When you create a website, there are so many things that open up to you in order to improve the website. From a backend standpoint, you can focus on the loading speed of the site. Other aspects are having an SEO strategy and begin producing content.
But one other area is on design. Making the site look appealing to the eyes of viewers who land on it.
Finding all kinds of images is simple enough. It’s a Google search away where Google will provide thousands of images that you can use for articles, landing pages, and more.
But something that not many people think about is whether or not they can actually use those images in the first place.
The reality is that while you can use those images, it’s not a bright idea to do that for one big reason: copyright infringement.
Images that are obtained without permission from the original owner can land you into a lot of trouble. It’s actually not that uncommon for companies to sue other websites on the basis of them using their images without permission.
While it can be innocent to you for using those images, the fact is others spent money to get those images and that you are in the wrong for using them.
To avoid all of that mess, here are some suggestions that are legal that you should be doing.
Make Your Own Images
The simplest way to be getting your images for your website is to be making them from scratch. While it does sound difficult, there are several graphics tools that you can leverage to make this work. Some examples are Gimp and Paint.net.
Those are free to use and will do fine, but if you want to be spending money to get the best graphic tool out there, Adobe Photoshop will be the one as it provides so many different functions for you to use.
You Buy Your Images From Stock Photo Websites
If you’re not a fan of designing or looking for images fast, looking to stock photo services are a solid option. For the most variety, going for websites that charge you money for photos would be ideal. You have a broader selection of images and the cost of getting these images a minimal fee.
The typical options are shutterstock.com, bigstockphoto.com, istockphoto.com, gettyimages.com, and many more.
Or Find Royalty Free Images
The last option is the cheapest, and fastest out there and that’s using images that are royalty free. You can actually Google these images as well and use them without worry so long as you provide credit to the images used.
There are several sites that offer a thousands of pictures on all kinds of things. Some options are:
While these images are high quality do keep in mind that many people use these images for their own work as well. As a result, to stand out from the crowd, don’t always go for the first few images you see when looking for results. Make a point of scrolling down a bit and selecting one of the images there.
Better yet, take that image and make alterations to it. Tools such as Canva allow you to apply filters or put the images into frames where you can make an image that is commonly used into something unique for your purposes.
Can You Use Microsoft Online Content Library?
Another avenue to get images for people is the Microsoft Online Content Library. You are free to access this library so long as you have a licensed Microsoft product on your system like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
While that library is extensive, even having that doesn’t mean all the images there are free.
You still need to provide an image credit which is a link back to the source of the image. However in some cases, Microsoft has images in there that require you to buy them or get permission prior to using them.
You’re still free to use them, but it’s important to note what might be restricted before using anything from there.
Use Images Wisely
Regardless of the site you are creating, images are important. However there is more to it than mindlessly grabbing a picture from the internet and posting it in your website. Take a few seconds of your time to see whether the image is royalty free and if not, see if you can get permission to use it.