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Website Images

Using images on a website

website planning

It's a simple fact that images add visual appeal to websites. It doesn't matter how interesting your page content is, good quality images will always add something extra. You can use images of the things you want to sell, your staff, your facilities, or just generic images. They all help engage visitor interest. What is important is that the images are relevant and good quality. Of course, you don't have to use your own images; lots of sites use generic images, as in fact we do with this website.

Should I use professional photos?

As a marketing tool for a business, it makes sense to invest a little money in getting a few professionally-taken photos to use on the website, but it's not essential. If you don't want to pay a photographer and don't have enough good quality images of your own, simply visit an online picture library and browse for suitable images there. The photos will be generic, but good quality. You'll often have to pay to use the images, but you should remember that good images are not expensive if they add value to your site.

When you sit down to choose the photos for your website, plan them page by page. Think of the content on each page and find photos that fit in with the text. Also, think about their size and shape. Where do you want them displayed on the page? Are they big enough and the right shape? Remember that a photo may look beautiful at full size, but might not look as good if we need to crop it to fit into a small space.

Image quality is always important, but with quality comes a large file size. We can optimise images to reduce their file size, but too many photos on a page will cause it to load more slowly. Wherever possible, aim to supply us with more images than you actually need. That way, if one or two don't work for one reason or another, we will have alternatives.

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Background images

Some websites use a plain-coloured background, a simple colour block, as we use on most pages of this site. However, this can be replaced with either a pattern tile or even a single page-width image. As an example, take a look at our order form pages, which use a simple image for the background. If you like the full-screen image idea, remember that the images should not distract visitors from your text, and that most of the image will be hidden underneath text.

What if you can't find the right images?

If you can't find enough suitable images of your own, try browsing one of the image libraries listed below. In most cases you will have to pay a licencing fee to use professional images, and these fees are payable by you, even if you ask us to find them for you. Below you will find links to some of the more popular image library websites. Some charge fees for their images, while others allow you to use them free of charge. Free images often require attribution (you have to say where they came from).