You have been working with your website design agency on a new site. It looks great, functions well, and now you need to continue crafting unique content to attract visitors. We know that Google rewards websites which have fresh, relevant content added regularly. Once you have written your content, you’ll need images for thumbnails which appear on the blog category page, and for images within the body of the article. Perhaps you already own images or can use product images from a manufacturer. For more abstract or generic images that add interest to the text, royalty-free stock images are easily available and can be inexpensive or free.
Most stock image agencies have a variety of free and paid photos, illustrations, gifs and videos with efficient search bars and filters to get you to the images you need fast.
A few platforms will ask you to credit the photographer when you use the image. Some images are restricted on use – for example you might be permitted to use it in a blog article, but not print onto t-shirts and coffee mugs.
As these sites are free to join – you simply sign up with an email address – many make their money by featuring links to ‘sponsored’ images. If you click to upgrade to a paid image from a quality image library, such as Getty Images or Shutterstock, you can join and buy credits. Do explore these sites, as you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how inexpensive a professional image can be. Expect to pay from £7 for a professional image on Shutterstock for personal or online business use – not for commercial reproduction of the image on a product. Commercial reproduction would require a more expensive comprehensive commercial licence.
At The Web Designer Group, this is one of our favourite resources for free stock photos. Based in Germany, Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All content is released under the Pixabay Licence, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes. Simply create an account and choose which size image file you need to download. There’s a huge choice of images and the search filter throws up highly accurate and intuitive results.
Like Pixabay, there are other royalty free image agencies from which you can download free or inexpensive images. Here are just a few:
- Burst by Shopify
- Unsplash from Squarespace
Download and Editing
When you are choosing images from a stock image agency, choose between small, medium and large file sizes – usually shown by pixel size. For example, 640px x 480px. The first number is width and the second number is height. Depending on your website platform, you may have a built-in image editor that allows you to crop and resize to fit the space upon upload. If not, check out Gimp, which is open-source software that has similar functionality to Photoshop, but unlike Adobe Photoshop, Gimp is free. There are numerous tutorials on YouTube to help you learn the tools.
When we design your website, we’ll advise you of optimum image sizes on handover of your site. Of course, you may wish for us to continue maintaining your site and content, in which case we’ll discuss article topics and frequency. Our services include search engine optimisation and social media marketing. So, if producing your own content and curating stock imagery is something you’d rather outsource to the experts, we are the web design agency for you.
Note: We are not affiliated to any of these sites. These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by us for the products and services.