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A beautiful background of mountains image with ugly jubled text covering up the image

The Pitfalls of Text in Images

Introduction

In the dynamic world of website design, every decision holds significance. One such decision that often crops up is whether to incorporate text within images. While it might seem like a convenient way to convey information, it's important to understand the drawbacks associated with this practice. In this blog post, we'll delve into why using text in images can be detrimental to your website's performance, SEO, accessibility, and overall user experience.

The SEO Conundrum

When it comes to getting your website noticed by search engines, search engine optimization (SEO) is key. Textual content plays a crucial role in SEO, allowing search engines to understand the context and relevance of your website. However, when text is embedded within images, search engines struggle to interpret the content accurately. This can lead to lower search rankings and decreased visibility in search results. I have often come across websites that have some of their most important SEO text embedded into images.

The Accessibility Imperative

Web accessibility ensures that everyone, including those with disabilities such as impaired eyesight, can access and navigate your website. When text is presented as an image, it becomes a roadblock for screen readers – software that translates on-screen content into spoken words for visually impaired users. These users won't be able to comprehend the message, leading to exclusion and a lack of inclusivity in your web design. Yes should always add alt text to your images, which helps, but better to leave the text off of the image and use better practices.

Responsiveness and Adaptability

In today's multi-device landscape, responsive design is paramount. Text in images often becomes problematic when resizing for different screen sizes. Images might become distorted, and the text within them could become illegible. By using actual text elements instead of images, you ensure that your website retains its visual integrity across various devices, enhancing the user experience.

Page Loading Speed Matters

Website speed is a critical factor in user satisfaction and SEO. Images, especially those with embedded text, tend to be larger in file size. This can lead to slower loading times, frustrating users and potentially driving them away from your website. Utilizing actual text reduces the load on your website, resulting in quicker loading times and a more seamless browsing experience.

Maintenance Made Easy

As a website manager, you understand the importance of keeping your content up to date. When text is part of an image, any changes to the text require editing the image itself. This process can be time-consuming and may require the involvement of a designer. On the other hand, using separate text elements allows for quick and hassle-free content updates.

What if you want text on an image

There is no reason you cannot have a background image on text. This can easily be done by creating a background image, then using your web development tools create a section that has your text with the background image added behind it. Then it is completely readable by both search engines and screen readers, and is easy to edit if you need to adjust the text. Much easier than opening the image in another program, assuming you have the original, and then editing the text. You can even apply custom fonts to the text, so really there is no reason not to do it this way. An additional benefit is when optimizing images for web, text will often get a bit blurry, whereas if you add the text afterwards it will be sharp and crisp.

Water dropping on water creating little waves

Ripples on the water, echoes of life's touch.

Conclusion

In the realm of website design, making informed decisions is crucial to crafting a successful online presence. While using text in images might seem like an appealing option, the drawbacks it carries can significantly hinder your website's performance, accessibility, and user experience. By prioritizing actual text elements, you ensure that your website remains SEO-friendly, accessible to all users, responsive, and easy to maintain. Remember, the path to effective web design lies in embracing practices that elevate both aesthetics and functionality.

I hope this comprehensive guide has shed light on the complexities surrounding the use of text in images. As you continue to enhance your website management skills, remember that each choice you make contributes to creating a more user-friendly and impactful online space. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Note about cover image, I asked AI "A beautiful background of mountains image with ugly jumbled text covering up the image" and that was what I got back. I found it quite humerus so I used it.

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