Adding visual interest in the form of images is a widely-used method for attracting readers to websites and blog articles. However images are used on websites and blogs for several reasons:
- To grab the attention of readers even before they read a post
- To provide an interesting break from many lines of text
- To retain the attention of readers as they go through posts
- To enhance or reinforce a statement, argument or opinion
- To make a post stand out from others
The internet is a great resource for people who are looking for images to add to their sites or blogs. There are numerous websites that offer all kinds of images. However, if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for and where to get it, finding images online can be a very frustrating and time-consuming task.
Before you start searching, you need to be sure about the kind of image you want, and what it is intended for. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the intended use for the image? Is it for reference, teaching, inspiration, information or illustration?
- What subject matter do you have in mind? Is it places, people, themes or objects?
- Are you looking for something contemporary or historic? For contemporary images, you should visit media sites, artist sites or stock photo libraries. Historic images can be found in archive or museum websites.
- Are you ready to pay for the image? There are numerous commercial websites which can supply high quality images.
The following are some of the places where you can find great images.
1. Free/Creative commons material
Some of the sites that offer free collections of images include Flickr, FreeFoto, ImageAfter, PicFindr, OpenPhoto, MorgueFile and Stock.xchng.
2. Web directories
Web directories are lists of websites which have been divided into different categories. Since these lists are prepared manually by people, they usually offer less, but more relevant results compared to automated search engines.
Some of the largest web directories include the Google Directory and the Yahoo Directory.
3. Commercial collections
There are several commercial sites that offer high quality images at a low cost. Such sites fall into different categories.
- Subscription-based services – This is where subscribers are allowed to download, as well as reuse royalty-free images
- Credit-based services – Here, you are allowed to acquire royalty-free downloads at a fixed price using credit purchased in advance
- Rights-managed services – This is where the price is dependent on the exclusivity, as well as the intended use of the image
When you can’t find an appropriate or relevant free-to-use image, the credit-based and subscription services (also referred to as microstock sites) offer an affordable option.
Some of the popular microstock websites include iStockPhoto, Thinkstock, Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Jupiter Images and Yaymicro.
About Author: Charles Mburugu is a technology lover who often writes for thinkstock coupon and istock coupons, and at times for Yourdigitalspace.com. He also blogs about special discount and coupon offers such as thinkstock discounts and istock photo promo codes.