Images are essential to conveying messages and ideas in the digital age. They are worth a thousand words. However, not all images are created equal, and selecting the right one for your website or project can be daunting. That’s where our complete informative website images guide comes in. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about selecting the right images for your website, including best practices, tips, and an image template to help you get started.
Reasons why images are essential for your website?
Catches the Viewer’s Attention
Images are essential in catching the viewer’s attention as they can convey a message quickly and effectively. A website with a lot of text and no images can be dull and uninviting, whereas images add visual appeal and can quickly communicate a message, encouraging the viewer to explore the website further.
Enhances User Experience
Including images in a website can improve the user experience by making the website more engaging and interactive. It can also help break up long blocks of text and make the content more digestible, thus keeping the user interested and on the site for longer.
Conveys Information Quickly
An image has worth more than a thousand words, which is true for websites. Images can convey information quickly and effectively, making it easier for users to understand and engage with the content. For example, images can demonstrate how a product works or illustrate a step-by-step process.
Increases Brand Awareness
Images can play an essential role in increasing brand awareness as they can be used to represent the brand visually. By using consistent branding images across a website, businesses can establish a brand identity and make their website instantly recognizable to users.
Including images on a website can also improve its search engine optimization (SEO), as images can be optimized with alt tags and file names, which can help to increase visibility in image searches. Additionally, websites with images are generally considered more engaging, which can improve their search engine rankings.
Increases in Social Media Shares
Images can also be shared on social media platforms, which can help to increase a website’s exposure and attract new visitors. Websites with visually appealing images are more likely to be shared, liked, and commented on, thus increasing their reach and potential audience.
Supports Content Marketing
Images can support content marketing efforts by making it easier to create visual content such as infographics, charts, and graphs. Visual content can be more engaging than text-based content, making it more appealing to be shared and reach a wider audience.
Helps Establish Credibility
Images can help to establish credibility for a website as they can be used to showcase products, services, or previous work. By providing visual evidence of a business’s work quality, website visitors are more likely to trust and engage with its offerings.
Images can aid navigation on a website by providing visual cues to help users find what they are looking for. For example, images can illustrate categories or sections of a website. It makes it easy for users to find the information they need.
Images can also encourage users to take action on a website, such as purchasing or signing up for a newsletter. By strategically using images, businesses can direct user attention toward specific areas of the website and encourage them to engage with its offerings.
Tips for Choosing the Best Images for Your Website
Purpose of the Image
Before selecting an image for your website, it is essential to consider the purpose of the image. Ask yourself why you need an image and how it relates to the content. Will it support or enhance the message? Will it add value to the user experience? Understanding the purpose of the image will help you select an appropriate image that aligns with the content and communicates the intended message.
The quality of the image is crucial as it can impact your website’s overall appearance and professionalism. High-quality images are clear, sharp, and visually appealing, while low-quality images can be blurry, pixelated, and unprofessional. When selecting images, ensure they are high resolution and optimize them for the web.
Selecting images that are relevant to your content and audience is essential. Images not aligning with your content or audience can confuse or disengage your users. Choose images that complement your content and reflect your brand’s values and message.
Using unique and original images on your website can differentiate your brand and make it more memorable. Avoid using stock images that are generic and overused. If possible, use original images that represent your brand and values.
Images can play a crucial role in the visual hierarchy of your website. They can draw the user’s attention, support the content, or create a focal point. Consider the placement of the image and how it relates to the content. Ensure the image does not distract or overwhelm the user and complements the overall design.
The color scheme of your website can influence the selection of your images. Consider your website’s color palette and select images that align with it. Images matching the color scheme can create a cohesive and visually appealing design.
Size and Format
The size and format of your images can impact the loading time and user experience. Large image files can slow down your website, while incompatible formats can cause compatibility issues. Optimize your images for the web and ensure they are compatible with your website’s design and layout.
Images can evoke emotions and create a connection with your users. Select images that convey the intended emotions and align with your brand’s message. Avoid using images that may offend or alienate your audience.
Accessibility is crucial when selecting images for your website. Ensure your images have alternative text descriptions that are descriptive and meaningful. This will enable users with disabilities to access and understand the content.
Using images without permission can lead to legal issues and copyright infringement. Ensure the legality that you have the right to use the images on your website or those free to use or licensed under creative commons. Avoid using images protected by copyright or intellectual property rights without permission.
Image File Types for website
Multiple image file types are used to make your websites more appealing. Here I have listed the major image file types widely used on websites for different purposes.
PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. It is a lossless image format that supports transparency and is widely used on the web. PNG files are ideal for graphics with solid colors, such as logos or icons. The format also supports interlacing, which allows images to load progressively, making them ideal for use in web design.
JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is a lossy image format that compresses images by discarding some of the image data. This makes the file size smaller but can also result in losing image quality. JPEG files are ideal for photographs and other images with complex color schemes but unsuitable for transparent images.
GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. It is a compressed image format that supports animation and transparency. GIF files are ideal for simple animations, such as logos or icons, and they can also be used for short video clips. However, the format is limited to 256 colors, which makes it less suitable for images with complex color schemes.
TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format. It is a lossless format that supports high-quality images with various colors. TIFF files are ideal for images that require a high level of detail and accuracy, such as photographs or scanned documents. However, the format is unsuitable for web use, as the file sizes can be huge.
SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. It is a vector image format that supports interactivity and animation. SVG files are ideal for graphics that need to scale up or down but without losing quality, such as logos or icons. The format also supports transparency and can be used to create complex animations and interactive graphics for the web.
The best file types to use for website images
When adding images to a website, choosing the correct file type is essential to ensure the images look great and load quickly. Here are some of the best file types to use for website images:
- JPEG (or JPG): JPEG is the most commonly used image format online due to its small file size and good image quality. It’s ideal for photographs and images with lots of color variations.
- PNG: PNG is a high-quality image format that supports transparency and is ideal for images with text or graphics that need to be layered over other elements. However, it generally results in larger file sizes than JPEG.
- SVG: SVG is a vector-based image format great for logos, icons, and other graphics that need to scale without losing quality. It’s also lightweight, making it ideal for website images.
- GIF: GIF is a format that allows for simple animations and is suitable for small images with limited colors, such as logos, icons, and simple graphics. However, it has a limited color palette and can result in larger file sizes.
Image Names & Alt Tags
When it comes to website images, it’s essential to consider not only the file type and size but also the names and alt tags of your images. Image names and alt tags are important for accessibility and search engine optimization (SEO).
Image names should be descriptive and relevant to the content of the image. This helps search engines understand the image and can improve your website’s SEO. Additionally, if the image fails to load on the website, the image name will be displayed instead, so choosing a name that accurately describes the image is essential.
Alt tags, or alternative text, are used to describe the content of an image to visually impaired users who may be using screen readers. Alt tags should be descriptive and accurate, explaining the image’s content. Search engines also use alt tags to understand the content of images, so including them can also improve your website’s SEO.
Image Size & Page Load Time (Important for SEO)
The size of website images can significantly impact page load time, an essential factor in user experience and SEO. If your website takes too much time to load, users may become frustrated and leave, resulting in a higher bounce rate. Additionally, search engines consider page load time when ranking websites, so a slow-loading website can negatively impact your SEO.
Optimizing your website images is essential to improve page load time. This can be done by reducing the image’s file size without compromising on quality. Comp compression or choosing the appropriate file type for the image can achieve this. For example, JPEG images are often used for photographs as they balance image quality and file size well. On the other hand, PNG images are often used for graphics and logos as they provide a higher quality image but at a larger file size. Choosing the appropriate file type and optimizing your images can improve your website’s page load time and SEO.
How to reduce page load time | Increase page speed?
Reducing page load time and increasing page speed is crucial for providing a better user experience and improving website performance. Here are a few easy steps you can take to achieve this:
Images are one of the most significant contributors to page load time. Large, high-quality images can take up a lot of bandwidth and cause slow loading times. To optimize images for the website, you can compress them to reduce their size while maintaining image quality. You can use tools like Photoshop and Gimp or online services like TinyPNG or Compress JPEG.
Minification refers to removing unnecessary characters from code, such as white spaces, line breaks, and comments, without affecting the code’s functionality. This helps to reduce the file size, which leads to faster loading times. There are many online tools and plugins like Autoptimize that you can use to minify your code.
Enable Browser Caching
Use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
CDNs servers networks are distributed worldwide. When a user visits a website, the CDN serves the website’s content from the server closest to the user’s location. This reduces the distance the data travels, leading to faster loading times. You can use CDNs like Cloudflare or Amazon CloudFront to speed up your website.
Reduce HTTP Requests
Use a Content Management System (CMS)
A CMS like WordPress or Drupal can help you optimize your website for faster loading times. CMSs provide plugins and tools that can help you optimize your website’s code, compress images, and enable browser caching. CMSs often have built-in features like content delivery networks and minification tools.
Important Website Image Types
Here is a list of a few essential image types. Let’s explore their use and their aspect ratio and resolution.
Logos are critical to a website’s branding, creating a strong visual identity. Logos can be displayed in various sizes and positions on a website, so it’s essential to have high-quality, scalable images that maintain their resolution at any size.
- Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio of a logo image will depend on its design and layout. However, most logos have a square or rectangular aspect ratio, with a height-to-width ratio of 1:1 or 2:1.
The resolution of a logo image should be high enough to ensure that it looks crisp and clear on any device or screen size. Generally, A 300 DPI (dots per inch) resolution is recommended for print, while a resolution of 72 DPI is sufficient for web use.
Favicons are small icons displayed in a web browser’s address bar or tab. They help users identify the website they are viewing, and they can also be used as bookmarks. Favicons are usually simple and should be designed to be easily recognizable even when viewed at a small size.
- Aspect Ratio
Favicons are typically square, with an aspect ratio of 1:1.
Favicons should be optimized for the web, with a resolution of 16×16 pixels or 32×32 pixels.
Hero Images & Full-Width Images
Hero images and full-width images are large, high-impact images that are often used to create a dramatic visual effect on a website’s homepage or landing pages. These images can be photographs or graphics, typically displayed at the top of the page or as a full-width background.
- Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio of hero images and full-width images will depend on the design and layout of the website. However, a 16:9 aspect ratio is commonly used for hero images and full-width images intended to cover the entire screen.
Hero images and full-width images should be optimized for the web, with a resolution of 72 DPI. The ideal resolution will depend on the size of the image and the desired level of detail. However, a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels is a good starting point for full-width images. Balancing the image’s file size and visual quality is essential so users don’t experience slow load times.
Blog Post Images
Blog post images are used within a blog post to enhance the content and capture the reader’s attention visually. These images can illustrate a point, showcase a product, or add visual interest to the article.
- Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio of a blog post image will depend on the blog layout and where the image is being used. A common aspect ratio for blog post images is 16:9, a widescreen format. Other common aspect ratios include 4:3 and 1:1 (square).
The recommended resolution for blog post images is 72 dpi (dots per inch) for web use. The minimum resolution should be 600 pixels on the shorter side, but higher resolutions (such as 1200 pixels or more) are preferable for larger images or images viewed on high-resolution screens.
Product Page Images
Product page images are used on e-commerce websites to showcase products and help potential buyers make purchasing decisions. These images are usually high-quality and show the product from different angles and contexts.
- Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio of a product page image will depend on the website’s design and the product page’s layout. Common aspect ratios for product images include 4:3, 16:9, and square (1:1).
The recommended resolution for product page images is 300 dpi (dots per inch) for print use and 72 dpi for web use. The minimum resolution should be 1000 pixels on the shorter side, but higher resolutions (such as 2000 pixels or more) are preferable for larger images or images viewed on high-resolution screens.
Social Media Icons
Social media icons are the small images used on websites and mobile apps to represent social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These icons are usually simple, recognizable images that allow users to navigate quickly to the social media platform.
- Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio of social media icons is typically square (1:1), although some platforms use slightly different aspect ratios.
The recommended resolution for social media icons is 72 dpi (dots per inch) for web use. The size of social media icons can vary, but a common size is 50×50 pixels. Higher resolutions may be necessary for larger icons or icons viewed on high-resolution screens.
Background images are images that are used to enhance the visual appeal of a website. They are often used to create a mood, add texture, or provide context to the content on a webpage. The aspect ratio and resolution of background images are essential factors to consider when designing a website.
- Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio of a background image refers to the relationship between its width and height. Choosing an aspect ratio that will fit the screen size and layout of the website is essential. Common aspect ratios for background images include 16:9, 4:3, and 1:1.
The resolution of a background image refers to the pixels that make up the image. A higher-resolution image will generally look better but may take longer to load. The optimal resolution for a background image will depend on the image’s size and the website’s layout. Generally, 72 pixels per inch (PPI) resolution is sufficient for web use.
Team portraits feature a group of people who work together or share a common goal. They are often used on a website’s about us or team pages to give visitors a sense of the people behind the organization. Team portraits’ aspect ratio and resolution are essential when selecting or taking photographs.
- Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio of a team portrait will depend on how the image will be used. If the image will be displayed on a webpage, choosing an aspect ratio that will fit the page’s layout is essential. Common aspect ratios for team portraits include 4:3 and 1:1. If the image is going to be printed, the aspect ratio should match the dimensions of the print.
The resolution of a team portrait should be high enough to ensure that the faces of the people in the photograph are clear and sharp. A resolution of 300 pixels per inch (PPI) is recommended for print, while a resolution of 72 ppm is sufficient for web use. It is also essential to consider the size of the image when choosing a resolution. Larger images may require a higher resolution to maintain clarity and sharpness.
When it comes to high-quality images for a website, you also need to consider things other than aspect ratio and resolution. Here are the two top considerations.
Color profiles are a way to describe the color space of an image. They define how colors are represented and displayed across different devices and software. There are many different color profiles, each with a unique range of colors that it can display.
When selecting images for a website, using a color profile widely supported by different devices and browsers is essential. The most common color profile for web use is sRGB, supported by most web browsers and devices. Using a different color profile could result in color inconsistencies and make the images look different on different devices.
Image compression means reducing the file size of an image without significantly reducing its quality. Compressing images is essential for websites because large image files can slow down the website’s load time, negatively affecting user experience and search engine rankings.
There are different methods of compressing images, including lossy and lossless compression. Lossy compression can remove some of the image data to reduce file size, which can result in a loss of quality. Lossless compression, on the other hand, reduces file size without removing any image data, so the quality of the image remains the same.
When selecting images for a website, it’s essential to balance file size and image quality. You want to choose images that are small enough to load quickly but still look good and don’t appear pixelated or blurry. Many tools and plugins can help with image compression, and it’s essential to test images on different devices and browsers to ensure they load quickly and look good on all platforms.
The best image compression plugins to use for WordPress
Image compression plugins are essential for any WordPress website that relies heavily on image content. Compressed images can help reduce page load time, improve website performance, and enhance user experience. Here is a list of some of WordPress’s best image compression plugins.
Smush is a popular image compression plugin for WordPress, with over a million active installations. It offers lossless and lossy compression options, allowing you to choose the best compression level for your images. Smush can also optimize your images on upload, which works with all major image formats.
ShortPixel is a powerful image optimization tool that offers both lossy and lossless compression options. It uses advanced compression algorithms to reduce image size without sacrificing quality. ShortPixel also offers a range of additional features, including support for WebP images, automatic resizing, and lazy loading.
EWWW Image Optimizer
EWWW Image Optimizer is a popular image optimization plugin that uses lossless compression to reduce image size without sacrificing quality. It supports multiple image formats and can optimize new and existing images on your website. EWWW Image Optimizer offers a paid version with additional features, including lossy compression.
Imagify is a powerful image compression plugin that uses both lossy and lossless compression to optimize your images. It can automatically resize and compress your images on upload, and it offers a range of compression options to choose from. Imagify also offers a backup feature, allowing you to restore your original images if needed.
WP Compress is a comprehensive image optimization plugin offering lossless and lossy compression options. It can optimize new and existing images on your website, offering a range of additional features, including automatic resizing, lazy loading, and WebP support. WP Compress also offers a backup feature, allowing you to restore your original images if needed.
Embedding vs Hosting Videos
When displaying videos on a website, there are two main approaches: embedding and hosting.
Embedding refers to inserting a video player (usually from a third-party service like YouTube or Vimeo) into your website’s HTML code. This allows visitors to view the video without leaving your site, and you don’t have to worry about hosting the video files yourself. Instead, the video is stored and served from third-party servers. Embedding is generally the easiest and most convenient way to display videos on a website, and it’s often used for marketing or informational purposes.
On the other hand, hosting involves uploading the video file to your website’s server and then serving it to visitors using a video player. This requires more technical expertise and resources than embedding, but it gives you complete control over the video and how it’s displayed. Hosting is often used for more interactive or customized video experiences, such as courses or online games.
Whether to embed or host a video depends on your needs and resources. Embedding is generally easier and more convenient, while hosting gives you more control and customization options.
A downloadable template is a pre-designed file that can be downloaded and used as a starting point for a specific task or project. These templates can come in various formats, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop, or Illustrator. Professionals often create and make them available to the public for free or at a cost.
A downloadable template can save time and effort, providing a structure and layout that can be customized to fit individual needs. Common examples of downloadable templates include resumes, business plans, invoices, calendars, and project plans.
When using a downloadable template, it is essential to ensure that it is from a trusted source and that any required software or tools are readily available. Users should also review and customize the template to fit their needs before sharing or distributing it.
How to improve page loading?
There are several ways to improve page loading times:
- Optimize images: Make sure images are compressed and properly sized to reduce their file size.
- Use caching: Implement browser caching to store static content like images and scripts in the user’s browser, reducing the number of requests needed.
- Reduce server response time: Use a content delivery network (CDN) or optimize server configurations to improve response times.
- Prioritize above-the-fold content: Load critical content like headlines and images first to give the user the impression that the page is loading quickly.
- Use asynchronous loading: Load non-critical elements like ads and social media widgets asynchronously to prevent them from slowing down the page.
What are image alt tags best practices?
Image alt tags are essential for improving website accessibility and search engine optimization. Best practices for image alt tags include:
- Be descriptive and accurate: The alt text should describe the content and function of your added image concisely and accurately.
- Keep it brief: The alt text should be short and to the point, ideally under 125 characters.
- Use relevant keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords in the alt text to help improve SEO.
- Avoid keyword stuffing: Don’t overuse keywords in the alt text, as this can result in penalization by search engines.
- Use proper capitalization and punctuation: Alt text should follow proper grammar and punctuation rules.
- Use alt text for decorative images: If the image is purely decorative and doesn’t convey meaningful information, use an empty alt tag to indicate this.
- Use alt text for informative images: If the image provides essential information, make sure the alt text accurately conveys this information.
What are common image resolution sizes for a website?
Common image resolution sizes for websites include 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768, 1280×800, and 1920×1080. However, the ideal image resolution size for a website depends on the website’s design, layout, and intended audience. Optimizing images for web use is essential to improve image quality with website loading speed.
As more people access websites from mobile devices, it’s also essential to consider the responsive design and use images that can adapt to different screen sizes. In general, using smaller image resolution sizes for a website can help improve website performance, reduce page load times, and enhance the user experience.
What are image types for the web?
Several image types are commonly used for the web, each with advantages and disadvantages. The most commonly used image types are JPEG, PNG, and GIF.
JPEG images are great for photographs because they use lossy compression, which means they can achieve small file sizes while retaining good image quality. However, they are not ideal for images with sharp edges or text, which can become blurry.
On the other hand, PNG images use lossless compression, meaning they retain all the image data, resulting in higher-quality images. They are ideal for images with sharp edges or text but can result in larger file sizes.
GIF images are commonly used for animations or images with simple graphics and limited colors. They use lossless compression and support transparency but can result in larger file sizes for complex images.
What is the best aspect ratio for website images?
The best aspect ratio for website images ultimately depends on the website’s specific use case and design. However, a commonly used aspect ratio for website images is 16:9, which is the same as the aspect ratio of most widescreen monitors and televisions. This aspect ratio is often used for large headers, backgrounds, and featured images.
Additionally, the 1:1 (square) aspect ratio is popular for social media images and thumbnails, while 4:3 and 3:2 are used for more traditional photo sizes. Ultimately, it’s essential to consider the context and purpose of the image when determining the best aspect ratio for your website.
Best size for website images
The best size for website images depends on the context and purpose of the image. Generally, it’s crucial to balance image quality and file size for optimal website performance. For hero images or full-width banners, a width of 1920 pixels is a good starting point for desktop screens, while 1024 pixels is sufficient for mobile screens. For product images or thumbnails, a resolution of 72-150 pixels per inch (PPI) and a file size of less than 100kb are recommended. Compressing images to reduce file size without sacrificing quality is also essential.
Best pixel size for website images
The best pixel size for website images depends on various factors, including the website’s design, the size and resolution of the device on which it will be viewed, and the desired image quality.
Generally, it is recommended to use images with a resolution of 72dpi and a pixel size of around 1200 pixels wide for large images and 600 pixels wide for smaller images. This ensures that the images are optimized for web display and do not slow down the website’s loading speed. However, it is essential to test and adjust the image sizes based on the website’s specific needs and the intended audience.
Images are crucial in enhancing your website’s overall look and feel. They help capture your audience’s attention and convey your message effectively. Choosing the right image file type, image name, alt tags, and resolution are key factors in optimizing your website’s SEO and page loading time.
The aspect ratio and resolution of images vary depending on the type of image and its purpose on your website. Color profiles and image compression are other crucial considerations for website images. Following the tips and utilizing the downloadable template ensures your website’s images are visually appealing, optimized, and perform well on all devices.