Thursday, June 15, 2017

Working with Images in Websites and Blogs

By Leslie Colin Tribble

In our visually-conscious world, images are king. Think Pintrest, blogs and websites - what do they have in common? Compelling images. Anyone who has a website or blog sooner or later is going to need to find and manipulate images to enhance a post. If this is you, read on for some tips on utilizing images to spruce up your online presence.

Unedited photo


Finding Images
There are lots of sites on the Internet where you can find images to use on your website or blog. The trick is doing it correctly. In our archives, the Grog has some posts about finding images (here and here). Pixabay has royalty-free images with no attribution requirements. One good tip I read is to block out some time and find as many photos as you can pertaining to your most used topics and download them all at once. Then you won't have to spend time finding just one photo for a particular post. Be sure to keep all photos in a folder with a good, detailed names and any attribution so you don't have to try and find it later.

Cropped, and edited for brightness, contrast, and color saturation. Plus I added a watermark.

What to do With Those Images
Photos are easy to resize and enhance with a good photo editor. If you don't want to invest in Photoshop, try some free online editors such as PicMonkey, Gimp, and Photo Pos Pro. If you know a little about photography and editing, a more complete program such as Gimp might be just the ticket. If you're more like me and simply want to spruce up an image and give it a little resizing, PicMonkey is easy to use and saves images right to your computer.

I used PicMonkey on all the images for this post.

Unedited

With PicMonkey, there's an auto adjust tab that will brighten and sharpen a photo. If you want to do it yourself, there are tabs for that as well. Generally speaking, you want a photo to complement your post, not overwhelm it. Resizing images to a width of 300-800 works best. You want them to be the same width as your post or slightly smaller. If you're using PicMonkey, click "Keep Proportions" otherwise your image will be distorted.

Cropped and auto adjusted

Once you have your image edited, you can save it to your computer then upload to your WordPress Media Library where you can access them for future use. Having images ready to go saves a lot of time and frustration.

Unedited

I used all sorts of fancy editing to enhance this little marmot!

You should caption your images using some good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) terms. Remember, Google can only search text so if you don't caption your images, Google won't find your post as easily. Also, don't lead with an image for the same reasons. Lead with an attention-grabbing headline and tagline, followed by the image.

Most of these tips came from a website I've found to be incredibly useful for setting up a blog and website. Amy Lynn Andrews has been helping newbies develop an online presence for years and I find her work thorough and easy to follow.

Don't be intimidated by using good quality images in your posts. It's easy to do and fun!

12 comments:

  1. Whoa, Leslie, this was THE post I've needed forever. Such good information, tips, and examples by you, the photog. TY so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Glad it wadwas useful!

      Delete
  2. I do believe you've got a gold mine of information here, Leslie, and many, many "THANK YOU!" exclamations are headed your way! I appreciate your know-how and tips. Thank you for such a valuable post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kind words Anne! I'm glad you found the post helpful.

      Delete
  3. Great post! Pixabay and PicMonkey are my two go-to sites as well. I've also found Canva helpful and easy to use. I like your idea of downloading several images in one sitting and plan to implement that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was excited to read about batch downloading as well Sally. Saves so much time. I used Canva when it first came out then switched to PicMonkey. I'll have to give it another try.

      Delete
  4. Morgue Files also has lots of great free photos that I've used for blog posts. Thanks for sharing this great information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Despite the name, I'll check out Morgue Files. Thanks for the tip!

      Delete
  5. Oooh, cool! I've only just used stock photos as is from 123RF. Will now make an effort to customize what I put on the blog. Thanks for the info!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Jilianne. Glad you found some useful nuggets in the post.

      Delete
  6. Great post! Thank you for sharing this information with us! :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great information. I'll be checking out Pixabay.

    ReplyDelete