A Quick Guide to Finding and Using Images (Properly) on Your Website

Boats on water and houses next to water with castle up on a hill

Today I want to talk about finding and using images (properly) on YOUR website.

I need an image. Where do I start?

I like Pexels and especially love how I can search by text AND color.

If I can’t find anything there, I move on to Pixabay.

And I’ve also heard good things about Stocksy, Unsplash and Death to Stock.

If you’re not having any luck, try reframing your search terms. For example, I primarily write about websites, however it would get boring really fast if all of my images were of computers.

Notice in my last post, I talked about restaurants needing a website. Instead of looking for yet another computer photo, I opted for something food-related.

Actually, my first search terms revolved around restaurants. When I couldn’t find anything I liked, I reframed to a food-related item. Don’t spend too long searching for the perfect photo.

I found a great photo! Now what?

You don’t need to download the largest possible size, especially if you’re uploading to your website. I often choose medium.

Now, let’s rename the file to something more meaningful.

For example, the featured image of this page has the name germany-water-castle.jpg

You’ll note that the file name:

  • Is descriptive but short
  • Is all lowercase
  • Doesn’t have spaces
  • Has words separated by dashes

Shuttermuse talks about naming conventions in more detail, too.

My photo has a meaningful name. What’s next?

Upload that bad boy to your website and make sure you fill out the “Alt Text” area of the Attachment Details screen.

Alt text should be readable and descriptive.

WordPress attachment details screen

Taking this small extra step can yield big results.

  • Accessibility — screen readers will read this text to visually impaired readers
  • The text will be displayed if for some reason the image can’t load
  • And search engines crawl this text, and when you have great alt text, they can index your page better

Moz.com has a comprehensive guide on alt text that you should definitely read.

There are additional considerations when talking about images, however, I hope this gets you started with finding and using images properly today!

 

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