We’ve come a long way since the early websites of the 90s. Whereas pictures used to take an age to load, now they almost immediately appear on websites.
Nowadays, a good website will make the right use of images to improve the user experience. Whether it’s improving the aesthetic of the website, complementing the themes with the appropriate picture, or simply filling up space, pictures have risen in prominence, making them a must-have for any webpage.
In this guide we will walk you through the different aspects of improving your page with pictures, including how appropriate they should be, the ideal size, and the importance of compression. Firstly, you may be asking yourself:
Commission or Stock?
Whether you commission a photographer or simply rely on stock photos really depends on the specific needs of your website. If you are selling cakes online, for example, stock photos will do your work a disservice — it’s much better to hire a proper food photographer to show off your work.
If your website is selling a more generic service — for example, consulting — stock photos should suffice. If you are low on budget, you should be aware that stock photos are actually pretty affordable, with plenty of free websites as well as better quality pictures available for just a small fee.
Depending on what you offer, it makes perfect sense to pick pictures based on how well they correlate to your product or service. This really matters when it comes to brand identity. This is a key part of seducing those who view the website and giving them an idea of what you offer. These pictures can be literal — like an actual picture of what you do — or metaphorical; such as a smiling man or woman if you’re offering healthcare services. To help you think about choosing the right design for your site, check out this Coventry web design agency, who can meet your every need.
Getting the right sizes for your pictures is crucial. If the sizes are wrong — either taking up too large a space on the screen, or too small for the visitor to see — this can easily affect how people perceive you professionally. For example, the ideal feature image size should be around 1200 x 600 pixels, while images in the article itself should be a little wider at between 1500 and 2500 pixels. This also matters when it comes to:
This is the one that a lot of people forget. You really shouldn’t, however, as large image sizes can be one of the most dangerous things for the health of you website. Simply downloading images sight unseen and uploading them to your site will quickly overwhelm your capacity. That’s why we would recommend compressing them using free online tools. They can compress JPG easily. Other tips are converting from other image files, such as PNG, as well as resizing from large image sizes to something more appropriate. Ideally the size should be under 500KB.