Web Design 101 – Images for Your Website
Once you and your web design team have selected the look and feel of your website and settled on the navigation, you need to think about images for your website.
The best web designs use photos – a variety of high quality photos that reflect your brand and what you do. Choosing photos for your website is extremely important to complement the look of your overall design. Photos help define the look and feel of the website and also show the personality of your business. From a design perspective, photos also help to move your eye around the page, which in turn causes consumers to stay on your page longer and see more information. People would much rather look at a web page that has pictures, something to keep their eye entertained, rather than just a page full of text.
High quality photos and logos enhance the look of your website, while dated photos and logos do the opposite.
Here are 3 types of photos we will put on your website:
- Pictures you have taken or have paid a photographer to take for use on your website
- Pictures your manufacturers or suppliers have given you permission to use on your website
- Stock photos you purchase from a photo website
NOTE: Stealing pictures from the Internet is not acceptable as you do not want any legal issues with your website! Saving a few bucks is not worth the potential legal trouble.
We handle photo galleries separately from general photos for your website. If you’re interested in a photo gallery for your website, please let us know.
Digital Image Formats
Did you know using the right digital image formats can help optimize your website for both speed in loading and search engine optimization (SEO)? How do you know if you’re using the right types of image files across your website? Below, we’ll explain the differences between the major image file types and when it’s best to use each. Your web design team at Coastal Web Marketing will help you choose images for your website.
- 16 bit data format
- Can display millions of colors
- Common, and compatible across most platforms and displays
- Uses a compression algorithm to sacrifice some image data to reduce file size
JPEG’s use of compression is great for most webpages because it reduces page load time – which is a search engine ranking factor. Use JPEG files for real-life photos of people or products (digital cameras save their images as JPEGs by default), as well as images that contain lots of color and light/dark shading.
- Uses 256 indexed colors
- Can utilize progressive loading (a low-quality version is loaded first, then more details are filled in)
- Can be animated
Since GIFs use a limited color range, their file sizes are generally small and don’t require compression. However, this means they are not the optimal choice for displaying details. Use GIFs for simple images with few colors, small icons, and of course, animation.
- Capable of displaying more than 16 million different colors
- Supports transparency settings
- Uses what is called lossless compression, which means no data is lost when saving
- Two types: PNG 8 is similar to GIF, and even smaller file size than GIF. PNG 24 is similar to JPEG, but lossless compression means larger files than JPEG
Because they display so much detail and use lossless compression, PNG 24 files tend to be large. They are best used for logos that use transparency and fading effects, or for other complex images. Just be aware that the larger file will take longer to load.
Another digital image format is PDF. The PDF format is usually a document, such as a warranty or owner’s manual.
Once we have worked together to decide which image file types to use for the various parts of your website, we can improve their SEO performance by optimizing the metadata for the images. If you’ve signed up for our SEO services, we will create an image sitemap to help search engines index the images on your website. This step is increasingly important if your site is an E-Commerce site with photos of your products.
Illustrations in Web Design
Illustrations have a place in web design. Sometimes, a photo just doesn’t tell the whole story. That’s where illustrations come in. Illustrations are perfect if you’re trying to describe or show a process or even explain something a little more complicated. Our graphic designer can create unique, custom graphics for your website. If you’re interested in having custom vectors created for your website, contact us today.
Infographics and More
Illustrations for your website might include infographics, diagrams, decorative designs, hand lettering, etc. Most illustrations in web design are computer generated, but hand drawn lettering and artwork is also used, depending on the website’s feel and purpose.
We can create custom infographics for your website. Illustrations can be stand alone or work together with photos and videos to explain a process or otherwise help you get your message across. We offer video services, so if you’re interested in having a custom video for your website, contact us today at 410-420-9390 and we can get started.