Using images

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Even a teacher website should be easy on the eyes!

It may not seem so important at first, but before you write the content of your website it's a very good idea to choose the domain name you're going to use. By domain name we mean the internet address of your website (for example

If you want a website, it's almost certain that you'll want to use images on your pages. Even sites like wikipedia use images to add something to the words on the page. They help improve the visual feel of the page, add value through information or feeling. At the very least, images should blend into the style of the site. Look at the image above this text and ask yourself what it adds to the page. The simple answer is that it appears to add very little at all, visually. However, it doesn't detract from the text or damage the appearance of the site and is used for a specific purpose. Your images should aim to fill the chairs in the image, not empty them.

original image
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If you're paying someone to design your website, he or she will almost certainly be able to source images for you if you don't supply your own. Any images you use should be good quality and, ideally, relevant to the the text on the same page. If you prefer to choose the images yourself, visit one of the picture libraries on the internet and find something there. Lots are free so if you have to pay for an image be sure it adds value to your site.

If you're designing your own website, you can choose the images images after you've planned the layout. Then you know what format images you need and what colour scheme they need to blend in with. Most photos will need to be cropped to fit into your pages, so bear that in mind when you choose them. If you have an image that looks beautiful when viewed in its entirety, will it look as good if you crop it?

To illustrate the point, the image used at the top of the page has been repeated above, so you can see how much the original image was cropped. Now look at the photo of the pelican below and ask yourself how much it could be cropped. In addition, be wary of using 'funny' images. Humour is great in a general sense, but never forget that your humour may not reflect that of your prospective clients, or match the image they have of the person or company they want to deal with.

Something you will probably understand already is that big images (or big file sizes) are the enemy of quick websites. How often have you had to sit and wait while an image loads before you can view a website? Small is good, small is quick.

Finding royalty-free, or free images

There are countless websites offering free or royalty-free images which you can use on your website. Royalty-free images are not free; you still have to pay a small one-off fee to use the picture. There are fewer genuinely free images available, but they are out there. Google's image search seems to be set up to promote image sellers. As a starting pont, try looking on which used to be one of the best providers of free images.

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