All About making banners for your website
You don't have to be a graphic artist to make decent banners for your website. You just have to know some simple rules.
This is a little bit about banners. What they are, what sizes they should be, whether you should use them and how to create them.
Banners have been poking around the internet for a very long time now and for a few years they were an effective advertising tool. But today they border on useless, I hate to say that but it's true. We have all seen so many banners that we have are pretty much immune to them. This is called banner blindness. How many advertisements do you actually pay attention to on websites?
But they can be moderately effective for two different reasons.
First off, they are a link back to your site which is always good. Second, if the website they are shown on is very closely aligned with the subject of your site a banner can be effective. The banner has to be very, very relevant to the site it is on.
What is a banner? It is a visual advertisement on a website. Often it is graphic with pictures and sometimes it is just text. Here is an example of a banner for one of my websites:
If you click on it you go to my epic fantasy site. Easy enough to understand. But there are a few things about banners that you should know before you adventure off into a banner making mania!
A Banner is pretty much a graphic image and being so you could make it pretty much any size you want but under normal circumstances you should make your banners in only a few different generally accepted sizes.
Here are some of the common sizes: (Remember, the first number is width in pixels and the second number is height in pixels.
There are a few other common sizes but stick with these for now.
About the File format for your banners. Generally Banners are saved as either a .jpg or a .gif. The .jpg is more common with banners that are photographic in nature and the .gif is usually better for plain banners with lesser colors and graphics.
So how do you make a banner?
You need to use some kind of Paint Program. I use Paint Shop Pro. It has everything I need for all my web design and is perfect for creating banners. If are a beginner to web design and are intent on making your own websites and intent on making them look pretty good this software is your best option at the best price. Professionals use Photoshop which cost something like four hundred dollars. For around eighty dollars you get much of the same tools and abilities in a program that is easier to use and learn.
About the Psychology of banners
Banners are a tough sell. Like I said, pretty much everybody has banner blindness. It just comes from being inundated by so many of them. But you can make banners that will draw traffic to your site if you make them reasonably attractive and make them very specific in that they exactly portray something of value to the web visitor.
This 125x125 banner is a good example. It is straight forward and advertises a free fantasy novel. Simple and to the point.
About where to place your banners.
There are a lot of banner exchange sites and services and I recommend you not use any of them! That's right, don't use them. Many of them are marked as spam by the search engines and many of them charge a fee which is wasted money. I recommend you only use your banners in exchange with other webmasters that have sites similar in subject to yours.