Images play a huge role in setting the tone of your website. They can help build trust in your product and brand. Plus, they can make a visitor feel welcome and help them create an emotional attachment to your products.
Of course, knowing how to use images can be a challenge. That’s why I’m here to help. Here are some basic rules for using images on your website:
- Make them easy to download: Today’s cameras take very large images. This means physical dimensions as well as the file size and resolution. Before you add them to your website, crop and resize them in a photo editing program. A Web browser can only view an image at .72 dots per inch (dpi). Anything higher only makes the user wait longer to load the image.
- Understand copyrights: Some website-building programs give access to royalty-free images. There are also websites that let you download images that are free. If you find an image online and want to use it, always get permission before adding it to your website. Many images online are protected by copyright.
- Use alt tags: When adding images to your website, always add a description of your image in the HTML “alt” tag. This helps people browsing with images turned off know what the image is. This also helps add important keywords to your website and helps with search engine optimization.
- Use images that convey a message: Flip through your favorite magazine and you’ll quickly see what connects the images that grab your attention. They’re clear, and uncluttered. They communicate without words. Be careful to use only images that say what you want — whether it’s that a cupcake is tasty, or a pair of shoes looks comfortable.
- Know the formats to use: The two most popular file formats for images online are .jpg and .gif. As a rule, .jpg will give you the smallest file size because it compresses your image. Most images you find online are .jpg files. If your image is a vector file like a logo, then .gif will give you the best results for the file size.