More and more people are creating their own websites and although that’s potentially less work for me I’m all for it. There is, however, a disturbing side effect of hairdressers, mechanics and other people with actual skills dabbling in the arty farty world of web design.
When I create a blog posts or a new page on the internet I’ll spend the next few hours looking at it from every conceivable angle and on every device I own. I suspect the owners of these sites have actual jobs to do so don’t have the luxury of checking that their page looks good on a Nintendo Game Boy screen.
At this stage of my web career I very rarely alter an image that I have uploaded as I’ve normally prepared the image first and have a good mental picture of its placement on the site. I’m also assured that it will scale properly on different devices as all my sites are responsive. I can only conclude from those two facts that I’m spending all this time looking at my recent work for self-gratification.
Sadly you could all learn a thing or two from my compulsion to smile and point and everything I do.
I’m not suggesting that you spend as much time as me on selecting your images but you could at the least follow two basic tips to ensure you site retains a professional appearance.
1: Select the right Image
Making sure the image fits with your site is not just about the quality or the content of the image but also its proportions. You don’t want to put a portrait picture into a space configured to display a landscape image, I’m not saying you should never do that but be prepared for the top and bottom of your image to be chopped off. Make sure your picture is big enough for the space as well, a picture that’s smaller than the space it’s uploaded into will be enlarged to fit and if it’s a lot smaller it can look very poor quality. If you’re concerned about the file size of large images you can add plugins to your site or visit websites that will optimize your images for free (usually capped for free accounts).
2: Check Your Work
This sounds like a no-brainer but when this isn’t your day job it can be all too easy to go back to your real work and leave your site for other to look over. Sadly the ‘others’ are your customers and if you chop an important picture or have a number of images on the same page, maybe on your shop page and those images are all different shapes and sizes your site can look chaotic.
Geek Tip – advanced users
If there's more than one of you adding images to your site it's a good idea to create a small document that sets out the standards to follow when uploading images.
Check your work. Have a set of standards that everyone that posts on your site can follow.