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Using images online and abiding by copyright rules

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Using images online and abiding by copyright rules

While content is considered king in the ever expanding and developing digital world, images also play an important role on websites. They have the power to engage with the user and draw their interest.

Whether we’re talking about image use from the point of a website design, or from the point of online blogs, it’s crucial to ensure you are using them correctly and legally. One of the main challenges individuals face with uploading images to a website, is achieving efficient image management with the aim to improve engagement, and so this poses the question, what are the best practices for image management?

Getting the image right is vital, so it’s important to think about whether it complements the content of the web page in question. Make sure you don’t use technically defective images such as images that are out of focus or lack good tonal range or resolution. A website is a representation of the business and so the images used must be of high quality.

Make sure you are not compromising image copyright laws

It can happen to anyone – you see an image you like online and you instantly think it’s just what your web page is missing. You save the image and simply upload it to your website. This is a huge mistake, and one you cannot afford to make.

However, there are certain royalty free image sites available which you can use and follow guidelines on how to use the website’s images without being penalised. These websites often provide more general images, however, which may not do your web page any justice.

Then there are websites that will allow you to legally download images which are relevant to your web page without compromising copyright rules and laws. These websites often require paid subscriptions, and this is where you should weigh up how often you would use this type of service.

Remember, always be vigilant when it comes to downloading and uploading images that are not yours!

Optimise your images

To save bytes and improve the speed of performance of the website, it is important to optimise your images. The optimisation of images allows you to feature an image using the smallest file possible. When it comes to optimising, it is imperative you consider the factors that affect file size and image quality.

File formats are an important factor to consider, there are many different formats available out there but it is more beneficial to only stick to a few. Images for web and screen should be saved as a JPG, GIF or PNG, and with the rise in the use of smart phones you should make sure your website is a responsive design, as the images will scale to fit any layout on any device.

Overlaying text on images

The increase of images being used on websites has resulted in them taking up large amounts of space on websites, and so overlaying text on images is becoming a popular feature among designers, however this text can often be illegible. For the text to catch the eye of the user, images can be darkened, however this can often make images less visible. To avoid this, edit the opacity to 50% with a dark overlay on the image.

Date: 07.12.16

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