Auction Template Help - Adding Auction Backgrounds

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Auction Template Help - Adding Auction Backgrounds
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You can add a background to all of your auctions using "Inserts" on the auction listing form. The background can be a solid color or it can be an image that tiles the entire description area.

Get the Background Image

To use an image as an auction background, you will first need to host the image online. eBay doesn't host backgrounds.

Before choosing an image as a background, take a look at the file size. Most backgrounds are small images that tile repeatedly across the page. They are usually 5K-10K. A file this size will load up with the page. The image should be either a JPG or a GIF image. Do not use a BMP or ART image.

While you could probably get away with a 50K image as a background, that file size would be the equivalent of adding another photo, so think carefully whether a background of that size is as important as a product photo. We sometimes see instances where a single photo of 100K or more has been added to cover most of the page. For dialup users, that image may not finish loading until after they have looked at the page. Since you will have the image cached on your computer, it will seem to load instantaneously for you, but your viewer must wait for the entire file to load.

Image Hosts

The next stage is to get the image uploaded to a hosting site. You can host the image on your website, personal webspace from your ISP, or an online image host.

There are also several lists of free and pay image hosts listed at the bottom of my  ME page. There are two basic kinds of hosts:
  • Fairly simple anonymous-uploader hosting sites are useful if you just want to put up a couple of backgrounds. An anonymous uploader doesn't require you to register, but it also won't allow you to manage your hosted images.
  • If you decide you would like to self-host more photos in your auction, and you would like to manage, move, and replace them, you will need a host that allows you to log in with a user ID.

The Code

After your image is uploaded, here is the code to set it as the background to your auction. The image URL is added right after background=, or you can use a background color instead. the background color is added to the bgcolor= field. Several  color chart links can be found on my ME page.


<table align="center" width="100%" border="0"
cellspacing="0" cellpadding="30" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"
background="" >
<tr >
<td >

... auction description goes here ....



Using your Code

When you begin your description, add the above code to the "Enter your own HTML" tab of the description editor and replace the background URL with the one for your hosted background image. Then switch back to the "Standard" tab and type your description. The background will enlarge as you add text to your description.
When you begin your description, select "Create a New Insert" from the dropdown list on the description editor. A popup window will have the form for adding. Give it a name like "background" and save it. You can create up to5 customized inserts, and each can be up to 1000 characters long.

Then whenever you create a new listing, you can start first with the Insert, where you can click on your "background" item in the dropdown list before you begin any typing.

I noticed that the code is inserted a little differently depending on whether you use the Insert from the Standard tab or from the HTML tab (it drops the quotes in the standard tab). I would recommend using the Insert from the HTML tab, and then switching back to the Standard tab to continue editing.
Visit my  ME page for Free Tools and Resources for Better Auctions
Copyright © 2005 shipscript
More Auction Template Help Guides:
How to select a Template
The 10 Design Basics (series)
Adding Sound to your Auction
Adding Auction Backgrounds
Make a Seamless Background Tile
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