How to Choose Images For Your Website — Stock Or Original
Pictures you post on your website can play a crucial role in the success of your project. Here, we consider the pros and cons of using stock and original photos.
Stock Pictures and Original Photographs for Your Website
In this article, we will try to shed some light on the subject by showing you all the pros and cons of both stock and original photos. So let’s get right into it!
Stock Images for Your Website
When high-quality professional images are not available, archive photos become a good option. They are certainly cheaper than the original photographs and are much easier to find. When we buy images from such resources, we usually talk about royalty-free images.
“Royalty-free” is, in fact, a type of license that allows the use of photo, video, or audio files with limited restrictions and for an extremely small fee.
To find the right images, you’ll need the right method and a lot of patience. Why? Because it is absolutely necessary that you locate high-quality photos that are suitable for your project. After reviewing a vast amount of stock photos, you can get an idea of what actually works for you and what doesn’t.
Check out our quick tips for finding the right pics on some of the most popular stock image platforms, such as Shutterstock, Istockfoto, and Fotolia.
Stock Images: The First Choice is not Always the Right One
Here is an example of how the first choice may actually prove to be a fallacious one. Imagine writing a post or page for a website like https://www.buy-cheapessay.com/write-my-essay dedicated to academic services. After writing the piece, you’ll need a good image that is pertinent to the subject and can attract potential customers. So, you go to Shutterstock and use the first photo that you think is the best in terms of quality and relevance. The next day you see the exact same photo in an article from another blog that deals with online college support.
What does this example tell us? Simple. That you should put a little more effort into selecting the image and trying to be more creative. It is not a big problem. We have learned a lesson: do not use the first thing that comes your way. Research on stock image platforms by entering less obvious search queries.
Customizing the Stock Image
Add some text, remove any distracting elements, or add another layered image to the photo. There are many ways to improve a boring archive photo and make it unique.
It’s always a good idea to use a bit of creativity to ensure that the final result is nice-looking and in line with your website’s overall style.
Check Your Image for Strange or Annoying Elements
When choosing an image for your content, consider the following questions:
- Is the photograph in focus or out of focus?
- Does the subject of the photo have a strange or distracting expression?
- Do people or settings seem fake?
Sometimes, even images taken by professionals are to be chosen with caution. It always takes the right methodology and strategy.
According to our experience, stock images can be perfect for the following projects :
- Ebooks and slides/presentations
- Blog posts in your special section but possibly not for your homepage
- When you need high-resolution images on your homepage (only when you don’t have original photographs available)
So, as you can see, each type of image may have a specific purpose.
Original Images for Your Website
Now that we’ve discussed stock images, we can move on to the original ones.
A great website with excellent content and enormous potential can be compromised by the lack of care in choosing photos.
We often see projects with high potential on the Internet. They are limited by poor-quality photos that, unfortunately, fail to enhance the contents of the site and the people behind the project. In the same way, it is possible to see a graphically perfect website ruined by low-quality images (probably took with a mobile phone).
We know that creating a professionally-looking website can be quite challenging from an economic point of view. However, if you’re on a budget and want to cut a few corners, photos are the last thing you should save on. High-quality pictures can really make a big difference, especially when it comes to grabbing the attention of visitors who keep switching between multiple websites. Not only does it attract them, but it also causes them to return. Why? Because the overall result is harmonious and beautiful to look at.
Hire a Professional Photographer
There are so many good photographers out there who can take fantastic photos of your company, your office, and your products/services. However, they can also help you get great-looking pics of your team and your workspace. It is especially important if your location, your company, and the people working for you are an essential part of your brand.
Even images taken with your smartphone can make a big difference. Yes, they can work, especially if you know what you’re doing! Apps that are available online can help you create personalized images for social media and your website. However, we would like to clarify one thing: always try to be objective and rely on professionals.
Know Your Limits
While planning your website, you should figure out whether you’ll be able to create and update the elements that require images. News articles, blog posts, homepage banners: all these areas may need to be updated. Will you write news articles every week? Do you need to change the homepage banners every month? If you don’t have a designer or photographer, you can consider using stylistic elements that don’t require photographs.
Use your original photo to:
- Promote your homepage
- Promote your services or your team
- Promote materials relevant to your company’s philosophy
- Focus on your company’s unique features
Professional photography can be expensive, so it is a good solution when you lack the time or access to high-quality original images. Personalized images and original photographs are more appealing. Still, we know that we will need time or money to create original and personalized images.
Which Stock or Original Photographs Should You Choose?
Now that we have analyzed the most popular options for choosing images for your website let’s try to figure out how to make your project successful.
The Need for a Good Image in Modern Culture
With the advent of social media, web users tend to prefer visual materials over textual ones. Long pieces are increasingly giving way to smaller ones. The latter have shorter paragraphs and are accompanied by an image that summarizes the main message of the piece. It makes them attractive to people who do not feel like reading the whole article.
Consistency, Quality, and Interactivity
Images should be relevant, high-quality, and interactive. By interactivity, we mean providing users with a chance to download and share content in a few simple steps. Remember — a satisfied user will come back and bring with them more users. This kind of ‘passive advertising’ that works by word of mouth and requires no investment will increase your website traffic and, consequently, broaden your business horizons.
SEO and Original Images
Another factor that shouldn’t be underestimated is that any SEO activity also relies heavily on images. Remember — images are essential for gaining visibility on search engines and increasing your website traffic. Having beautiful and original images can also boost your search engine rankings.
The Final Result?
As we have seen, images are vital for promoting your business and making it a success. We know that an original photograph is more expensive than a stock image. However, we would like to point out that choosing the first option would be an investment that will ultimately pay off. Your website must be unique, which is why using images posted on other platforms isn’t a good idea. It’s a scientifically proven fact that most users leave a website within the first 5 seconds they’ve been on its homepage if they find nothing visually appealing there. Therefore, we need to grab their attention by providing them with beautiful and relevant images.
But be careful! We are trying not to demonize stock images but to show you what the various possibilities are for implementing these two types of elements for different types of projects. A mix of those could work just fine as long as you make your choice with care, passion, and a bit of marketing strategy.
Choosing a Website Builder over Custom Web Development
To launch a website, you can choose to either use a website builder like Shopify or a web designer to create a custom design. If you use a website builder, you are provided with one or many web pages that are pre-designed. So, you need to upload your content and images into these pages.
Your eCommerce website needs to suit your business needs, keep in mind your target customers, and be profitable. Therefore, you need to choose between a website builder or custom development to create your blog or online store.
Which Is A Better Choice For You: A Website Builder Or Custom Web Development?
If you compare the costs of buying a website builder like Wix or Shopify with the costs of getting a designer for customized web design, you will see that the website builder is cheaper in the short-term. Although there might be costs like package upgrades, SSL certificates, and hosting, for a small or medium-sized business, a website builder is still cost-effective. Moreover, your website will share resources with other sites on the same platform.
A custom web design, on the other hand, is going to be far costlier since it demands greater expertise and time. You have to hire experienced professionals for the job. Also, you need to get support and maintenance for the site, once it is up and running. While a builder is less costly, it lacks customizability and features that web development can offer. If you are looking to build a niche website or one with unique design or features, custom web development might be a better option.
If you are looking for a solution that can help you to create a site in record time, you should opt for a website builder. These builders, like Shopify or Wix, will give you access to pre-designed templates that do not need much customization and are easy to install.
On the contrary, a custom web design will take much longer to install. You will have to work with web developers to come up with a design from scratch. Also, working with third-party developers or designers might add up costs or create quality issues. So, the end product may not be desirable as you want it to be. Thus, while custom web design can give you more scalability and customizability, these can be achieved with a comprehensive builder like Shopify as well.
As far as the degree of customizability goes, a web developer and a website builder may differ. With custom web design, the options are naturally more. The site is created from scratch, and you can discuss the features that you want with the web development company. This company will design solutions to fit your needs and come up with a website that can reflect your business properly.
However, for this, you need to hire exceptional developers. If your developers are not up to mark, your website quality suffers. Thus, you must know what a website builder and a custom web designing company can offer when you plan to create a site for your business.
To avoid such complications, it is better to use a trustworthy website builder that provides good customizability, scalability, and maintenance. Shopify is one such platform that is the preferred choice for most companies.
The Final Verdict
Do-it-yourself builders can help you if you are a beginner and keen to create a visually-attractive website in a short time. So, for people requiring websites that can be launched in record time, a website builder is the ideal choice.
Custom design is not for everyone. It is best suited for those with a large budget meant only for site creation. Moreover, you should not invest in a low-cost designer as that may harm your site, and you may not achieve the goals you set. Your aim should be to get a designer who will spend a lot of time understanding the business and then building a site. Such tailor-made websites end up being pricey.
If you are not certain about which option to adopt, you can try using a website builder initially to see if the site is coming out the way you want it to. Besides, using a site builder gives you the experience you need to get a better insight into what your website should look like, its design, theme, functionality, etc. It is a decision that you must take after carefully examining your business needs. You can try out a website builder like Shopify, which offers you a 14-day free trial to test the waters.
10 Reasons To Use WordPress As A Platform For Your Website
10 reasons to use WordPress as a platform for your website. We go through several recommendations and explain why you should use WordPress in 2020.
10 reasons To Use WordPress In 2020
Many years ago, I started programming in different languages like PHP, C#, and simple stuff like HTML & CSS. But some years later, I met a customer, who had a website developed in WordPress CMS, and it was love at first sight. It turned out to be something I would get stuck with and start working with for many years to come, even to this day.
WordPress was first developed as a blogging tool for individuals. Still, after a few years, it started to be used as a platform for companies and organizations, just because of its convenience and simplicity. A CMS (Content Management System) is developed by us, and that’s why it’s simple for us. Below, we list ten reasons why it is so relevant and why we recommend it.
1. Well-grounded And Popular
We start by emphasizing that it is by far the most popular CMS tool on the market. A full 59.9% use the platform, and the number continues to rise. With 15 years of usage under its belt, it has not only created a solid name for itself. The platform has built up one of the best communities on the web, and now, it’s used by big labels like The New Yorker, BBC America, Sony Music, Beyonce, etc.
2. Free And Accessible
Believe it or not, WordPress is completely free and is open-source-based, which means that you can structure, design, and create your websites the way you want and with WordPress.
Web shop, community, newspaper/magazine, blog, portfolio, simply everything — WordPress can do it. In the WordPress environment, as a developer, you are never limited. Create any page you want, whether it is an online store, private site, or business site with services like custom-essays-writings.com. WordPress is an extremely flexible tool. With it, you can create your own plugins and themes from scratch and get a page that you really want.
Oh yes, you read that right — Google-friendly. According to Google itself, in several reports and posts, they very clearly state that they love WordPress. At least, that’s what their search engines do. WordPress and its community (those who create themes and plugins) have codes that have high quality according to Google’s criteria. That makes Google’s robots “crawl” WordPress, themes & plugins very easy, which leads to increased Google-friendly rate.
5. Safe And Secure
Over the years, WordPress has established its brand and platform. They have also succeeded in establishing themselves as a reliable and secure platform. Websites are rarely attacked by viruses and malware. Still, there have been some occurrences, and that usually happens due to old themes and plugins that have not been updated. We recommend constantly updating your plugins as well as themes. Where such violation occurs, since plugins and themes aren’t updated, it may also be due to pirated themes/plugins. You need to be confident in your supplier/agency and manage the adherence to the principles of your website.
Whatever you create in WordPress:
- Online store
- A business page
- A private page, etc.
WordPress CMS automatically adapts it to the visitor’s device. That can be a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. The website adapts to make it user-friendly and easy to navigate. It is called responsive design and is extremely important, given that we are increasingly dependent on mobile phones.
7. A Plethora Of Plugins
If it doesn’t exist, don’t worry — it will be created. We have come across many customers over the years who usually say, “can you do this … and this … and this?” And we always answer with a simple yes. WordPress is so great and progressive that almost any creative website idea can be created from scratch.
Add, create, delete, paste, and remove. It doesn’t get any easier than that, and on the whole, WordPress works just like that. Write posts, save, and publish. The same goes for pages:
The word is free, and the possibilities are endless. Everything from structuring the navigation menu to designing contact forms is simple, (usually) cheap, and effective.
9. Free Themes
Perhaps WordPress is best known for its free themes. Here, as it was said before, it is easy to find cheap solutions. Just remember to keep the themes of your websites up to date and relevant for your target audience. It may happen that you create a page, and after a few visits, you have to change it because of some restrictions or updates. On WordPress, there are also themes to buy that add more features and design suggestions.
10. Superb Support
If you can express your opinions freely, you are in safe hands. The WordPress World and community is an open support forum, and agents there are always helpful no matter what happens on the website. It can be error codes, structural errors, warnings, etc. There, you can find the best solution easily.
We would like to finish this post by pointing out that there are many more reasons for WordPress to be the first choice in 2020. Here, we have only prioritized 10 most important aspects that highlight WordPress’s relevance. Also, thank you for the time you spent reading our post. Feel free to provide any feedback and share your thoughts on what you think about WordPress and its pros and cons.
Creating Your Own Website
If you’ve ever considered starting your own business or launching your own digital venture, then you’ve probably asked yourself how much it costs to have a website. There are a lot of contrasting opinions online based on where you look for the answer to this question. Some people say that you can design and host a website for just a few dollars a month. Other people think that a great website, complete with maintenance and professional designs, should cost thousands. The truth is usually that the price you pay for your website will depend on you, and the kind of site that you want to create. Here, we’re going to give you some basic insights into the expenses associated with having your own website.
How Much Does a Website Cost?
However, there are other expenses to consider besides just getting your website online. If you have no design or developer knowledge, then you’ll need to pay for someone to handle that process for you. This can cost thousands of dollars, particularly if you want a professional to create a complex website. If you want to look into marketing your website, then you’ll need to pay for that too. Just building something and putting it online doesn’t guarantee success. You need people to be able to find you too. This means investing money and time into things like content marketing, PPC, and SEO Campaigns.
Can Building a Site be Cheap?
If you’re low on cash, then you might be wondering whether it’s possible to activate your online presence without spending a fortune. After all, there are some articles out there that put the cost of designing and launching a site in the region of $15,000 to several hundreds of thousands of dollars. The good news is that you can create something a lot smaller, and a lot cheaper. There are tools out there that can help you with designing your creation for free, or for an exceptionally low fee. Although the free tools will often require you to display advertising on your site.
These services often come with templates and themes that you can use to bring your site to life without any prior coding knowledge. If you’re willing to do the work of maintaining and marketing your site on your own after that, then you can keep the costs of being online as low as paying around $12 per month for a domain name. It all depends on what you want to accomplish, and how much you’re willing to learn. Most companies can expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $100,000 on developing their digital presence. How much you spend is up to you.
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