I learned how to create a transparent gif the hard way, out of necessity. Graphics have always been an afterthought because I was more concerned with content, my writing. But graphics adds another dimension to a page. Today, it is a lot easier to develop graphics -- illustrations, buttons,

Stock Photography

Using a photograph to illustrate your website adds quality and distinction to your site. Digital cameras are now making photography a quick and easy tool for web design. In addition, there are many sites that offer stock material for free or low prices.


I used to scower the Web looking to graphic files that I could repurpose to my website. I ended up with a bunch of garbage -- disperate designs that did not blend into a consistent style across the website. It's still worthwhile to tap into clipart sites because they can give you a starting point for developing your own graphics.


Digital Photography

I have a Canon camera, but am now using a Nikon D40—old but functional for my needs. I have yet to acquire the habit of using my smart phone camera.


I have an Epson all-in-one printer. I use it regularly to create Adobe Acrobat pdf files because it's fast and efficient. When I was preparing for the purchase of my house, I copied utility bills, pay stubs, tax returns and other documents with the scanner. It was better than running out to Kinko's to use the photocopier. I could use it a lot more to cover my photo collection, if I had the time.


One thing to be careful of is not breaking other people's copyright. Most stock artwork has already been released.