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Your website and social media posts need images to highlight your content and catch the viewer’s eye. They enhance your content and draw people in.
Paying for images or getting professional images taken or made for your business, especially when you are just starting out, can be an expenditure that just doesn’t work. Today I want to share my favorite go-to websites that will help you find the images you need, not only for your website but also for your social media posts.
I also will be sharing the programs that I use to edit and create new images. Programs that are available on the web for FREE!
Let’s dive in…
Where to Find Images
Unsplash is a website where photographers upload their beautiful images and we get to use them for FREE!
This is my number one, go-to place to find photographs for the websites and social media posts that I create. There are some “stock” looking images, but most of the photos are gorgeous and unique. It is rare that I have seen images I have downloaded off Unsplash on any other website or social media post. There are over 1 million images curated for any and every subject or situation, so you will be able to find something for your website or social media post that is unique and different and eye-catching.
Just one note, the images that you download off Unsplash are the size in which the photographer uploaded them. There are no options for downloading in different sizes. Sometimes you will need to edit the size of the photo to work with your website or social media posts (I will be talking about what I use to do that in the next section.)
Picjumbo is very similar to Pixabay, though I prefer Pixabay more for my stock photos. But sometimes when I can’t find what I need on the previous two options, I will go to Picjumbo. The site has great category search options and sometimes I find the perfect photo that way after I have already searched for my “keyword”.
Picjumbo is also a website where you do not get to choose the size of the image you download, which makes what I will talk about next really helpful.
Where You Can Edit and Create Images
Canva is a graphic design app that helps you create images, social media posts, documents, posters, pretty much any kind of visual content you can think of. You can upload and use your own images, videos, or graphics or use one that they offer. They offer many free options for these, but for the full range of images you would need to pay for their pro account.
Canva is incredibly easy to use, offering many preset templates for anything from social media posts, logos, posters, to any custom dimensions you may need. Canva is a ‘drag-and-drop’ interface, so you can make almost anything you can think of with a mouse or your finger on their phone app.
When you download the images from Canva, you have the choice of the file size and type you want to download it as. This is helpful as you don’t want huge image files on your website (they will slow your website down!)
Lunapic looks like an old-school website, but the options it gives you to resize, scale, crop, edit your images are timeless. It is incredibly easy to use in that you can upload a photo from your computer files, or by using a url to the image.
There are a TON of options to edit your images using lunapic, but what I mostly use it for is to make the image background transparent and scale and crop images to be the size I need them to be for websites and social media posts.
Images can really slow down your website if they are large files. Bulk Resize Photos helps with this.
But first, let me explain this a little.
Let’s talk about optimal image file size. The optimal file size is the number of bytes the file takes up on your computer. The larger the file, the slower the image loads on your website. A 10MB (megabyte) image is huge and will definitely slow down your website. You want the images you upload on your website to be 100kb or less (some people say 500kb or less, but I have never had any issue with using less than 100kb).
Each image you use will have the dimensions in pixels, ie. Facebook social media posts need to be 1,200 pixels wide and 628 pixels tall rectangles. And each image will have a file size. The dimensions are relevant to the area on the screen, while the file size is relevant to the speed of your website.
BulkResizePhotos gives you the ability to change the image dimensions, file size, and to scale (or resize) the image. All you have to do is drag and drop your file into their app and it does the work for you. And as the name implies, you can do a large number of photos all at once to have the same file size, or the same dimensions (this really comes in handy for social media posts).
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These websites have been incredibly helpful for me in the last 7 years and have made my life as a website designer and social media manager so much easier! I hope they help you as they have helped me!
Do you have a website that you use for your images that aren’t mentioned here, please leave it in the comments so we can all check it out!