Your images are the eye candy of your website. They give your content interest, help explain what’s going on, make things more fun and best of all, give your website stay-worthiness.
Too little or the wrong type is boring at best or run for the hills at worst. If the first impression people get is “Yuck, not interested”, we hate to be the one to tell you… but your website stinks. We’re not buying what you’re serving, and I bet no one else is either.
If you’re not using clean, crisp, professional images, your website stinks. The whole point is to keep people on your site, engaged and interested. Right?
There are literally thousands of places to find images online. Some are great and some…not so much – unless you want to pick up a virus along with a puppy image at the same time.
We think these are the sweetest. Here are our top 10 flavors:
To help you wade through the ocean of image sites out there, we’ve put together our favorite free and paid go-to’s for spectacular, quality images and graphics.
Unsplash.com – Sign up and get high-res (high quality), professional images emailed to you each month. Another nice thing, they are free to use commercially.
IvoryMix.com – Sort by color or composition (we love that!). Free images require no attribution and are free to use for commercial use. You can also have her create your own custom images just for you and your brand. Join a free or premium membership for even more beauties!
Deathtothestockphoto.com – Another place where you sign up to get images emailed to you. You can also use these commercially with no attribution.
Lifeofpix.com – We like that you don’t have to sign up for anything – you can download straight from their website. High resolution for commercial use with no restrictions.
Gratisography.com – If you’re looking for something a little different, this is your place. New images added each week and free for commercial use.
Stocksy.com – Stocksy is awesome. 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 easily get lost in Creative Market’s candy aisle. Not only images but fonts, vector images, templates, patterns and a ton more. We suggest signing up for their email list – they’ve got pretty great blog posts with helpful info, and you’ll get notified of the “Free Goods” for the week, too.
Pexels.com – Great, high-quality images by a variety of excellent photographers. Free for personal and commercial use.
DepositPhotos.com – A huge variety of images, graphics, vector images, icons, and clipart. TIP: Do what we do: sign up for AppSumo’s newsletter and keep an eye out for the Depositphotos deal – $39 for 100 downloads (images of any size, vectors, graphics anything)!
SC-Stockshop – Another lovey shop to get lost in. Free and paid images. Shop by color and sign up for free monthly images plus a 10% coupon to use on your first purchase.
Now, once you have your images, don’t forget to stick to the rules.
- White space is your friend. Give your images (and copy) room to breathe.
- 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.
- Optimize your images to increase website speed. Use an image optimizer like: ImageOptim or PhotoBulk.
- Stick with images that reflect your brand or topic. Unify your brand identity by looking like “you” on your website AND social media.
- Don’t use 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, legally downloaded, and have the rights to use.
TIP: 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! Want some ideas? Come follow us on Pinterest!
Do you have any favorite image shops/flavors? Tell us below, we’d love to know!