Don't Get Caught by Copyright: Using Images on Your Website

pictures for websites.jpgCreating an eye-catching web page that will keep potential customers engaged and encourage them to stick around isn't a simple task. Nowadays, nearly all businesses have their own website and regardless of what product or service you are selling, there will be an astonishing amount of competing companies scattered across the internet who are also trying to lure in your potential customer-base with vibrant webpages.

So what can you do to make your website stand out from the rest? Research has shown that a well designed webpage with an appropriate selection of high-quality website images can be a good place to start and will help you capture attention, establish credibility and lower bounce rates.

How Do Images Help Your Website?

Image selection is very important to your website design. However in a lot of cases using clearly obvious stock images can actually be a deterrent for a visitor and when possible it is best to hire a professional photographer photograph your product or service being used. Using your own images will help build a better trust with your customer base as they are able to get a real feel of your brand personality. Obviously this option can be very expensive and is not always available due to cost restraints so many businesses turn to stock photos to add imagery to their site.

Stock Images: Types, Licenses and How to Use

The first thing to remember with regards to stock images is that not all of them are free to use. You need to be particularly careful when you scour the web for pictures for your website, as selecting images protected by copyright laws has the potential to land you in serious legal trouble.

There are three main types of images on the web: Right Protected Images, Royalty Free Images, and Public Domain Images.

As you might have already guessed, Right Protected Images are indeed protected by law, and you'll have to negotiate a fee with the owner beforehand, as well as the amount of time you can use the images for. This can often prove to be an extremely pricey method of obtaining images, and may not necessarily be the best move for anyone who is just starting up a business site. When webpages are established and money is flowing, purchasing full rights for Right Protected Images becomes a much easier task.

Royalty Free Images work in a similar way to Right Protected Images, but can be used by the purchaser as frequently as they like after agreeing an initial price. One of the biggest websites for obtaining Royalty Free Images is Shutterstock, which offers different price variations dependent on the amount of images your require. Whilst this option allows you to splash high-quality images across your webpage at will, keep in mind that the photographer will also be selling to other businesses. These very same images may be being used by a competitor so it would be a good idea to check before committing to purchase.

Public Domain Images are the simplest way to start up a website. These are free to use for anyone at any time. Some of the best places to locate excellent free images include Flickr, Openphoto and Bigfoto. Whilst these are free to use, it is expected that material which is public domain, copyright-free, is considered plagiarized if you don't attribute the source.

Picking Images for Your Website

Using a Royalty Free Images is the most common way for adding images to a homepage, subpage or landing page. You should take time to carefully select the best images you can and consider the following:

  • Is the image in-keeping with your business brand and website design?
  • Is this image being used by your competitors?
  • Is the image obviously a stock image?

It can also be useful to find an image you like and visit the user's page who uploaded it to see if there are other photos shot in a similar style you can use. This is an easy way to keep a coherent look to your design.

Still Feeling Confused?

If you are still finding the task of designing a website overwhelming then you may benefit from speaking to a web design team who can work with you to get your website up and running. Kommand website builder, allows business owners to have a clean and professional looking website without having to worry about the technical aspects of maintenance and hosting. Talk to us today to find out how we can help.