Greetings, my dear Stars!
As some of you will know, this post is part of a mini-series on how to make your website look pretty fabulous. Last time we discussed colours, and this time I’m going to highlight the other topic that plays a key role in your site.
And that is graphics.
Before we jump into the pool too deeply, let’s wade about in the shallow end first and define the word graphic. I’m pulling this definition straight out of my magic hat, but a graphic in terms of the internet is simply this: a picture.
Now, I won’t be talking about the pictures that you see displayed within a blog post, as those are subjective. I’m going to be talking about the all-important, ever-lasting and generally big graphics you see whenever you travel to the home page of your blog. The ones that people judge your website by first.
Whether that be a picture, a logo, a bar of solid colour or a banner, the “header” of your website is incredibly important. For starters, it tells everyone before they even read the title what your blog or site is about. Your header is the largest image in the tab containing your blog, so it’s vital that it stands out in the most relevant manner possible. Recently, this very blog went through a rather large renovation of sorts for that reason exactly. I felt as if my graphics were too vague and not relevant enough to the content of my blog.
Another thing to remember is that your header is the glue (or shoelaces) of your website. It ties and connects your colour scheme to the content and title of your site, and vice versa. People need to recognise that when they visit it. An example would be if I clicked on a blog I found through Google with the title The Beauty Room, I would expect to see more feminine colours and a header filled with either A) floral patterns, B) a picture of the author C) makeup everywhere or D) anything specifically feminine. What would be a major turn-off is if the colours were dark or dull and the graphics were of rock bands or famous people the author was a fan of (*cough* One Direction/5SOS has taken over the planet *cough*). See? That wouldn’t be relevant.
And relevance is KEY.
Another quick note I thought I’d add in is this thing called uniformity. It is not something that I would label strictly required (as a lot of websites and blogs don’t actually have more than one graphic you see on the home page) but I would say that your official graphics should be fairly uniform. A good example of uniformity would be if you click to this YouTube channel. The channel header, profile picture and thumbnails are in the same style. If by now you don’t understand properly what uniformity is, then I strongly suggest asking Mr Google.
So, all that’s done and dusted. By now you’re probably asking, “But Y… where on earth are we supposed to get these fancy graphics from?”
The thing is, Star, you don’t actually get the graphics from anywhere else unless you’re planning to spend some quid. You make these graphics yourself.
There are a fair number of good free photo-editing websites out there like Picmonkey.com or Pixlr.com/editor. If you are completely new to the world of designing, then Picmonkey.com is a good place to start as the features are easily-accessible and clearly visible.
Keep in mind that when you create your graphics, you may need to stick to specific dimensions. There is usually a section somewhere when you’re customizing these things that give you the height and width of your graphics, so it’s important that you look out for that. If your site allows you to make your graphics any size you like, then go for it.
I do understand that not everyone has the eye for making awesome graphics, but I promise you that if you practice just a little bit every day, then you’ll get so much better at it by the end of each and every week.
I know this is a grey area for a lot of amateur bloggers, so I hope this helped you. Please don’t hesitate to drop a comment, I love hearing what you Stars have to say!
(I know, I know. Another excessively long article after editing. They’re not usually this long, but certain topics need to be explained in detail, so…)