By: Mike Nielsen
When you're building your website there will probably be a time when you'll want to spice it up with some great looking graphics. There are several ways to go about this and they all have their merits and flaws. In this article I'll take you through some of the options available to you.
The first and probably also most expensive option is to hire a web designer with some awesome graphic making skills. If cash isn't a problem this is a good option. It ensures that you get someone with the proper experience and training to work on your websites graphics. Hardly a bad thing.
Hiring a web designer ensures that you get a truly professional result. I fact because his reputation and future business depends on user feedback and satisfaction you can be sure he'll do his best to get a great result. You can also be pretty certain that you'll get a unique result, or at least as unique as anything can be these days.
The problem with hiring a web designer is the price. There is no doubt that this will be the most expensive of all the options outlined in this article. The results will probably be great, the web designer also has to make a living so he has to charge you a fair bit.
A less expensive option is to buy graphic packs online. A graphic pack is basically a bunch of graphic files that you are free to use as you wish. There are plenty of those available online and the price generally isn't too steep.
In this case, however, you can be certain that someone else has purchased the exact same graphics. That means they won't be unique anymore. However, it's very unlikely that you will have applied them in the exact same way. In addition to that not a lot of people go around visiting websites just to compare graphics (unless we're talking about graphic specific websites). The end result is that you'll be able to put a great looking websitetogether with minimal effort.
If you're using a system like WordPress or Joomla for your website you can take an even more hands off approach. Most of these systems have tons of premade templates available online. Some are free and some will cost you a bit of money.
If you want a unique website you'll need to customize your templates. Especially if you're using a popular template. If you don't take the effort to make tiny adjustments to your template why should your readers make and effort or purchase in the market that you want them to?
Templates are extremely easy to use. In most cases you simply upload them to a specific folder on your host, turn them on in the admin area of your website and voila! You're good to go. As I said earlier you'll want to do a bit of customization though.
The fourth option is to make your own graphics. It's by far the option that takes the most effort, but it ensures that you can get unique graphics over and over and over. Although there's astart up cost involved it can save you a bundle in the long run. However, you may also simply decide that this is not a DIY part of your business in which case you will want to stick to the options outlined above.
If you do fancy making your own graphics you'll need to know how to do it. If you already have that knowledge then go ahead and get started. If you're more like me you'll need some kind of training. You can buy a couple of books or take an online course to get everything properly off the ground. There are also plenty of online tutorials for the most popular graphic tools.
Speaking of those tools. The best graphic tool on the market is Photoshop. There's simply no contest. My recommendation, if you're serious about making your own graphics, is to go out and get it. The price is pretty steep, but it's a good investment. If you do decide to hold out on buying Photoshop for a while there is also a free alternative. It's called the Gimp. It's not quite on the same level as Photoshop, but it's in my opinion the second best choice. Many of the tutorials and courses on Photoshop should also be usable with the Gimp.
There you have it. You can get great looking graphics on your web site on any budget. Although making them yourself is a great challenge that might just not be an area where you want to spend your time. In that case other options are available. Also remember that in the end you don't want to plaster your site with graphics. Use them tastefully.
Author Resource:-> Mike Nielsen is a web developer from Denmark dedicated to providing tools for other aspiring web developers and others aspiring to make a living online. At Web Construction he provides numerous resources to that end.
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