Free web design images sources
When building a website or publication you will undoubtedly need images to make it visually appealing. But where do you source these images?
The temptation is to just source images on Google images or Flickr, however most of these images are copyrighted and hence it is not best practice to use these images.
Stock images are images that can be downloaded from a websites at a small fee, something like royalties in the music industry. This allows you to use the images freely on your website. Stock images are the easiest way to liven up a dull website. There are thousands of images to choose from and just about something for everyone.
The following links give more information on stock images:
These 3 websites that offer you a very good selection:
http://sxc.hu – very good site. Just be aware though that this site displays images from the commercial site http://www.istockphoto.com at the top of the result pages when you search for images and you might be tempted to click through to the commercial site. The layout of the two sites are also exactly the same, so you might end up trying to download a photo that you have to pay credits for – please be careful that you do not click on photos that are ‘premium results’. You do have to register to use the site and download the full-size images, but you do not have to purchase anything to be able to download the images.
http://www.dreamstime.com – this site is also a commercial stock image site but they do have a nice selection of free stock images. You will have to register on the site to be able to download the free images. Registration is free, you only have to pay something ever if you do decide to buy one of the commercial images.
http://www.morguefile.com – you do not need to register on this site and can just search and download.
Web design made easy
Tip 1: Learn HTML
I can hear you groan. I said I was going to give you some shortcuts, now I suggest you learn HTML!
Unfortunately there is no way around it. Even if you make use to the shortcuts to web design that I am going to suggest, learning HTML will still be the best investment that you can make. It is really not that difficult and it will greatly aid in your understanding of web design.
A really good place for online tutorials on HTML can be found here: http://www.w3schools.com/html/
Tip 2: Website Structure
Once you have a grasp of html web design becomes easy. You will able to adapt website template with easy to create a custom template that looks good. Web design also requires that you learn how to structure a web page. It is really important that you structure your website so that it is search engine friendly. Whats the point of having a nice looking website if nobody ever finds it?
As a basic principle your url should contain your main keywords. Also allow room for your website to grow. The more pages the better. Each web page can optimised (SEO) for a few carefully selected keywords. Website structure is very important when it comes to SEO!