Any credible web design agency will tell you, images are critical to the success of your website or blog. Humans are very visual creatures with a very short attention span. Choosing the right images could mean the difference between someone sticking around and actually reading the content you took so much care and time creating and leaving upon arrival. Here are the top four ways you can obtain images for your website or blog and their pros and cons.
While not cheap, many companies utilize stock image websites to find clean, professional photos for their website or blog.
- A professional takes each and every one with a high caliber camera and proper lighting.
- On each stock photo website, there are thousands of photos for you to choose from.
- Stock photo websites are very easy to use meaning you can spend more time writing compelling content and running your business and less time trying to find photos.
- You do have to pay for stock images. Depending on the website, you either pay per image or you can get a monthly subscription.
- Stock photos can be very generic. Because they want each image to be used as frequently as possible, they try not to make them too specific.
- Utilizing images of perfectly polished strangers in your website and blog can seem a bit impersonal to your customers. This is especially true for small businesses.
- When you use stock images, you also run the risk of using an image that your customer base has seen before – exposing the fact that it’s a stock photo.
If you want to get images offline but don’t have the cash, there are free images online that you can use.
- Obviously, the biggest pro for this image finding method is that it is Free – which is great for smaller companies who don’t have the excess money necessary for stock image websites.
- When you’re looking for photos online, they usually are lower quality than the images you can find on sites like Shutterstock.
- When you take an image, you often don’t know where it came from, therefore running the risk of Copyright infringement.
- In order to find quality photos that work with your site or blog topic, you usually need to spend more time looking.
Taking screenshots is a quick, easy way to create informative, personal photos for your website or blog.
How to do it: To take a screenshot of your entire screen, hold down the “command”, “shift” and “3” keys. To take a screenshot of a portion of your screen, hold down your “command”, “Shift” and “4” computer keys, click on the top right-hand corner of the image you would like to capture and drag your mouse to the bottom left corner. Release the mouse to take the screenshot.
- Taking a screenshot can take as little as 30 seconds.
- Once you know how to do it, taking a screenshot is extremely easy.
- Because you are taking the photos, they can be very personal to your industry and company.
- Full-screen shots can seem very technical and can sometimes include eyesores like your computer charge and the time you took the photo.
- Another con of using screenshots is that, when used often, they become very repetitive and boring for your visitors.
Company Photos / Taking your own
By far the best option if you can swing it, custom photos allow for full customization but at a cost.
- You can customize the images, showing off your employees, offices, equipment, products, etc.
- Using custom images invites your customers into your small business. People like to know to whom they’re talking to and who they can expect to see if/when they visit your business.
- Taking custom images takes a lot of time and resources. In order to get quality photos, you need to either hire a professional or invest in the proper tools like a camera and lighting equipment – not to mention, the act of taking the photos can take time away from your business by distracting employees and disrupting the day.
- If you choose to take the photos yourself with, say, your iPhone, you run the risk of using low-quality photos.
About the Author
Andrew Aden serves as Comrade's art director, bringing a wealth of website design, graphic design and branding experience to our clients.