional activities, etc.) without having to mention the author and give him/her credit for the work.
With Unsplash integration, it is now easier than ever to make a complete and stunning website using Ucraft.
How to add images in Ucraft website builder?
1. In your Ucraft dashboard, you will see the Media app, used to upload photos from your computer. With Unsplash integration, you can also use this app to search for photos on Unsplash directly, without having to leave Ucraft.
2. Click on the FreeStock card and type in the search box what you are looking for. After finding the photo you like, you can preview it and add it to your images.
3. Now that the photo is included in all your images on Ucraft, you can insert it in the page right away or edit it if necessary. In order to edit a photo, hover over it and you’ll see some options, including Edit. Click there and choose between different editing tools.
And that’s it! You have the perfect image for your page or post! Ucraft and Unsplash made it easy enough for anyone to create a beautiful website with amazing photos.
When creating the perfect online presentation of your company or yourself, be sure to have images that are the same quality as the other content on the website. Keep in mind that people are more likely to notice the images before the text, so make them want to read what you have to offer with the use of right images.
Keep them relevant, high-quality, in line with your brand guidelines and nice to look at. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, so be careful what yours is saying about you.