Getting Photos for your Website

November 19, 2012

The title says it all. I tried to think of something catchy for this entry, but alas, it is what it is. No matter how straightforward the title is, the subject is a bit more complex. If images are obtained improperly, you could be facing hefty legal fees.

For example, a few of our customers have gone to Google Images, searched for an image they liked, saved it to their computer, and then added it to a blog entry. A few months later, each of them received a letter from a law firm demanding thousands in fees for the unauthorized image. Unfortunately, there are little options for these users. You can fight it in court, or pay the fee. The image providers know that the latter is usually cheaper.

When you compare the relatively low cost of legally purchasing images against the cost of uncertain legal costs, it becomes clear that legal purchase is the right choice. In fact, with the average price of a blog only image around $5, you can get a years' worth of images for the cost of one stolen image.

How to Pick an Image

The first is deciding what service to use. We use There are many others like and You can even get a subscription to these services so you can download as many images as you want. There are a few like Getty Images and Corbis Images that I recommend people stay away from as their costs and license terms are not favorable to small businesses.

Now that you have selected a service, it is time to find an image. Search the site for the image that suits your needs. If you are having problems finding the image, try variations of the word as most images are sourced from around the world and terms might differ. Once you have found the perfect picture, you need to decide what size image you need. In the example below you can see that the price is tied to the size of the image. If you are going to use the image below in a blog entry then you can select the lowest size. If you were going to use the image as the background of your home page you might select the medium as it is larger than 1000 pixels (the standard width of most Insurance Website Builder websites).

If you were going to use the image in a print marketing campaign, then you would need to select the extra-large size. This image can only be used up to 499,999 times off the web. Should you need more views or the ability to use the image in ways not covered by the standard license, you must purchase the extended license which costs $125 more. Each vendor has different rules concerning the licensing, so check with them.

What about your web designer?

Stock photography companies place even more rules on web design companies. For example, should they use an image across multiple sites, they must have an extended license for those images. Should they get a specific image just for you, request that they provide you the license information. The license information includes image ID, purchase date, and where they purchased the image. Be wary if a firm is unwilling to provide you this information. You will be just as culpable as they are when a photo company's legal team comes knocking.

How can Insurance Website Builder help?

All images ITC and the Insurance Website Builder team use on our websites are properly licensed either under the extended use license or purchased individually for each customer. Should you need assistance in sourcing stock photos for your website or blog, feel free to give us a call.

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