A website without images is like a home with pieces of furniture and nothing else to enhance its appeal. As much as you may love your home and its sticks of furniture, you will not feel comfortable being there as it will simply not lift your spirits enough to enjoy it.
Internet charges have plummeted, especially now it is easier to get the internet without a phone line. This has led many people to set up their own sites: It is very simple to make your own website and just as easy to get into legal hot water by inadvertently putting the wrong images on there.
It is for this reason that you should make your website exciting by not only posting interesting description, but also using images to attract readers. There is a range of reasons why you should make use of images on your website.
To break up the mass of words on the pages
To attract the readers attention before they even commence reading
Images grab attention and readers do not feel bogged down by the amount of words
Images strengthen the point you are trying to project and makes it easier for readers to understand what you are trying to say
Readers often remember images on a website more than they do the actual description of the article
You need to know how to find suitable images and should remain aware that some of the online images may be copyrighted, so you cannot use them. You do not want to be faced with legal issues for intellectual property infringement.
Some of the websites that are mentioned below may have changed their rules since this article was written, so you should check the rules to using their images before you do so.
A simple method of obtaining images for your website is to create them personally. If you are a photographer or graphic designer who is capable of producing excellent work, you can make use of your own images. This will add a different touch to your website as your images will be unique.
Before you rush off and take photographs of everything in sight, you should be aware that there are legal implications to publishing photographs containing images of other people. You should read up on photography law before you post your images.
You can make use of infographics in the form of diagrams, charts and other images that you can do yourself to explain a point you are trying to emphasise.
You can easily find images if you do a Google Images search, however the results are for viewing purposes only. You should not use these for your website as most of the available images are copyrighted. Google has an explanation for this on their â€˜help page which states that the images may be protected by copyright law and Google cannot provide you with permission to publish it.
If you want to use Google Images, you will have to contact the webmaster of the site linked to the images. It may be tempting to use the images because of the ease of finding them, but you could face legal issues if you do.
Google Advanced Image
Google offers an additional image search facility linked to their Google Images site. You can go to the advanced search and select the most appropriate usage right for your purposes.
Once again, you may come across some problems if you use this facility. Even though the results you receive for the different usage rights may allow you to use that image, you cannot be 100% sure of that. To confirm usage rights, you would have to contact the owner of that particular site.
In view of the copyright problems with Google Images, you should avoid the site. We have listed these options here simply to indicate that it is available as some people may be willing to contact site owners for permission to use their images.
Flickr is a great resource for photos and images that you are able to use freely. That being said, there are some of the images that you may not be allowed to publish on your website as they have certain restrictions attached.
Using Flickr Images
Flickr images are normally placed into two categories:
Creative Commons License
It is quite simple you cannot use copyrighted images at all. You will be able to identify a copyrighted image by the Â©symbol underneath the â€˜license label. If you are really desperate to use one of the copyrighted images, you can try and contact the photographer for permission to use it. Bear in mind that there is a good reason why they have gone to the trouble of obtaining copyright.
Creative Commons License
This is a much easier concept as you are allowed to use the images, with some rules attached. Flickr breaks down the images that fall into this CatID into the different types of licenses, with different rules on usage.
The attribution license allows you the right to distribute, copy, publish and amend an image as long as you give credit to the owner. You have a huge selection of this type of image available, but how do you give credit for the image you intend using? On the Creative Commons website the reuse clause boils down to you placing a link back to the site where the image is from. You can place this link anywhere close to the image.
The attribution no derivs license is similar to the previous license, but you are not allowed to change the original image in any way, other than resizing. You have to use the image in its original form. You can use this on your website, but make sure to give credit to the creator of the image.
This section means that you are allowed to use the images, but it must be retained in its original form and not for commercial purposes.
This section allows you to use the images, but once you have done the adjustments, you still have to give credit to the owner. Anyone else will then be able to use your new image, with the same terms attached.
This section follows the same rules as above, but the images have to be used for non-commercial purposes only.
There are several other image websites you can make use, some of them with restrictions, some without. It is your responsibility to ensure that you do not infringe on copyright laws. By using your internet without phone line you can do a quick search on one of the many search engines to find sites that may offer copyright free images for sale.
This article is copyright protected.