It has been a while since we discussed how to use images correctly in web design.  Imagery is always the first thing that visitors notice when visiting your website.  They have to be great images if you are expecting to compete in today’s marketplace.  They must be incorporated into the design correctly, optimized for quick loading and convey the intended message.

Images, when chosen carefully, work to develop interaction and connection to the brand’s message.  A visitor to your website will react to an amazing image positively.  We prefer that all images be original and prepared especially for the individual project.  When this isn’t possible, a stock image can be used.  But since any stock image can be purchased by others, we caution our clients that they could find that same image on another site.

Using the correct images on the site will help your site to stand out as a major player on the internet.  It will boost your brand and motivate visitors to stay on the site and convert to a buyer.  Adding more images rather than fewer images is a win-win in 2019.

Hire a professional photographer:

When the client does not have their own company images, they could hire a photographer to develop a few and we can use stock images as “placeholders” while we work on the project.  This allows time for the client to get better images and we can add those at a later date (prior to launch.)  These professional photos are recommended for pages such as the company page.  This page is all about your history, your employees and other team information.  These professional headshots of your team members will help the brand look personable and real.  They define the specific business genre.

Adding photojournalistic images:

Most of us appreciate seeing pictures of friendly people.  However, not all images on the site need to be about people.  Background images, images of your products and those images that have real company significance are also suggested.  Be sure to include diversity and culture to promote energy and add interest in the site layout.  Candid photos are also a welcome change from the boring headshot or stock image.  Another idea is to have your photographer take pictures of the work area and team members in spontaneous, natural looking poses.

Photojournalistic imagery will add personality and unexpected warmth to your website. These are images which can also be shared on social media which everyone is doing these days.  Although it takes longer to prepare for these special images, it will pay off by giving your site a more professional look and feel.

Professional images versus unprofessional images:

We do have clients that believe they can save the expense and take their own images using their smartphone.  Unfortunately, these are not professional, are many times not formatted correctly, and often are pixilated.  The images we use must be at least 2,000 pixels and are chosen for the layout based upon shape and image quality.  Save yourself the time and hire a professional for images that make you look professional.  We do not include professional photography in our design package so you can expect a cost for this photography.  But it is worth the cost to keep your brand looking its best.

Great images will promote your brand:

If you are a photographer or if you offer an actual product you will, of course, add images from completed projects.  Before and after galleries work well for previous projects and for products for sale.  Showing off images of your best work will for sure,  convince the viewer they should book your services.   Your brand will always be remembered best by the images you choose. This is the best way to get your message across.  Stay clear of using too much content.  Instead, use minimal text and great images.

Optimizing images for the web:

Once your image for the web has been chosen the next step is to optimize that image.  This will mean it will load quickly, look great and be search engine friendly.  Start with a good quality image and make sure you have the license to use the image if it is a stock image.  There are sites available online which allow you to download “free” stock images of good quality.  They can be used commercially.  Some of these sites are Unsplash, Little Visuals, and Pixabay.  Be sure to download only large jpegs.  This allows you to reduce the image size without losing image quality.

Using the right file type is crucial:

You are most likely to need a JPEG or a PNG for your website layout.  Download and save photos in a JPG format which can handle small files efficiently.  Use a PNG file type when you need transparent backgrounds. Be sure to optimize all PNG files as they tend to be larger than JPEG files. There are free PNG optimizing services online and the time you spend to use these services will pay off in faster load time for your website.

Stay tuned for part two next time when we discuss more on using images in your website.  We wish you a great week ahead.

Staff Writer