I’ve been creating websites since 2003 and thankfully a lot has moved on since then. So it astonishes me that businesses are still creating websites (or having them built for them) with images and graphics that seem to be an afterthought rather than a focus. Or simply relying on stock photography to do all the work and make them stand out from the competition.
So here are my 5 top tips to help you choose and display your website images:
1 Use your own photographs
I get it. We all have budgets to stick to and the images you use on your website may seem like something you don’t have to worry about. But PLEASE invest some time and money in getting some professional photographs done for your website. For example, a photographer I met at a recent networking meeting mentioned that as well as taking headshots of her clients she also spent time taking shots of their hands typing and writing, etc, to use on the website. So even though there are the standard ‘hand’ shots that appear on other sites, they are HER hands and HER stationery. Now that’s got to be better, doesn’t it?
2 Use photos that match your Brand
One of my friends had some headshots taken once and although the photos were good, they didn’t represent my friend at all and didn’t match her business either. To be honest she looked like a real estate agent instead of a super coach who’s
3 Keep images ‘flat’
The current design trend is for ‘flat’ websites and images are a huge part of that look. The term refers to how images sit on the page, minimising the use of features such as drop shadows. This doesn’t mean you can’t use photographs of real objects, just keep the way they sit on the page flat rather than using fancy edging or effects. I recently saw a website with images looking like they had been taped to the page. Very retro and not at all in keeping with a modern business.
4 Resize your images properly
Yes, your website does need to load quickly, but reducing the file size of an image too much and then stretching it and making it blurry just won’t do. Take the time to learn how to add images to your site without distorting them in any way and make sure they look great on any device. Your web designer should be able to do this for you and if they can’t, I would be asking some pretty serious questions!
5 Pay someone who does it for a living
Now I love a bit of amateur photography but I am no Annie Leibovitz. So I too will be using a photographer for my new headshots. Although I have warned her that if she takes photos of me under a tree I will shoot her! Spending a little money now is an investment that will help my business in the long run and stand me apart from those who don’t think it’s important.
So, there are just a few considerations when it comes to sourcing pics for your website. If you could give just one tip about creating images what would it be? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.