Everyone likes using Canva to create beautiful images and it’s tempting to create a picture of written words to be on a website. A PDF of written language is much clearer than a JPG and could look great embedded on a website. But, you really should only use images on your website and leave the written content to the website written editing. Save the PDF format for reports to be downloaded.
Here are the best file options for website images. There is a newer format called WebP that loads faster. The most common format is JPG. PNG files are generally larger, so it’s best to use them for favicons and logos if possible.
Reasons not to use an image of written content on a website?
Websites with written content are much easier to access and navigate for users with disabilities, since they can be read by screen readers or magnified. PDFs are not as accessible and may not be compatible with some assistive technologies.
Search engine optimization (SEO):
Search engines like to “crawl” and index all information on a website. They can’t detect the specific information if it is written in a PDF.
A big part of optimizing a website for search is creating a roadmap for search engine “bots”. That’s why creating links between written content on one page to another or between websites is so important. PDFs cannot be linked in the same way.
Written content is easier to update and maintain, since changes can be made in real-time rather than via Canva and then downloading, re-uploading, and then deleting the old PDFs.
Websites with written content are more mobile-friendly and can be easily viewed on a variety of devices. PDFs may not display well on smaller screens and may be difficult to read on mobile devices.
PDFs are best for social posts. If used on a website, it’s best for a report to be downloaded. It was ok to use PDFs on a website to communicate written content but as the internet changes, PDFs with written content should not be used.