Feel you must add images to spice up your post? Not always a good idea.

Again, another rant, playing Devils advocate, it’s all the same, I’m just moaning.

We hear a lot (I do in any case) about using images to make your post more appealing. These are some of the top suggestions leveled at us as a ‘must do’, ‘should do’, ‘ought to’, ‘have to’ by a lot of bloggers who apparently know what is best. That to not spice up your post with images is a instant turn off and that some people actually don’t even bother to read a post if there is no apparent image or cool graphic. This simply is just a little ‘shallow’.

So a writer doesn’t or can’t add images to his post. Does not make it any less valuable. Maybe he/she can’t add images for whatever reason? Their knowledge of the software or application is limited?

The upshot of all this advice from the so called ‘top bloggers’ is that posts are now being littered with awful images, low resolution, jaggy, blurry, tacky or unrelated images. This is more of a turn off me that having no images at all. I see so many darn awful images now littered all over sites and posts with seemingly no regard for placement, content or quality just so they have that ‘oh so important’ image on their post.

What’s so wrong with plain old text. What’s wrong with relying on words and information? If the message is in there, then surely that’s what counts. If there is no image maybe it’s because the writer does not want to litter or crowd the page. Maybe they don’t have access to quality images, maybe they don’t know how to place the images nicely to ensure they flow with the article.

Take my own site. This theme had featured images placed above the main articles. Big 590px wide images. For me this was not so much of an issue as it allowed me to use my own Photographs, but frankly it was a pain. It was a pain to try and find relative images that actually were not utterly pointlessly random. it was a pain to re-size them, place them, label them.

And when I did do all of this, I would look at the home page and think, this just looks awful. Even with my own photographs, mostly in black and white, the page was too crowded. It was a big turn off for me. So yesterday I removed them and just relied on some words to do the trick. It may look ‘boring’ to those that feel a good post is a bad post without any images, but frankly I don’t care. I know enough about design to know that sometime images just don’t always work.

I still have the smaller images for the smaller divisions, and again, these look OK, but I need to adjust how it all fits together.

You ‘ought’ to consider if you can achieve these points when thinking about using images:

  • Images need to be of reasonable quality.
  • Relevant to the article
  • Placed in a manner with is pleasing to the eye.
  • Tweak the CSS to ensure your type looks neat and tidy and that’s a big start, that can make your site look more stylish, clean and smart more than any images can do.

There is also the important point that adding unrelated images, or ‘crap quality’ images actually cam make a post look far worse than a post without images. In my opinion anyway.

Trust me when I say, having no images is NOT a turn off.
Having crap quality, unrelated and poorly positioned images IS a turn off.

If you can’t find related, good quality images, you are unsure how to place them in a manner that is pleasing to read, then think about leaving it this time round. Don’t force yourself to add images because it’s said you must.


Written by: Graham Smith: The Logo Smith
1st Posted: 2008/04/01 & Post Updated: 2008/04/01
Filed In Categories: Blogging

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