Do your website’s images pass the ugly test?

iStock_000000029647MediumblurryHave you ever shopped for a house or condo?

I remember when my wife and I were shopping for our home.  There were some houses that looked very nice at first glance but when we visited the home we found the yard was not well kept, the paint in the interior was poor, and some of the details of the home were poorly maintained.  So even though it was obvious that the home owners spent time in keeping some of the home looking good, their hard work was overshadowed by the shortcomings in other areas.

A website is very similar to a home.  You may have a great looking design, template, or theme for your website, but if the graphics and images you use on your website are poor or blurry, the negative impression that the visitor gets from those will be the overall impression they have of your website.

So how do get good graphics or images for your website?

  1. Do the graphics in house.  Some organizations may have paid staff members that have design skills.  If you don’t have paid staff that can do this work, put out a request for volunteers that possess this skill.  Whether the people are paid or volunteers, be specific about the expectations for creating the graphics so both you and those creating the graphics are in agreement with what needs to be done.
  2. Purchase stock graphics.  Some organizations may not have either the staff or volunteers to create graphics for their website, so an alternative to this is purchasing graphics from websites like http://istockphoto.com.  The drawback to this is that you may want a specific message or text on the graphic, so even after you purchase the stock image, you may want additional customization performed on the image.  This can be done using programs like Photoshop but if you don’t have the software, skill, or time, you may need to resort to option 3.
  3. Hire a designer.  Another option to ensure you have good images on your website is to hire a designer to do the work for you.  You can hire freelance designers through websites like fiver.com and odesk.com, or you can use a website or design company like OurChurch.Com.  Finding a designer through a freelance website may be economical but be aware that you may run into problems due to language barriers or just poor quality.  And because you are usually dealing with an individual, there may not be a path for recourse if the work is done poorly.  If you use a freelance website, be sure to look at the rating and reviews of the designer before hiring them.

What are you doing for images on your website?  Is your site in need of some professional design work or graphic creation?  Please post your comments below about what has worked for you or where you need assistance.  If OurChurch.Com can help you in any way, please contact us at support@ourchurch.com.

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

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