Website Design: Beauty (and Copyright) Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Searching for images can be exciting and dangerous.Quality content creation and website development are both time consuming and creatively involved endeavors. You can spend hours tweaking verbiage and layouts just to get that perfectly eye-catching page built out.

One of the more often overlooked elements of great content creation and web design is using attractive, attention-grabbing images to enhance your page. Finding images to use can be easy, but proper attribution and steering clear of copyright violations are vital

Here is our guide to finding the best images to improve your web content (and how to make sure to stay out of legal trouble)!

What Works (and What Doesn’t)

Use eye-catching images to grab your audience's attention!A wall of text is never your friend: it’s hard to read and off-putting to viewers. Images are a fantastic way to break up your text and help to delineate different sections and ideas. Choosing the right images, however, is key!

Make sure that your images are relevant and eye-catching. The image itself should tell a story. Any visitor to your webpage or blog should be able to tell what the text on the page is about by the images that are displayed.

Similarly, you want your images to be eye-catching. Don’t use clip art! Colorful pictures with focused imagery will grab visitors’ attention. Make sure that your image choices are functionalFor example, if your website is all about your new software-as-a-service (SaaS), make sure to include screenshots of the product! 

Attribution and Resources

Pixabay is a fantastic resource for attribution-free images.Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to search for images. Using a search engine (like Google Image search) is a great way to find a lot of pictures quickly, but it can also land you in hot water. You can’t just copy and paste photos from the web to your website without proper attribution! Here’s a great guide on internet attribution basics for images.

An alternative to messy attribution rules is to use free image search databases. Pixabay is a fantastic resource for high-quality, high resolution images that usually do not require any permissions or attribution.

Another option (particularly for something more permanent and user-experience focused like a website for your business) is to purchase images from a repository like Shutterstock. While ponying up cash for images might seem excessive (particularly when there are so many great free images out there!), you’ll have a better selection of images to choose from and many more options for size, file format, and resolution.