How to Get Better Photos for Your Website

The difference between cheesy stock photos and unique, on-brand art on your company’s website is like the difference between a slice of pizza from the year-old frozen box in your fridge and an artisanal pie bubbling fresh out of the oven from a quaint little shop in Rome.

(Cheesy photos, bad. Cheesy pizza, good.)

What we’re saying is – Your site’s art counts for a lot. It’s how readers will view your brand and its degree of professionalism. But that doesn’t mean you need to hire an army of high-cost professional photographers.

Instead, try these photo hacks (and you may just save enough for a cheese-filled trip to Roma):

Find up-and-comers. Ask photographers’ assistants if they’re willing to shoot for a byline. The work of these young professionals is often top-notch, and they may share a bit of it in exchange for exposure and an addition to their portfolio.

Hone your stock search skills. On free photo sites like Pixabay (or paid ones like Getty or Corbis), always use the advanced search functions. Try searching for images without people in them, add the word “illustration” to your search terms to get more conceptual results, or look for black-and-white photography for a sophisticated feel.

Create custom templates for specific franchises you may have on your site. You can set them up in Photoshop or use free editors like CanvaPixlr, PicMonkey, or GIMP. They’ll make the content feel more consistent and the regular stories more easily recognizable to your audience.

3 Questions to Ask About Your Web Design

Every few years, web design trends seem to shift.

First, there were busy homepages with tons of headlines and graphics. Then the tide came in: clean pages that scrolled forever were hot. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, but the most important thing is to recognize what’s best for you and your business.

When you’re building (or redesigning) your site, ask yourself the following questions:

1. What’s more important: pretty or usable?

If your e-commerce site looks more like a blog or a billboard, that’s a problem. Customers should immediately know what they’re getting when they visit your page.

2. Is every page consistent?

We’re talking every page, from product info to order received. Your branding should be universal across them all.

3. Are you making users work for what they want?

If so, change that. Visitors shouldn’t have to navigate treacherous terrain to complete their task. Any hard sells or marketing should be subtle. You've already got them in the door, you don’t want to push them out.

Design 101: How to Set Up Your First Website

There’s nothing more oppressive and terrifying than a blank space. (And not just because Taylor Swift might use it to write a song about your relationship.)

Turning your brand-new, totally empty website into an attractive, functioning tool for growing your business is a big task.

You’ve claimed your URL and selected your design. So now what?

Here’s where to start

1. Decide how many pages you will have and what they will be. Home / About Us / FAQ / Services / Online Store and Contact Us are popular choices. Consider a blog or news page where you can provide useful information, press releases, or current events.

2. Gather the photos you want to display. A picture is worth a thousand words (and possibly actual moolah), so finding the right ones is crucial to honing in on your brand.

3. Help visitors find you & get in touch. Prominently post your contact info and link to directions on Google maps if you have a local business. You may also want to create a contact form to make it easy for visitors to reach out. Then, add links to your social media profiles. Communication is key, so use all possible options. Boost engagement by encouraging visitors to follow you.

4. Finally, make sure you include a way for visitors to join your email marketing list so you can follow up and keep in touch.

From there, you can add on important plugins that speak to your specific business (like ones that book appointments or let customers purchase from your site).

Ta-da! You’re now the proud owner of a gorgeous, working website.