Royalty Free Images and how to use them on your website
One thing I often notice on websites is poor use of stock imagery. When designing a clients website, I can sometimes spend a lot of time searching for the “right” images, because it can really make or break your website design.
An image can speak a thousand words and images are the first thing that people will see before reading anything on your website. Images should be selected that will of course resonate with the viewer, but there are other important factors in choosing the right images, some of which you will find below.
If you are purchasing any images for your website, make sure to purchase the correct resolution. Some stock image websites will give you the option to buy a certain size, ie small, medium, large or even the original RAW file at its maximum resolution. Avoid being tempted to just go for the cheapest option, as this could result in you purchasing and downloading the file, only to find the size you want to use it at will result in it being pixelated and poor quality on your website.
Image Colour & Tone
One of the things that often gets overlooked when people choose images for their website, is the image colour and tone of an image. If you are going to use stock imagery, try not to just randomly pick images that you like – they need to work as a collective (even if they are on different pages to each other) and they also need to compliment your branding too.
Here is an example… both are “buildings” and might be chosen for use on a property or construction type website, but in this case they should NOT be used on the same website. The colours/hues of the first one are totally different to the second one. As a guide, try and source images that look like they were taken by the same photographer.