Website imagery is essential for modern web design, acting as the dynamic visuals that bring web pages to life, especially for artisan websites. It transforms a dull, text-heavy page into a vibrant and engaging space.

Imagine browsing an online store without images; it would be like a movie without visuals or a mall without window displays.

Website imagery isn’t merely decorative; it communicates, entertains, and narrates a story, enhancing user experience. It’s akin to adding sauce to a burger, enriching the flavor and overall experience.

But there’s an art to it. Beyond just photos, icons, and infographics play crucial roles in crafting a site’s narrative. We’ll delve into the intricacies of using these visuals effectively in web design.

The Psychology of Imagery

Human Attention Span and Imagery

You know that feeling when you’re scrolling through social media and something just catches your eye? That’s the power of imagery. We humans have a pretty short attention span (I mean, who doesn’t lose track of time scrolling through Instagram?).

But when I’m designing a website, I have to use that to my advantage. Website imagery helps grab your attention. It’s like waving a shiny object in front of a curious cat. It’s all about the visuals, baby!

Triggering Emotions and Actions

Emotional Connection

Have you ever seen an image that just hits you in the feels? Maybe it’s a picture of a cute puppy, or a breathtaking landscape. Well, those images create an emotional connection.

When I’m putting together a website, I use website imagery that resonates with people’s emotions. A smiling face on a customer support page, a delicious-looking meal on a restaurant menu. It’s all about building a vibe.

Trust Building

Trust me, website imagery isn’t just about looking pretty. It’s also about building trust. When you see high-quality photos and professional graphics, you feel like you can trust the site, like it’s legit.

I always make sure to use images that convey professionalism and authenticity. It’s like wearing a nice suit to a job interview; it just gives that extra confidence boost.

Conversion Rates

So here’s where the magic happens. Website imagery isn’t just for show; it helps make people take action. A compelling image with a big, bold “Buy Now” button can be the difference between someone just browsing and actually buying something.

When I design a site, I think about how the imagery can guide visitors to take the next step, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or hitting that checkout button. It’s like a visual tour guide leading the way.

Types of Imagery

High-Quality Imagery

Proprietary Images

You know when you take a snapshot with your phone, and it’s just for you, not found anywhere else? That’s like proprietary images in website design. It’s original, one-of-a-kind stuff.

I mean, why use the same generic photo that a thousand other sites are using? When I create a website, I love to use images that are exclusive to that brand. It’s like wearing a custom-made suit; it just fits better.

Stock Imagery

But hey, not everyone has the budget for a photoshoot, and that’s cool too. There are these places online where you can buy or grab for free some really awesome pictures, called stock imagery.

Stock imagery can be a real lifesaver. It’s like going to a buffet; you have plenty of options, but you still pick what fits your taste. So when I’m working with stock imagery, I find those gems that align with the brand’s vibe.


Usability and Design

Ever seen those little symbols on a website that tell you where to click? Those are graphic icons. They’re not just pretty to look at; they guide you around like a map.

I use graphic icons to make the website’s navigation smooth. Think of them as road signs; you see a fork-and-knife icon, and you know that’s the menu. Simple and sleek.

Icon Selection

Choosing the right icons is like picking the right emojis in a text. It’s got to match the message.

So when I’m doing the whole icon selection thing, I think about what each icon is saying. It has to be clear and straightforward, like a high-five emoji when you want to say “great job!”

Illustrations, Icons, and Infographics

Storytelling Through Images

Okay, this is where things get really fun. Illustrations, icons, and infographics are like the comic book version of an interactive website imagery.

You can tell a whole story with them. I often use these to break down complex ideas into fun visuals. Think of it like turning a boring textbook into a colorful comic strip.

Consistency in Design

Ever wear mismatched socks and feel like something’s off? That’s what inconsistency in homepage design feels like.

So, I make sure that the illustrations, icons, and infographics all vibe together. It’s all about that harmonious flow, like a well-choreographed dance. It’s the stuff that makes you feel like the website just “gets” you.

Best Practices for Using Imagery

Meaningful and Relevant Images

Representing Brand Identity

Using the right images is like picking the right profile pic on social media. It’s got to show who you are.

For a modern website, I always go for images that tell the brand’s story and reflect its values. It’s like looking in a mirror and seeing the brand’s personality.

Avoiding Generic Images

No one likes that deja vu feeling of seeing the same image everywhere. So, I avoid generic images like avoiding spoilers for my favorite show.

I hunt for unique pictures, ones that won’t pop up on every other site. It’s like finding that indie band before everyone else does.

Optimization for SEO

Image Naming

This might sound like geek talk, but image naming is a game-changer. I mean, how will people find your pictures if they’re all named “image1234”?

When I’m working on a site, I name images in a way that makes sense, like “red-sneakers.” It’s like labeling your lunch; you know exactly what’s inside.

Alt Text and Tagging

I know, more techy stuff, but stay with me. Alt text is like a caption for an image, and tagging helps with finding it.

When I add these to website imagery, I’m making sure that everyone can understand and find those images, even search engines. It’s like giving a high-five to Google.

Enhancing User Experience

Scanning and Comprehension

Ever skim through a menu and spot what you want in seconds? That’s what I aim for with website imagery.

I design in a way that helps you find what you need fast. It’s all about understanding at a glance, like spotting your friend in a crowd.

Visually Stimulating CTAs

CTAs, or Call to Actions, are like those buttons that say “Click Me!” or “Buy Now.” But they don’t have to be boring.

I love to make them visually exciting, something that makes you want to click. It’s like a treasure hunt, and the button is the “X” that marks the spot.

The Role of Professional Photography

Benefits of Bespoke Imagery

Brand Communication

Ever try to explain something, and words just don’t cut it? That’s where professional photography steps in. Bespoke imagery is like having a tailored suit; it fits your brand like a glove.

Think of it this way: You’re unique. Your brand’s unique. So, the photos on your site should be unique too. No one-size-fits-all here.

Trust and Authenticity

You know when you see a profile pic, and you just know that’s the real person? Well, authentic images are like that. They tell people, “Hey, this is the real deal.”

I’m all about creating trust through website imagery. It’s like making a promise and keeping it, every time someone visits the site.

Investment in Quality Photography

Impact on Conversion

Let’s get real; quality photos aren’t just for show. They’re like the friendly salesperson that helps you choose the right product.

Investing in top-notch photography can turn visitors into customers. It’s like magic, but with pixels.

Professionalism and Consistency

Ever meet someone who just oozes confidence and class? That’s what professional photography does for a brand.

It shows that you care about quality, that you’re serious. It’s like putting on a suit for a job interview – you just look the part.

Things To Consider

Success Stories

Companies Excelling in Imagery

Okay, so you know those sites, like those outstanding daycare websites, that just look so good you can’t help but explore?

Those are companies excelling in imagery. They’ve got their website imagery game on point. It’s like watching a movie and getting lost in the story; you just want to see what’s next.

Impact on Sales and Engagement

And guess what? That slick website imagery isn’t just eye candy. It’s boosting sales, getting people to stick around.

It’s like throwing a great party. People come, they stay, they have fun, and they come back. Website imagery can make or break that experience.

Common Mistakes

Inconsistent Icons

Oh boy, this one. You know when you see a set of icons, and one just doesn’t fit? It’s like wearing a sneaker with a dress shoe.

Inconsistent icons are a no-go in my world. They confuse people, mess up the flow. It’s like dancing off-beat; it just feels wrong.

Poorly Lit and Cropped Images

Imagine you’re taking a selfie, but the light’s all wrong, and half your face is cut off. Not cool, right?

That’s how I feel about poorly lit and cropped images. They don’t do anyone any favors. They’re like that one bad apple that spoils the bunch.

Tools and Resources

Image Libraries and Repositories

Alright, picture this: You’re on the hunt for the perfect snap to fit your site’s vibe. Where do you even begin? Don’t stress; there’s a goldmine out there waiting for you.

Image Libraries are like those all-you-can-eat buffets but for pics. They’ve got a bit of everything, and you can just scroll through and take your pick.

But maybe you’re after something more… specific? Enter Repositories. It’s like going to a specialty store where everything’s hand-picked and curated just for your taste.

Design Tools like Canva

I’ve got a confession: my non-designer wife is obsessed with Canva. If you’re into DIY website imagery, this tool’s a game-changer. Think of it as your artsy friend who always knows how to make stuff look cool.

With Canva, even if you’re not a pro, you can play around with designs and make your website pop. And trust me, making stuff from scratch? It’s a vibe.

Professional Services and Agencies

Let’s get real for a sec. Sometimes, you need a bigger team. Maybe you’re swamped, or you just want that top-tier look.

Either way, hiring professional services or agencies is like calling in the big guns. They come, they conquer, they make your website imagery glow up.

FAQ about website imagery

What’s the Big Deal About Image Quality?

Man, image quality is everything! When you’re running a website, a blurry or pixelated image just won’t cut it. It’s about grabbing the attention, you know? Make sure the resolution is spot-on and the image is crisp. Think of your users’ eyes; they’ll thank you for it.

Can I Just Use Any Image from the Internet?

No way, buddy! You’ve got to watch out for copyright issues. Always make sure to use images that you have the right to use. There are tons of free and paid resources out there, or, heck, take your own pictures!

How Big Should the Image Files Be?

Keep an eye on this one. Too large, and your site’s loading time takes a hit. Too small, and you lose quality. It’s a balancing act; find a sweet spot that keeps both quality and loading time in check.

What About Image Formats?

JPEG, PNG, GIF, you name it. Each has its pros and cons, depending on what you need. JPEG is great for photos, while PNG is your friend for transparent backgrounds. Choose wisely, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Should I Use Original or Stock Photos?

Both have their place. Original photos add a personal touch, but stock photos can be top-notch and professional. Mix ’em up, depending on what you’re going for. No hard and fast rules here.

How Many Images Should I Use?

Ah, the age-old question. Too many images, and you clutter the page. Too few, and it gets dull. My rule of thumb? Just enough to tell the story and keep folks engaged. Simple as that.

What’s the Story with Alt Text?

Alt text isn’t just a fancy tech term. It helps people using screen readers understand what’s in the image. Also, it’s a tiny SEO boost. Describe the image as if you’re telling a buddy what’s in it.

How Do I Optimize Images for Mobile?

Mobile’s a big deal these days, isn’t it? You’ll want to ensure that images look good on smaller screens too. Use responsive design techniques, and test them out on different devices. A little extra work, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Can Images Impact SEO?

You bet! Images can play a nice part in your SEO strategy. Using the right file names, alt text, and making sure they’re the right size can actually boost your site’s ranking. It’s more than just pretty pictures!

How Can I Protect My Images from Being Stolen?

Ain’t that the million-dollar question? While you can never make them completely theft-proof, you can watermark them or use low-resolution versions.

There are plugins and tools to make it harder to right-click and save, but remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Keep an eye out and do what you can.


Website imagery isn’t just about looking pretty; it’s about telling your story, setting the mood, and making those virtual handshakes. We’ve got:

  • Libraries and Repos bursting with pics.
  • Tools like Canva to bring out our inner artist.
  • And for those extra fancy moments, professional teams ready to swoop in.

And don’t forget the importance of a responsive slider to showcase your images effectively on different devices, ensuring that your website looks stunning whether it’s viewed on a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. Let’s invest, experiment, and most importantly, innovate. Grab the latest tools, dabble in the trends, and let’s shape the future of website imagery together.

About the Author

author photo

Bogdan Sandu

Bogdan is a designer and editor at DesignYourWay. He's reading design books the same way a hamster eats carrots, and talks all the time about trends, best practices and design principles.