Why Images Are Important On A Website
Images play a huge role in our everyday lives. They can be instructional, convey information, or even express an opinion. Without images, any website, whatever the subject, would be boring and would not hold any readers attention for long. As the web has matured, images have become a vital addition.
However it is not appropriate to use just any old image, or to position them without careful consideration. If you are fortunate enough to have a professional photographer then you can be very specific about your requirements. There are many sources of images on the web though they can be expensive, especially if you want a unique image. Quality is important but more so is appropriateness – if you can’t find a suitable photograph that hasn’t been used on many sites, then better to use a slightly less professional one that you have taken than to use something irrelevant.
Images are critical in website design because they are one of the most powerful tools you have to catch attention of your audience. They lend an certain aesthetic appeal to a site which is hard to achieve with just words. Images give viewers a clear idea of what the site is about.
What are the benefits of images on a website?
Seeing an image of the product is the best way for someone to understand what it is. It gives a clear idea of what it looks like, feels like, tastes like etc. Buyers expect to see a picture of a product before purchasing it.
Not all sites are selling products, but images are still important for a wide range of reasons. Images will:-
- break up text and make a site more readable
- make a site more aesthetically appealing
- increase engagement on a site
- help tell a story without words
- increase the number of pageviews
- help share a message or story
- help communicate a key point or message more quickly
Well illustrated websites will also rank higher in the SERPS and give you an extra bite of the cherry in that they will be featured in the image search as well.
What kind of images should you use?
First and foremost your images must be relevant to your site, and you must comply with copyright rules. You cannot just copy and image and use it. That is theft. Photographers own the copyright to their work and you must respect that. If you use a commercial provider then your images will be properly licensed, if not you open yourself up to legal action.
It is easy to go overboard with images, depending on the type of site you do need some text which sill be supported by suitable images.
There is a correct way to place images on a webpage. They should not be too close together or too many in a row or column. The formatting should bear in mind both desktop and mobile users – they need to be responsive in position and size. Title, alt text and captions are also important
The purpose of the page should also be borne in mind, to have a visually-pleasing website, you will need to have a variety of different types of images. A landing page should feature ‘hero images relating to the purpose of the website. Product/Service pages should include pictures of the product or service in different contexts, such as how it is used or where it is used. For a blog, you would want to have pictures relating to the topic under discussion – whether you want to have your photograph featured is entirely personal.
Proper Sizing and Formatting
If images are too large or not properly formatted then it will slow down your site and cause frustration.
Ideally you should resize photos to fit specific spaces in your theme – and use pixels not inches. The background type is also relevant, make sure it is appropriate to your site. File types are also important – choosing the one wrong can be disastrous.
Huge photos resized on the fly within the page are the mark of a poorly designed site and will win you no friends as they eat data allowances.
Why should you care about images on Your Website?
Websites potentially offer a lot to the visitor, but it is difficult to fully grasp the message with dense text. It is easier to read text that is broken up with images, the message gets across more quickly and people remain on your site longer. Appropriate images can radically affect how your message gets across, it’s tone and intent and made much clearer. A good image will engage a browser in the first few seconds – dense text will not. A picture is worth a thousand words – and that is more true of a website imagery than any other.