An image is worth a thousand words: we’ve all heard this saying time and again. And it is true: our eyes are quickly captivated by aesthetics, colors and form, and this applies to websites as much as anything else. A website full of great content is only half the battle; it also needs some great images to complement interesting text. One option is to subscribe to an image library, but if you’re on a budget or quickly need to download an image outside of your VPN, there are some awesome sources of free images. Image libraries often seem a bit dull and have the same type of images again and again, whilst some of the new sites with free images to download are much more creative. The license usually allows modification of the images too, so these are great graphic design opportunities.
First Impressions Count
Whether we like it or not, first impressions do count. We base our first reaction on visual stimuli before analyzing anything further. To a certain extent we base our understanding on imagery. It further helps us digest what is in front of us. According to recent studies, “90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.”
What Are The Benefits Of A Visually Stunning Website?
If a website not only has high quality content, but is also designed using professionall images, it immediately pervades a sign of trust and confidence. A high quality “look” and feel can turn a potential viewer into a customer or follower. So if your website uses homemade, low quality imagery, it will send exactly that message: unprofessional. The viewer will move on. Having said that, free images to download do not mean low quality, just as paid images are not automatically interesting.
Imagery is not only about looking pretty, great images actually convey information. The lighting of a photograph conveys a mood, appeals to the senses and causes a direct emotional reaction from the viewer. Imagine a garden nursery website: if it contains many professional images of green, peaceful forests and streams trickling through them, chances are the viewer will enjoy a mini experience of this nursery and what it feels like to buying the trees and plants and living within them. This is much more powerful than a text-based description of the trees available.
Another example are foodie websites. Imagine a delicious freshly prepared meal, captured in an image of a closeup with the steam rising from the pot. It appeals to our olfactory senses and instantly our appetites are whetted, leading us to purchase the recipe or order that dish.
So overall, great images will increase business.
According to Jeff Bullas, using great images is a must. He states that “articles with images get 94% more total views” and that “60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in the local search results”. He continues to explain the importance of images in ecommerce, saying that they are often more important than a product description.
Where To Get The Best Free Images
- Pixabay: A great website when you need those all-important professional yet free images to download: quick and easy to use without creating an account.
- Stocksnap: A creative set of images all free for use under a general license.
- Pexels: A slightly more artistic website offering some great free images to download.
- Unsplash: A website offering stunning HD quality imagery of nature and landscapes.
- Kaboompics: For all of your lifestyle and magazine needs
- Negative Space: A slightly more product photography oriented website
- Gratisography: Weekly updates of free images to download without copyright restrictions.