Backgrounds and BordersBackgrounds and borders can be made of graphics or colors and can give your pages a unique theme that is all your own. -- Workshop materials prepared by *zip
Colors or PrintsYou can have a unique and memorable page using just solid colors for borders and backgrounds. We've already looked at some good examples of the use of hex color codes in a page. The advantage to using hex color codes is that you don't need to have an online image host to add them to your page.
But what if you want something patterned, striped or floral? What if you want to reflect a certain theme like fishing or music or a holiday? For those to show on your page, you will need to have an online image host, as eBay will not host the background images.
List of image hosts and how to do it:
BackgroundsThere are thousands of free backgrounds available on the internet...in every color, in every pattern imaginable (and some that aren't!)...in squares, left edge, rectangles and corners.
Contrary to popular belief, whatever you see on the internet is not free for the taking. There are still copyright issues. Please make sure the background site is public domain or shareware and pay attention to the usage conditions. Some sites specify that the backgrounds are free for any use. Some sites require a credit to the background designer, some sites require a linkback, some sites specify for personal use only (eBay is considered a commercial use).
Background TilesA background is really just a small piece that keeps "tiling" to the right and down. Those of you with programs like Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro can even try your hand at making your own background for a truly one-of-a-kind look.
How do I make a background tile? This guide will walk you through the steps.
HotlinkingWhen you find that perfect background tile, always right click to save the background to your computer and upload to your own online image host.
What is hotlinking? For example, if instead of hosting the backgrounds yourself, you used the URL of the site where you found the background, that would be hotlinking. You are linking to someone else's site. Don't be tempted. It's considered bandwidth theft on the internet and is a huge breach of internet etiquette.
And it puts your page at the mercy of the person who owns the site, because for example, at any time, they could delete or rename their backgrounds. And then it would no longer show on your page because the link would be broken. Or another image could be substituted at that URL, and you could find yourself with a shocking pink background instead of a celadon green.
Finding BackgroundsGoogle. And here are a few sites as well.
Zoicks - mix and match backgrounds and borders
kdwebpagedesign - mix and match backgrounds and borders
GRSites - background tiles in all colors and patterns
Tip: Patterned and textured backgrounds make it very difficult to read text. Stick to using a solid hex color for the main table behind the text.
Beware of the full page background that is designed for a computer desktop or as computer wallpaper. Those full size backgrounds usually have a very large file size and it will take dialup users much longer to load your page. Stick to background tiles.
ExamplesThe triple nested border look is very popular on eBay. This page is a good example of the use of two background tiles used as "borders" and one hex color code for the main table.
The following page is a good example of the left-edge border design, which is also very popular. This design has an especially clean look, reads easily and can provide just the right amount of color.
And once you have created the background code, you can also add it to your auctions using the Inserts feature.
A background is an effective way to give your page a unique look that people will remember. Have fun looking for that perfect background!
Workshop tutorial and images prepared by *zip
The Design Basics Workshop SeriesSummary - The 10 Design Basics for a Better ME page
Design Basics 1 - Getting the most from Color
Design Basics 2 - Using Fonts
Design Basics 3 - Effective use of White space
Design Basics 4 - Using Photos
Design Basics 5 - Backgrounds and Borders
Design Basics 6 - Multimedia
Design Basics 7 - Top 10 Common Mistakes