Images are a part of your website eye candy. They help make your site fun, give it interest and stay worthiness. Too little or the wrong type and you even bore Debbie Downer. Too much and you could burn people’s retinas.
The whole point is to keep people on your site. Engaged and interested. Am I right?
There are literally thousands of places to find images online. Some are great, some awful, some you can pick up a virus along with a puppy image at the same time.
So, to help you wade through the ocean of images sites, I’ve put together this list of my favorite go-to’s for quality images. Because I’m nice like that.
- Unsplash.com – Sign up and get high res (high quality), super professional images emailed to you each month. You can use these commercially and you don’t need to add an image attribution. I actually used one of their images for this blog post header! LOVE Unsplash!
- Deathtothestockphoto.com – Death To Stock Photo is another place where you sign up to get images emailed to you. You can also use these commercially with no attribution but – they don’t come as regularly and on some that I’ve gotten, I didn’t like the composition as much.
- Lifeofpix.com – Life Of Pix is one I found recently (haven’t used them yet). Another place to get high resolution for commercial use with no restrictions. I like that you don’t have to sign up for anything – you can just download straight from their website.
- Dreamstime.com – Dreamstime has both free and paid images. You’ve got to create an account to search but I like that you can search by subject matter. A lot of the freebies aren’t the greatest and look a little old school though… sometimes you might need old school. Be sure to check if you can use commercially and if you need to include attribution.
- Stocksy.com – Stocksy is awesome, fly and fab! They are fresh, modern and mega professional. Reasonably priced too. The small sized images (which are plenty big for most needs) are only $10.
- Creativemarket.com – You can spend a lot time at Creative Market because of the amount of sweet stuff you can get here. Not only images but fonts, vector images, templates, patterns and a ton more. I suggest signing up for their email list – they’ve got great pretty great blog posts with helpful info and you’ll get notified of the “Free Goods” for the week too.
- Shutterstock.com – Shutterstock has been around for a while and with good reason. Great quality images, vectors and more.
- Istockphoto.com – iStock by Getty Images is top notch in quality and a go-to for many professionals. Get images, vectors, videos plus more.
- White space is your friend. Give your images (and copy) room to breath.
- Use properly sized images. You probably don’t need images 2000 pixels wide. Most images you’ll use on your site will only need to be around 400 to 650 pixels wide. Remember, big = too much file size which means a slower website.
- Format and optimize your images to increase website speed. Use an image optimizer like: ImageOptim or Smush.It.
- Stick with images that reflect your brand or topic. Unify your brand identity by looking like “you” on your website AND social media.
- Quit using old school stock image photos like this:
- Use something like this instead:
- Don’t use images without permission. Use images that you have taken yourself or purchased and have the rights to use.
TIP: There are a few image sites that will let you create a lightbox or gallery of your favorites so you’re able to come back and find them all easily next time you visit. BUT… what I like to do and what I ask my clients to do is create a Pinterest board(s) for images, fonts, colors and other website inspiration. That way, they’re all in one easy, convenient spot where you can compare your special finds all in one place!