For most people graphic design does not come easy. Unfortunately this is why there's an abundance of shall we say "struggling websites." At best, most are less than great. Graphics are the tools of your website that give your reader or potential prospect the visual they need to "see" what your site is all about. The graphics of your site must transform your written call to action into a live demonstration.
To be effective you know your website must flow with well positioned and well relating graphics. Maybe you already know the image you want to create. The next step is to figure out how to do it.
Obviously if you don't have artistic talent you must find the graphics you want already created or hire a professional graphic designer (often the best choice.)
When you start your search for great looking graphics on the web you'll come up with thousands of sites offering clip-art graphics and photographs. Don't become overwhelmed. Also there are a few terms you'll want to learn. Understanding the lingo will save you much time and effort.
Web Graphics - Web graphics includes dividers, buttons, arrows, backgrounds, etc.
Clip Art - Clip art is images that don't fall under the web-graphics category. Some examples might be people, buildings, signs, objects, etc. Don't sell the clip art short. It can get your message across very effectively.
Animations - Animated graphics, these may be either animated graphics or animated clip art.
Photos - Photos, as distinct from clip art. These images will be photo quality, whereas clip art is less distinct.
Site Search - Is a site search provided? This is an important feature of any site that provides images. You don't want to spend hours and hours searching through every graphic on a site, just to find the ONE you need.
There are thousands of sites providing graphics for free. You'll find three of the most popular one listed below.
If you're looking for high-quality photos of any subject try http://www.Photos.com. http://www.gettyimages.com. These photos aren't free, but the quality is excellent.
There are some sites that charge a membership fee in order to view and download the images they contain but these images are royalty free thereafter. Some of these sites allow you to have a membership term of one week. One week is often sufficient to get the images you need.
Typically even the free sites will have some terms and conditions to using their images. Some are free for personal use, while commercial sites are expected to pay.
As you browse for your graphics, choose carefully. Attempt to make sure your graphics work well together to complement the theme of your site. Using too many graphics can make your site appear cluttered. Too few and you'll know something is missing. It's easy to spend hours and hours tinkering with individual graphics, to get it "just right." Rarely will you be able to achieve perfection, but an acceptable, workable, design is possible.
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