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How to use images on your website

16-Jun-2014

Nowhere is the famous saying ‘pictures is worth thousand words’ more true than on the internet.

If you want your website to be visually engaging and attract visitors (hint: you do!) then having great images is vital, but if you’re not a photographer or graphic designer where can you get hold of quality images for your site and what exactly are you looking for?

What images to get

It’s important that your images help convey the story you’re trying to tell. There is no point having a great looking image of the milky way of your site is trying to sell garden furniture. So think carefully about whether it adds to your message or whether it’s  potentially distracting or misleading. If a site visitor is confused they will probably leave pretty quickly. So if you are selling garden furniture use images of products, gardens, flowers, bees etc. that way the visitor knows straight away, before even reading anything, what your site is all about.

Where to get images

Copy write restrictions mean that you can’t just take images from anywhere online and repost them on your site. Although it’s tempting to just scan through Google images and pinch a photo or two getting caught could mean damaging your brand’s reputation.

So what are the alternatives? There are plenty of sites that will sell licenses to stock photography for a small fee, iStockPhoto and ShutterStock are two of the best.

Alternatively, many people are happy to share their photographs copy write free on the internet under a ‘creative commons’ license. This allows you to take and use their pictures as long as they are properly credited on your site e.g. Image: ©brewbooks via Flickr under Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0 Generic