When you are developing your mobile website, you will need to make sure that you have a few images. Even though a mobile website can be fully developed and released without images, having a few images is almost expected. A number of stock photography sites are trying to take advantage of this by offering specially formatted stock photographs and images for mobile websites. However, these images should not be your first choice.

Limited Selection

Classic stock photography sites like Shutterstock and 123RTF offer high quality images at a high resolution. These images typically do not work well on mobile websites because they are so large. But some sites have started offering mobile-friendly images.

Some of these images have been dropped down to a small enough resolution that they will load quickly, while others are specifically formatted for mobile devices with a flattened UI. The latter are worth significantly more. They will have the same high resolution as a regular stock photograph while at the same time a smaller file size because of the UI. Unfortunately, the extra work required means that there aren’t as many, and you will have a much more limited selection.

The most common options are images that have been used so frequently that they are cliché. One of the most common, for instance, is the image of two businessmen shaking hands. These images have been used so often that they are not effective any longer.

Untailored Images

The other reason that stock photography for your mobile web development is not the best choice is because the images tend to be untailored. They are intended to reach the maximum number of people with the fewest number of images.

While the mobile stock photography niche will continue to develop over time, it is still lacking. You cannot use as many images on your mobile website, and you need to make sure that all of the images that you use are highly tailored to your site and its purpose.

Other Options Available

The biggest reason that you should avoid using stock photos for your mobile website is the fact that you can turn any image into the proper format for your mobile website. If you have a program such as Lightroom or Photoshop, you can easily convert the image into the proper form for UI.

You can also lower the resolution sufficiently while making sure that the images that you upload to your mobile site are specifically tailored to your website’s focus, making your mobile site more effective and unique than others on the market.

While a number of stock photography sites are trying to expand their business by offering mobile stock photography, you should pass on it. For now, the options are quite limited and untailored. This means that the images are not as precise as the ones that you will need. Additionally, they are often overused and cliché. Instead, you can customize any photographs that you already have to be precisely what you need on your site. It takes more effort, but it will significantly improve your overall site design.


  1. says

    I agree. That was my first thought. I have a totally different expectation of sites loading on my phone or my desktop. There’s also a difference between my phone on WiFi and my phone outside on 3G.

  2. says

    Yes people from the mobile needs really fast site so that they can easily browse any content of the blog. SO the stock photos must be optimized and we should also take care of the size and quality.

    thanks for the tips.

  3. says

    Awesome post! For mobile optimized sites it’s really hard to select a particular image because some images are of huge resolution so it would inappropriate to use. Shutterstock is really a great site for stock photos


  4. says

    I think you have to keep in mind that people on mobiles, are only looking for accessing the information they need fast, they are not looking for detailed examples and pictures etc.. otherwise they would get on a pc to browse your gallery.
    they’re in hurry looking for easy quick info, pictures are heavy to load and will slow down your website significantly, and also you have to think that at least 46 percent of mobile web users are unlikely to return to your website website if they had trouble accessing it from their phone in the first place!
    We are not fans of adding pictures to mobile sites, unless your sole business depends on pictures.
    Many thanks and Best wishes!
    Mitch recently posted…Loading, Web Design Lebanon, full-service marketing and advertising companyMy Profile

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