How to Create a Header for Your Website

If you are like me, the creative type who knows what s(he) likes and has a vision for how you want your website to look, then you can create and build your website from scratch.  There are many free programs out there, but the one I like the best is WordPress, so this post will focus on creating a header banner for WordPress (it might work on other platforms as well) using GIMP (this is a GNU image manipulation program free of charge, similar to Photoshop.)  Anyway, once you have downloaded the software (www.gimp.org) you can open it and go to File, then New. Set the header width to 960 and the width to 200.  From here you can use the fill tool (it looks like a bucket of paint) to fill in a color, or the blend tool to make a blended background. You can also go to royalty free stock photo sites such as 123RF, istockphoto.com and use these to embellish your header, or use photos or art you already have on file. Once you’ve made the changes to the header, make sure to save the file with the .xcf extension (this allows you to go back and make changes to the file as often as you’d like), then save as a .jpeg or .png.  Take a look at the header banner above. I created it using GIMP and stock photos. Below is a sample of a header I made just for fun. Check out GIMP and play around with making the site you’ve been dreaming of!

Deborah A. Mitchell
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