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Graphics | Sites with Free Graphics | Graphic Editors | Tutorials

Graphic Tips

Whether you create your own graphics or use one from a free graphics site, there are some things to keep in mind.

  1. If you plan to use a free graphic, read the site's TOU's (Terms of Use)
  2. Resize and Optimize
  3. Limit the number of graphics to save bandwidth
  4. Be careful with animation
There are many sites that contain free graphics you can use. (Sites with Free Graphics) However, sometimes you'll need to use a graphic editor to make changes to the images. You might even want to try your hand at making your own graphics.  (Graphic Editors and Tutorials).

Most any graphics editor will have the ability to resize an image and some can optimize the image. There is also some online optimizers. One I've used is the Dynamic Drive Online Optimizer -  The Image Optimizer lets you easily optimize your gifs, animated gifs, jpgs, and pngs, so they load as fast as possible on your site. Furthermore, you can easily convert from one image type to another. Upload Size limit: 300 kB Another site, Online Image Converter for Free - - allows you to convert, resize and optimize an image.

Too many images on a page can cause that page to load slowly for someone who has an older computer or who is still on a dialup connection. Limiting the number of images used can help pages load faster for these folks.

Another method of cutting down on the number of images on a page is to use CSS and a small image or two instead of a separate button for each item in a menu. The buttons in the menus on this page use the same two images that change when you hover. The images are small and repeat as a background behind the text. The text is not part of the image. It made it a lot easier when I was planning the site, too. I could change my mind about what I wanted in the menu and all I had to do was change the text. I didn't have to create a whole new button!

Be careful with animation. Although some animation can draw attention to a particular area of a page, too many things bouncing around can be distracting and hurt the overall appearance of the page. Take an objective look at your page. Just because something can be done doesn't necessarily mean that it should be done.