How much did your website photos really cost?

Did you use free images on your website? Let’s define free? Finding anything on the Internet takes time. Often it takes a lot of time. So free must somehow be related to how you value your time. That’s why if a client wants us to source photos for their website it adds to their cost.

It can take hours to browse through files, often poorly organized, in search of something useful. And generally what you find is free only for non-commercial use. There can be some pretty hefty requirements if used on a business site.

Now suppose you do stumble upon something really prefect for your site, something that will add real wow appeal to your site. If it was found in Microsoft clipart the chances are others also liked it and are already using it on their site. If you use photos your visitors commonly see, it will downgrade your site. Images can be a powerful element to any website but you need to use them wisely. Stock images are seen everywhere because they are easily accessible and inexpensive. But are they good to use? In marketing tests it has been found photos of real people well out perform stock photos.

More importantly if you take the view your time cost money, the great photo or graphic you found was not really free after all. In that case, the other approach is to commission a graphic artist or professional photographer. This costs you zero hours and money involved is well spent, giving you original work that adds spice and sparkle to your site because it was specifically designed to do so.

If you don’t have the budget for this as is often the case, then websites such as http://www.istockphoto.com have thousands of images (including photos, illustrations and video) starting for as little as a few pounds download. 

Although we have focused here on obtaining good photos for your website, this argument holds true for all the needs of a website owner. Hire an expert to do anything you cannot easily do yourself. Save your time for important tasks, such as generating leads and closing sales.

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