Building a Web Site: Add Your Content and Images
Helpful tips for your content...
- Write content that is easy to scan.
Chances are that even you didn't read every word on this
page. Web users are impatient. People tend to quickly scan over the
content of a web site to decide if they want to read the rest. To
help them determine what's on your page, use lots of headings,
bulleted lists, and put your most important points in your headings
and first sentences of paragraphs.
- Use images to help bring across your point.
Wise positioning of images can catch your user's attention and
cause them to scan the text around or near the images.
- Keep things short.
People like looking at short, bulleted lists. Keep your
sentences short, and keep your paragraphs short. Stay away from long
blocks of text, unless it's some kind of technical article that you
know people will want to read.
- Remember your purpose and your audience.
Look back at your answers to the questions in the first article
about the purpose of your web site and your audience. Don't
overwhelm your audience with things they don't need to know.
- Call for action!
What do you want your users to do? Buy something? Click on
something for more information? Be sure to put things that you want
your user to see and click on up front (not hidden four pages down),
and use action words in your text and images so that your users know
what to do.
Basics about web images...
There are two main file types for web images - .gif and .jpg. Most
photo editors will have an interface that allows you to optimize for the
- Save an image as a .gif if it has few colors (think a
cartoon or a 'flat' logo) or if you want a part of the image to be
transparent. The more colors a picture has, the larger file size it
- Save an image as a .jpg if there are many color
gradients. There are different quality levels (compression levels)
that you can choose. Twiddle with the settings until you find one
that is a good compromise between file size and quality.
Helpful tips for using images...
Images can help to bring visual interest to your site, even if you
don't have a need for diagrams or illustrations.
- Graphic headings or titles
Lots of site use graphics with text for headings or titles.
While some web-purists will protest, this is definitely one way to
make your site look a little more professional. Make sure that the
font you use complements your logo as well as the other text on your
site. You can make graphic headings in a photo editor and save as a
For seamless integration, choose photographs that compliment the
color scheme or motif of your site. For example, see how Microsoft
matched the heading colors with the photos on their Windows XP info
- "Clickable" areas
You can often use images as a "clickable" area - almost like a
button on the page. For example, look at our home page. The
"favorites" and "product support" illustrations not only tell you
what the section is about, but also allow you to click into those
- Make your point
Use photos to illustrate a point or send a message. Integrate or
place text on a photo with some kind of tagline.
Stock image resources
If you don't have your own photos to use, there are lots of places
where you can find quality images online. Look for royalty free*
images - they are generally cheaper and have a more flexible license.
We've ordered these links in the order that we look for graphics.
*Note: What's the difference between "rights-managed" and
Rights-managed photography is priced based on the buyer's intended
use, as well as factors like the size of the photo, how long it will be
used, and the distribution of the photo. The people who sell
rights-managed photography track the usage so that they know how the
photos are being used. Rights-managed photography is generally more
Royalty-free photography is purchased once by the buyer and can then
be used multiple times, for multiple purposes. Licensing agreements may
vary, so you should read the agreement carefully to see what you can or
can't do with the image.