Featured Images are those images that we use the picture thumbnail for a post in WordPress. It is what appears in the blog post archives and above the content. Featured images are used to give the users an idea about the topic of the blog post. Plus images improves to the overall aesthetic of the website as well as the post itself.
Every post needs to have a featured image, it will make the whole article much better and will greatly improve the user experience of the whole website itself. I take some time to make my Featured Images attractive and classy as possible.
So how can we create beautiful featured images for blog posts?
First thing for creating good looking and attractive featured images is sourcing good images which is suitable for the topic we write. There are many websites which provides FREE Stock images which can be modified and reused without any permission or copyright issues.
Royalty Free Images or Copyright Free images are images that are under Creative Commons 0 (CC0) License. These images can be reused with modifications. Make sure that you use images that are copyright free so that you are playing on the safe side.
In case you use Google Images to find images, always make sure you filter images which we can reuse with modification. This way you will not be using any copyright images which is not a good thing to do.
Another Important thing for creating is the Tool that we can use. Let us look at some of the tools that we can use to produce beautiful featured images.
I personally use and would recommend using Adobe Photoshop. It is the ultimate tool for creating or editing images. It has all the tools you will ever need for creating illustrations or any kind of artwork. It is recommended for people with basic knowledge of Photoshop and its tools. It is easy but not for a very beginner. Some of the tools like Shape tool, select tool, brush tool, text tool etc can be used to create great looking images.
If you don’t want to use Stock pictures as featured images, we can use solid backgrounds as well. Simple is humble. Solid backgrounds with a writing in an eye-catching typography is always good looking. While choosing background colors, the latest trend is using material colors. Material Design is brought by Google for its Mobile OS Android.
Material Color palette is having some great colors which looks great. For getting material colors visit:
For those who are using Photoshop to create Featured Images, we can download the color palette for Photoshop. Doing so, we can easily select color we want from within Photoshop itself.
The next tool is a familiar one: Microsoft PowerPoint which comes in with the Microsoft Office Package which is a pretty much standard installation in any Computer or Laptop. PowerPoint is basically used to create slideshows, but we can use it to create featured images for our blog posts. One advantage of using PowerPoint is that it is very easy and we can easily get the look we needed using the tools in PowerPoint. After creating the image we can save it as image file and upload it to our website. There are many tools available which can be used to create cool shapes, figures and great text for images. We can easily import any image to PowerPoint and easily add texts and other shapes. Everything can be easily placed as they are in layers.
Another tool that has similar functionalities like Photoshop is GIMP(GNU Image Manipulation Program) which is a Free Alternative to Photoshop. It is open source, so we don’t need any serial keys or doesn’t require any activation. Whereas Photoshop is a Paid application. GIMP has many tools and functions that are present in Photoshop. You can go to their Official Website to Download GIMP for Free.
These are some advanced Software, but are not that difficult to master. For those who don’t want to install any 3rd party software, can always try online photo editors and image creators. Online tools doesn’t require any installation. These tools are made with average users in mind and so these editors are very simple and easy to use.
I would like to highlight about one particular online tool that can be used to create beautiful looking featured images as well as other images and illustrations. The online tool is called Canva. We will need to signup for a Free account to access the Canva Tools and editor. Canva has many predefined canvases which we can make use. Canva provides many Royalty Free Image, Backgrounds, Icons etc. Some of the images costs money, but it will be clearly depicted.
Canva can also be used to create images for social medias. There is templates with suitable images sizes for all different Social Medias.
I don’t think you will need any other complicated tools for creating images. But there are many many other tools available for creating images and illustrations. Comment below the ones you are using.
Some Pointers :
- Keep a Standard Template for all the featured Images: This will look great and improve the overall user experience and aesthetic of the website. It will also be an aspect of branding the website.
- Follow uniform Typography: This will also add to the websites branding. People will be able to identify the website from the typography once it is standardized.
- Be Creative: Don’t forget to be creative, dive deep and bring in cool ideas for creating images.
- Use high quality images: Don’t just google search and copy paste that image. There are many website which are having tons of quality photos for Free. The link is mentioned above (in case you missed it).
- Compress the Images while Saving: Compress the images before uploading to the website. Images can take time to load.
- Use the Right Size: Make sure you make featured images based on the theme’s requirements. In this way, we will be improving the speed as there is no need for resizing it while loading the website.
- Colors are Good: Play around with colors.
- Don’t over decorate: Keep it plain and simple. That is one main thing you should keep in mind. Don’t use long texts in featured images. Just convey the idea of the post.
Creating beautiful Featured Images for blogs can be time taking, but its worth the time you spent. Also make sure you don’t spend too much time on Images. Always concentrate on the content more. And after you have completed the content, move on to creating a good looking featured image to top the post off.
Keep it Simple. Keep it Clean!
Do you use any other tools or services? Lets us know in the comments section below. Love you guys<3