With so many websites using full-width, hero-sized images to grab the attention of visitors, it is more important than ever to make sure that you choose the right photos for your website.
Whether you choose stock photos or have your own mini-photoshoot, your photos need direction, clarity, visual similarity, and most importantly they need to engage your users.
Identify a Strategy
Before you start researching and choosing images, identify your website’s creative direction. Think about your target audience and what type of images would create an emotional response from them.
Images can be used to display products, inform the user of a service, or provide relevant context to the page content. Each image should serve a purpose to support the main goal of the page; simply asking why this image is used on a page can be helpful in determining if it’s the right choice.
Only Upload High Quality Images
You want your photos to be seen clearly. There is nothing high quality about a pixelated image. Keep in mind that an image should be large enough for standard screens (1300 x 800 pixels) but the image’s file size should be below 200kb when you upload to your website.
Make sure you use the correct file format and file sizes for the correct situation to ensure the fastest load speed. For specifics on enhancing file formats, Adobe has a helpful article outlining the specifics here.
Keep Your Images Consistent
Consistency is important when choosing photos. If you choose ‘cool color’ images throughout your website and then create a page with ‘warmer lighting’ it is going to affect the visual unity of your website. Pay attention to color temperature, contrast, and brightness levels. An easy way to keep an eye on these factors is to look at the photos side-by-side to assure they fit in with the others.
If you choose the stock photography direction here’s a list of recommended resources:
Good luck on your website project!
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