web design

The hardest part about building a website and how to make it easy (part 3)

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

The last 2 weeks, we have been discussing the challenge of creating content for a new website.

If you missed either of these articles, I have included links below:

And although the process of creating good text content takes the most time, the process of gathering good images for the website is what is done incorrectly most often.

Before addressing why it is difficult to get good images for your website, I want to address why it is so important to have high quality images on your website.

Like it or not, we live in a visually based society.  Most people would rather look at an image or watch a video than read text.

In addition, we generally will start to make assumptions and generalizations based on what we see before we really get to know an organization or person.

Think about it… how many times have you looked at a person and subconsciously began to make presumptions of what they were like before you ever spoke with them?

In the same manner, how many times have you arrived at a website and looked at the images and overall design (before reading any of the text) and began forming opinions about whether or not you liked that organization?

And although this is not the way we know we should act, it happens none the less.

Because of this…

“It is absolutely crucial to use high quality images on your website.” – Mark Steinbrueck

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So why is it so difficult to get good images to use on your church website?  I have listed the 3 most common reasons that church websites don’t have good images:

  1. Use of poorly taken images.  Too many times, churches use images that an amateur took using their phone or camera but don’t carefully look at the quality of the images.  No matter who takes the pictures, review them carefully before deciding to use them on the website.
  2. No information about the dimensions for the places where the images will go.   If you don’t know the dimensions of the image needed, this leads to finding images that are incorrect sizes, which leads to stretched images, blurry images, or images where the primary subject of the image is cut off.  To prevent this from happening, find out from your web host or developer what the dimensions (in pixels) the images should be.  Then make sure the images you use/provide are a minimum of those dimensions.
  3. Use of images that have already been edited and used in other applications.  This could mean that the images were used on a previous website, in a newsletter, or some other form of media.  The issue with using these images, is they have already been cropped and edited for their first intended use.  It also usually means they have been condensed in size, which lowers the quality of the images.  When you use images on your website, start by using the highest file size possible, then condense and edit the image after it is in place on the website.

Does your website have poor images on it?  If so, what were the reasons that the images appear to have poor quality?  Please post your comments below.

If you want to talk with us about how you can have a great looking website for your church, please contact me here.

Next week, I will share with you the secret of how to get great quality images of your church and church members (not stock images) without breaking the bank.

Continue reading Part 4 >>

About the author

Mark Steinbrueck

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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