Suppose you have a website where users can sale stuff and upload images (something like craigslist). What would be the appropriate ALT attribute for such images where we don't know the actual content? Empty value? title of the ad? Something like "Image 1", "Image 2"..?

3 Answers 3


If it's a sales listing page... then I as a user would love the ability to customize the description/alt titles that goes onto my images. That's the best way of ensuring alt text are descriptive.

Failing that, something like "[listing title] - image [#]" would allow the user to identify that this image is related to the listing. Which is about the best you can do not know what exactly is in the image.


I'd vote for "Listing Image 1", "Listing Image 2"...; if the images fail to load for whatever reason, the users can still tell that there were actually images accompanying the product listing and they can try reloading or viewing the page with a different browser.


As a user I would like to see the Listing name if the Image is not there, so if "image 1" on listing "abc" I would like to see alt as "abc Image" and If the listing name is very near to the Image, I think making the alt as "Listing Image" or just "Image" is enough.

I always remember the real use of alt attr:
from w3schools:

The required alt attribute specifies an alternate text for an image, if the image cannot be displayed.

The alt attribute provides alternative information for an image if a user for some reason cannot view it (because of slow connection, an error in the src attribute, or if the user uses a screen reader).

so in my point of view the best way to get what to write in the alt attr is to imagine or try a screen reader and see if you will understand what is on the page without seeing it.

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