Whenever I start working with a client, I ask the client to make one or two decisions to narrow down the design choices. The first decision I ask clients to make is to choose a large image that goes the full width of the page or choose a narrower image with some "breathing room" on either side. If they prefer a wide edge-to-edge image, there's a second decision. Do they want the navigation text to appear above the image or within the image? Making that second decision narrows down design template choices to just a few.
When you get started with Squarespace or Weebly, you are faced with a design decision before you even provide a domain name or a credit card number. As I browsed through many templates in doing work for clients, I started to realize that there was a pattern in the designs that could help me narrow down template choices for my clients. The decision about the main image on the website cuts down the choices dramatically.
I learned recently that images play a role in improving your website's search rankings. It isn't an image by itself, but the words associated with an image, that can make a difference. There are three places where words are connected with an image:
- The file name
- Alt text (alternate text) that appears when the image can't be viewed
- An optional caption that goes with the image
Using file names and image properties in Squarespace or Weebly to include possible search words is a good practice for improving the search rankings of your website.
High-quality images are an important part of any online message you want to deliver. Free images that you can use on your website and with social media postings must either be your own originals, those that you have permission to use, or donated by artists to use free for commercial use. In addition to Pixabay, I've also discovered Unsplash as another place to find beautiful images that are free to use for commercial use.
I've found a new source of images for my personal use and for my website design clients. Pixabay offers a nice variety of images that are free for commercial use and no attribution required. They offer you the chance to "buy us a cup of coffee" with a Paypal donation dialog if you want to help support their work.
You can search and browse on www.pixabay.com.