Text + images + internet = website
... right? LOL nope, but wouldn't that be nice?!
A website is made up of way more than just a bit of text and a few image. There's a lot of strategy involved in website content and design, and depending on what goals you have for your site, it'll look totally different from someone else's. Whether we're talking about brand aesthetic, colours, image style/content, or even layout, visuals play a huge part in a website's success.
In my experience, I've noticed that website graphics are a key design element that are often overlooked (but packs a major punch).
Graphics can go a long way to support your website and help to form a visual identity for your brand online. Images, animation and unique GIFs for your website or social media channels should focus on quality over quantity for best results. However, I've noticed that graphics are also something that many people get wrong. Frequent faux-pas that I see on many websites are a lack of consistency in aesthetic, sizing, branding... or that they are missing entirely!
If you're looking to build and run a website that promotes your products or services AND helps to generate revenue, quality graphics are necessary. And lucky for you, they are much easier to understand and create than you might think.
I've reached out to some of the industry's leading experts to make sure that you have the best advice possible when it comes to creating graphics for your website. These professionals are all powerhouses in the design field who specialize in online platforms. They know their stuff and have built impressive businesses sharing their knowledge and showing their work. Can you say #likeaboss?
The tips they've shared about creating graphics for your website are practical and applicable to any type of website in any industry. I have no doubt that you'll be able to take their advice and give your website graphics a facelift today.
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To make things even more helpful and actionable, I've created a FREE worksheet outlining the 7 principles of standout website graphics and how YOU can apply that to your own website today. The worksheet is a 3-page checklist/audit with room for notes that will help you get the most out of your website graphics. This free worksheet will compliment the insights in this article but take it a step further and help you apply what you've learned in just a few minutes. You can get that worksheet by clicking the button below, and it will be delivered to your inbox right away. Enjoy!
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Advice from the experts
Without further ado, here's what the experts have to say about designing graphics that support your website:
"Movement can be very captivating when used in moderation. To add some dimension to a static site, replace a basic image content block with a gallery content block (slideshow), a rotating header (index gallery) or even a gif animation (in an image block). Once you create the rotation, these images become dynamic whether it’s in a large header area or a smaller image block. This technique brings the element of surprise and adds pizzaz to a basic site."
Promise Tangeman, founder, GO LIVE HQ
"Create templates! Not only does this save you tons of time down the road, but it will also ensure that your graphics are cohesive and well-branded.
If you have a series of similar images, they should have a similar layout, look, and feel so that people are able to recognize your branding style and thus, create brand recognition among your audience. The easiest way to ensure your graphics all use this similar layout, look, and feel is to create a template that you can use every single time.
When setting up your template include designated areas for text, images, and design elements. Keep those elements constant through every graphic, but change out the imagery, content and/or brand colors to differentiate them from the rest.
Ready to dive into creating templates using a tool like Adobe Illustrator? This blog post on the subject is super useful."
Mariah Althoff, visual branding expert & graphic designer
"When it comes to site graphics, quality is key. Be sure your image clear (non-pixelated or blurry), properly lit and that it instantly communicates the topic it relates to. If you're adding text onto your graphic, makes sure it's always readable, succinct and doesn't interfere with the clarity of your image."
Teela Cunningham founder, Every Tuesday
"If applicable, include a reference to an opt-in incentive in your blog post graphic. You can add a screenshot of the freebie with the text, "Free download included!" or something along those lines. Those who are interested in the topic you're covering will be more likely to click through to the post if they see you have a valuable freebie to offer them. This is a great way to help increase your traffic and grow your email list. I also recommend including your website url somewhere so users can easily reference the post."
Brittney Lopez, founder, Branded by Britt
Website graphics might take a bit of time and effort to set up correctly but you will be so happy you did it once you see how great the results are! Not only do they present a professional and well-designed side of your website, these strong visuals also do a lot to catch the attention of your audience.
As you can see from the expert's advice, there are steps you can take today to give your website graphics a facelift! These changes will save you time in the long run and will do a lot to support your branding and business efforts online. There are templates you can use and leverage (yay!) and it's one less thing to worry about once they're set up. Don't be afraid to play around with the graphics on your website either. Try out different images or file formats (like gifs!) to see how they change the look and feel of your website.
Pssst: check out the other posts in the "Expert Roundup" series
Whether you're a designer yourself or a DIY website builder, graphics are worth your time and attention. Design is ever-changing and I highly recommend you follow this awesome expert advice and upgrade your website graphics today. I know you'll be thrilled with the results! Now that you know what to look for when it comes to website graphics, you're already ahead of the pack.
Don't forget that I've created a FREE worksheet to help you get the most out of your website's graphics. This 3-page worksheet will introduce you to the 7 components of standout website graphics, and there's space for your notes on each principle. It's intended to be a checklist/audit that is applicable and something you can actually benefit from, so I'd love for you to grab your copy below. Whether you've got a website up and running already or you're working on a new site, this guide will help you make sure that your graphics stack up properly.
If this article has shown you how important website graphics are and you're convinced that yours need a facelift, that's awesome! You can totally do this on your own but if it's something you'd rather pass off to an expert (like me), get in touch today and we can work together.
Now it's your turn to tell me, how much thought has gone into your website's graphics? Do you use templates? Have you changed their format recently? What style do you prefer and how do you create different graphics for different platforms? I'd love to know so leave me a note in the comments below!
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