Have a look at any new website these days and you’ll see how important – and Huge! – photos have become.  Websites have become much more expansive visually than in the past, making the importance of your website photos center stage.

For example of visual websites, Inc.com just changed their website to one with large photos, following in the footsteps of Fast Company, Mashable, Netflix, and many more.

Fonts have also become larger to match the photo size and keep the design coherent.  San Serif typefaces such as Ariel, Helvetica, Calibri, etc. are easy to read, “clean”, and well-suited to the image-oriented websites so popular today.  Serif typefaces such as Times Roman, Cambria, or Century are ill-fitted to the modern look of photo-dominant sites.

With the importance of photos to your website design, it is essential that your original photo sizes are capable of being expanded to a larger size.  If your photos are small thumbnails or mid-size photos such as 400 x 400 pixels, they will not show well on your website.  Small photos become blurry and pixilated when enlarged and look awful when placed in a banner position on your website.

To avoid this enlargement problem, make sure that the photos you take personally are full-size in your camera, i.e. don’t zoom in as this adds to the pixilation issue.  Photos can always be cropped, but enlarging exposes the pixels – the little dots that make up a photograph.  When zooming in, you are already spreading the pixels which go even more widely spread when the photo is enlarged.  Taking a full-sized shot keeps the pixels tight, so that when enlarged, the pixel spacing is not as great.

As an alternative to taking your own photos, you can purchase photos from various stock photo companies – Getty Images, StockPhoto, and others.  These photos companies have a wide variety of categories and pricing.  Once purchased, you then own that photo for all uses, but be sure to check what license you are buying for that photo.

One thing you definitely do not want to do is to steal a photo from the internet to use on your website! These photos are easily searched by the owners of those photos and if you are found out to have stolen their work, you will have huge legal issues.  And taking down the photo will not absolve you.

DesignedByLori.com uses only your original photos or purchased photos for use on your website, and will not use “illegal” photos. This is for your protection and ours.  Contact us for guidance on photos.

To recap:

  • Photos are more important to website designs

  • Website typefaces and fonts need to be “clean”

  • Photos need to be large enough to avoid pixelation

  • Use your own photos or purchase images

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