Photography is one of the defining elements that can either make or break the success of a website. Photography has the ability to increase conversion rate, help manipulate a visitor’s eye movement, improve the page aesthetics and it can even help to reduce bounce rate.
Considering the impact that a websites photography can have, using stock photos has the potential to do some serious damage to your web design and business.
Here are 8 reasons to start with:
1. It can damage your site’s layout
When using stock photos, some licenses would require that you give credit to the person whom you got the image from. Whether you use a clickable link or just a text, can you imagine how that extra space can affect your site’s layout?
Instead of focusing on making your site’s design more appealing and functional, you now have to make unnecessary adjustments just to give proper crediting to the image’s source.
2. Damages design individuality
Since stock photos are seen almost all over the web, your web design loses its individuality amongst other businesses.
In the online world where copying is widespread, you run the risk of being tagged as such if your photos are similar to others.
3. Makes design boring
If a picture does in-fact paint a thousand words (and I’m a strong believer of this), then you’d have told a generic story to your site’s visitors.
Your visitors don’t appreciate seeing or being told the same thing again and again (I know I don’t). So why do that by using stock photos?
Instead of using these generic photos, why not get your own and tell an attention grabbing story with your images.
4. Design becomes expensive
Stock imagery websites do not come cheap. Some stock imagery website charge up to $2 per credit and some images take multiple credits to purchase. Therefore using some of the higher quality stock imagery sites to fill our your website will become expensive, quickly.
5. You may end up with legal issues
Other stock photos have the kind of licensing wherein you are only allowed to use the photo once. If you miss this part of the license, and you end up using the photo on multiple sites including your client’s, this can cause serious damage to your design (not to mention your business).
6. Design can cause trust issues
You might lose your customer’s trust by using stock photos. How? Think about it… if your company is credible, why not put your face or your staff’s on the website? Why would you use a generic photo? Is it because, you’re hiding something, you’re company isn’t artistic enough, you don’t have enough money to have your own images made, etc.
Would you really trust that kind of business?
7. The design might increase your site’s bounce rate
Instead of reducing your site’s bounce rate, stock photos might actually do the opposite.
This can be for a multitude of reasons. If you add a photo that’s so nice it looks very intriguing, your visitors might end up clicking the link to the creator of the image. They might end up getting too interested to the image’s creator that they’ll forget the original reason they came to your site.
Another common increase in bounce rate is through lack of trust as described in point 6.
8. Design loses familiarity to your visitors
The truth of the matter is, the more they see you (or something unique about you like unique logos), they become more familiar with your brand and business.
The more familiar you are, the easier you can build trust and connection to them because of this familiarity. But if you use stock photos, they can’t really associate a specific design (or business) with a stock photo because everyone else is using it. The whole image becomes generic therefore not relating to a specific design.
You’ve just lost the advantage that you supposedly had with familiarity because your visitors can’t really associate your design with something familiar.
I hope you’ve realized by now how damaging stock photos can be to your web design. It just isn’t a good idea to use stock photos when you’ve worked painstakingly hard just to give your business the best web design you can ever create.
That said, I’ll leave you with this line to think about…
After spending so much time and money on your web design, are you really going to use second rate stock photos?Tags: images, Photos, stock