If you have a website, you know the importance of incorporating images into its design and layout.  While you may be using images on your website already, you may not be aware that there are different types of images. There may also be instances when you may have taken an image online without knowing the repercussions of doing this without the knowledge and permission of the owner.

Well, today is your lucky day. We will discuss the different types of images typically used on websites. We will also compare stock and professionally-taken images. Moreover, we will also look into different sources of free images on the internet.

Types of Images

While there are several types of image formats, we will focus on the three image types that are typically used on websites.

  • Joint Photographic Experts Group or JPEG

Joint Photographic Experts Group or JPEG is the most common image type used on websites. Since these images can store millions of colors in a single file, they are typically used for images that have a lot of colors on them. They are ideal for displaying images with a lot of colors. But it is important to take into account that the quality of these image files go down when their file size is reduced. JPEG images are often used on websites, social media sites, and email.

  • Portable Network Graphics or PNG

Portable Network Graphics or PNG is an image file ideally used for small images such as logos and images with transparent backgrounds. These are also “lossless” images, or the image quality remains the same even if the image size is reduced. PNG files are ideal for areas on a website that quickly transition from lighter to darker backgrounds and vice-versa. They are also ideal for images that require a transparent background.

  • Graphics Interchange Format or GIF

Graphics Interchange Format or GIF is an image file showing animations. While these types of images are useful for posts that require animation, you should also remember that they take up a lot of space since these images contain a lot of frames. Due to this, it is advisable to minimize the use of GIFs unless it is necessary for you to show animated images on your website. These image files also have a smaller color range compared to JPEG and PNG. This makes it advisable to use GIFs for simple images, such as simple logos.

If you have an e-commerce site, it is advisable to use photos to showcase the products you are using. While stock photos of the products may be available online, there are instances when you would need to have photos of the products taken by a professional. When you use stock photos, you might end up using the same photos of your competitor. This may have an effect on the credibility of your website since visitors may think you simply lifted the photos from your competitor. On the other hand, when you use professionally-taken photos, it will give your website more credibility since they would not find your photos anywhere else (unless your competitors will copy your photos and put it on their websites).

Sources of Free Images

While using professionally-taken photos are better than using stock photos, there may be instances when it is not possible for you to use these types of photos. Due to this, you may want to consider looking for images on the internet. If you decide to do this, you should avoid getting photos from any website you visit on the internet. There are a number of websites offering images that are free for commercial use.

The following are some websites offering royalty-free images.

  • Pexels – Pexels.com is a website offering photos that are free-to-use. While giving credit to the photographer of the images on the website is appreciated, it is not necessary. You can also modify the photos you get from the website, which encourages users to be creative when they edit the photos.
  • Pixabay – Similar to pexels.com, images and photos available on pixabay.com are also free for commercial and non-commercial use and attribution is not necessary. While you can get images from this website, you cannot redistribute or sell the images on other image-sharing platforms.
  • Unsplash – A third website where you can get free images is unsplash.com. You can use the photos from the website for commercial and non-commercial purposes. The website also does not require users to credit the photographers, but it is appreciated.

These are just some things you can consider when it comes to using images or photos on your website. In the end, you decide the type of image files or source of the images you want to use on your website.