So you’ve decided it’s time to give your website a fresh new look. Fantastic idea - there’s no time like the present, as they say. The copy comes first but then you realise your current images look like they’ve walked straight onto your site from the 1980s. And this isn’t exactly in keeping with the modern, professional vibe you were going for. Time to ask yourself, “Where can I find something better?” And if your answer is “Ermm….” then it’s lucky you stopped by! Let us help you out.
There’s a million different sites online where you can find stock images for your website, some better than others. If you’d rather not pay, and you have the time to do a bit of searching, sites like Flickr and freedigitalphotos.net are great. You can search thousands of images and make some great finds, and a simple Google search will turn up hundreds of similar sites for you to browse.
One catch – be sure and pay attention to the attribution licences for each, as almost all free photos will require you to provide an acknowledgement of the photographer/image creator. Similarly, if you plan to edit any of these images by adding text it’s best to check out the rules first.
If you’d rather save time and splash a bit of cash, again there’s plenty of places to look online. For example iStock and Shutterstock have a huge range of photos and illustrations available for you to purchase, as do hundreds if not thousands of other sites. Benefits of buying are that once you buy them they’re yours – no annoying watermarks or attribution.
More of a visionary? Then by all means, do it yourself. Finance and accountancy recruitment specialists iMultiply are a great example of this. The banner they have across the top of all their web pages is awesome. The star? Managing director Kirsty Mackenzie. The cost? A pair of green wellies. The result? Bright, fresh and high impact.
Bear in mind that if you’re so not a photographer, it’s probably best to hire one to take the snap. If it means capturing the perfect image for your recruitment agency, and doing so professionally then it’ll be worth the cost. Nothing will look worse than a grainy, novice, cost-cutting photograph on your site. It sets the tone for your entire website and business, and I’ll go ahead and guess that unprofessional isn’t what you’re aiming for.
Adding text, preferably a catchy tag line, is ridiculously simple. Paint is a basic tool for doing this, which all Microsoft users will have (go to Start > Accessories) Simply open your image and click on the text box to add your tag line. More complex tools like Photoshop also enable this type of editing, as well as numerous free online tools – for example a Google search for “Add text to image” will return hundreds of sites where you can do this.
Work with a designer
If sourcing your own images isn’t appealing to you, another option is of course to work with a designer. The benefits of doing this are fairly obvious; expertise, swiftness, requires less time etc. Unfortunately with that comes one (also obvious) disadvantage: it’s going to cost you.
If you do decide a designer is the way to go – do your homework. Ask to see examples of their work and do some cost comparison to ensure that you’re going to get what you pay for. It’s also essential for you to clearly outline your requirements; otherwise you risk a lot of unnecessary back and forth or even worse paying for something which you’re just not happy with.
No matter which approach you choose, the important thing to remember is that images should complement the copy on your site, not overshadow or detract from it. So don’t pick something just because it’s cool and you like it, make sure it’s relevant. Also, make sure you find a balance within whatever method you decide on. Don’t settle for a load of rubbish just because it’s cheap, or try so hard to cut-costs that you lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve. Similarly, don’t spend an absolute fortune on a ‘designer’ website if it’s going to blow your entire year’s spending.
Feel free to leave any good sites you’ve used for website images or any creative ideas in the comments below!
By Kara Shorthouse
Credit: Image from KROMKRATHOG via freedigitalphotos.net
Kara is a Digital Marketer based in Glasgow. In her spare time she loves a good gig, ponies and flattering Snapchat filters.