As mentioned in a previous post “A picture paints a thousand words” When choosing website images for your business there are many aspects (excuse the pun) to consider. You may want an image to use throughout all your marketing, a logo, or “a general brand image. In this case a few “versions” of the image will be needed to fit with the placement option including website, social media, and email, flyers. Often the image is specific to the message such as an area of your website describing a product or service. Perhaps a blog or social media post.

What do I need in a website image?

  1. Make sure you are using quality images. They don’t have to be super high resolution but they do have to be high quality when viewed by your audience. Remember KFC’s desire to ensure high-quality images even from their competition  (last blog post here)
  2. The image must be appropriate if you want it to convey the right message. For example, if your target audience is female and you wish to convey success the sample shown below from Free Images is clearly not suitable.
website images, neat websites

The following image from ChrisBrazel is much more likely to help convey your message. I’m a huge fan of personal images. Despite being online “People deal with People” I really like to include personal images throughout a website not just on the about page.

website images, neat websites
  1. The load time of your website can be adversely affected by your images. Make sure the images are compressed whilst retaining quality. See more below.
  2. Copyright-free – Whilst many images are copyright protected there are a number of places to obtain images that are not restricted. Make sure you are allowed to use the image! If you wish to use an image featured on another website it is recommended you contact the site owner to get permission.

Quality and Load Time

To ensure good quality use a source such as the examples below. To ensure quick loading the website platform may “optimize” the images automatically or use a plugin such as WP Smush or EWWW Image Optimizer. You can optimize images prior to upload by using a service such as Tinypng which is free for images up to 5Mb. (they also have a plugin)


Royalty-Free generally does not mean it is entirely free. This indicates there are no ongoing royalty fees but there most likely will be an initial charge for the download.

Public Domain means an item never had or no longer has an associated copyright

Creative Commons is a term that covers images that are free to use. There are different classes some of which restrict use or require attribution. Generally, this is the category you will use.

Website Image Sources

There are many image libraries to be found on the internet. Here are some of the most popular :


Whilst they may have some free images the following sites generally are for paid items :

  • Shutterstock
  • Istockphoto
  • Adobe images
  • Pixabay


The following sites provide thousands of beautiful images all free to use. Some ask for attribution of the photographer though often it is not a requirement.

If you are wanting more comprehensive information and opinion Amos Struck has written a lot on the subject:


Here are examples of FREE images obtained using the keyword success


The information in this post is the opinion, based on the experience, of the author. Should you choose to act on any of the information provided please undertake your own research to ensure it is appropriate for your own needs.) We hope this article helps you to understand why website images are important. Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions.

Neat Websites