The eternal problem associated with illustrating content published on websites is something that spills the sleep of many a novice blogger or owner of a site where articles are regularly published. How do you prepare graphics for your website? How to prepare graphics for a blog article? How to prepare a graphic for.... and I could go on and on...
Someone who already has some experience and easily navigates through the maze of information about running a website probably knows very well that there are places where you can download free graphics and photos to publish also on commercial websites. You can find a few such places in the article: "Images for free download - where to get photos for your website“.
This basically takes care of the problem of demand to illustrate the article, but does it have any additional benefits beyond that?
Yes, it's the easiest way, and I myself very often, especially when I don't have time (and I have a considerable deficit of it), throw into the text the first better photo or illustration that to some extent meets my needs. But I know that I shouldn't do that. It's not that I'm infringing someone's copyrights, the photos I use allow them to be published. It is about something else. Google.
Search engine likes uniqueness
This is one of the important factors related to ranking in search results. UNIQUE. This applies to the text itself, as well as to graphics illustrating blog entries or individual sub-pages of the website. So, yes. Google is able to "see" the image you upload and compare it to other resources on the web. If you don't believe it, try using a search using graphics you download from the internet. Example:
And what results do you get? Well, for example, this:
The same photo without any processing on tens, hundreds, or maybe thousands of pages. For the average person it may not matter much, although I know people who point out that "eee, I've seen this picture so many times before, poor...", but Google is merciless.
So if you are motivated to optimise your site as best as possible for SEO remember that there is this factor in addition to content. So it's worth taking a moment of your time and preparing something that will not only have the qualities of uniqueness, but will also grab the reader's attention.
What program should I use to prepare the graphics?
Many people will immediately scream Photoshop. The best software for working with raster graphics. It's great, but for people who are not familiar with this type of software it can be difficult to learn. Slightly easier would be probably Photoshop Elements or any other program, but the question is do we need such tools to prepare graphics for our blog entry? Maybe there is something even easier to use?
Undoubtedly, the huge popularity of Canva. This software is available online and also has a free version. Creating graphics comes down to choosing a background, photos and other graphic objects, and then arranging them according to your own choice and taste.
The tool has great possibilities even in the free version. You can prepare unique graphics for your website, Facebook posts, create your own logo and much more. If you have problems with composition, you can use ready-made templates and modify them according to your needs. The PRO version, which offers a full set of features, costs more than $100/year.
Further work is extremely comfortable and one could say that it resembles working with popular website creators such as Elementor. After finishing the work, you can download the result file and upload it to your website. The topic is settled.
Another extremely interesting tool is Bannersnack. Although this solution is mainly focused on designing graphic banners, e.g. you can generate all sizes of banners for display campaigns in bulk, it can also easily create graphics for social media, blogs or any other website.
In general, the principle of operation is very similar to what you will find on Canva. You can easily operate on any objects, photos, graphics, shapes or your own files that you can upload. You also have access to a very rich library of ready-made templates for further modification, plus some other features such as the ability to create animated graphics.
The tool is awesome, but unfortunately not cheap either. There is a FREE version, but I wouldn't particularly think about it, because you can create only 10 graphics and they are watermarked. So the free version is rather a test version and nothing more.
For the paid version without animated banners you have to pay $84 / year, and if you want to create animated banners as well, you have to reckon with the expense of $216 / year.
This tool can work great for e.g. freelancers or agencies dealing with online advertising campaigns for their clients. However, if you want to prepare some graphics for your blog from time to time, you should think twice. Probably the free Canva will be sufficient.
Something that "chats" with WordPress
Most applications of this type, regardless of whether they are installed on a computer or run in a web browser, have one thing in common. Graphics have to be prepared, downloaded and then uploaded to the blog.
What if you could create these types of unique graphics from your WP-based site and instantly add them to your blog posts? This can be done without a problem.
Canva, which I mentioned at the beginning, is one of the tools whose creators bowed down to WordPress users by releasing a special plug-in integrating this system with a WP site. You can find it at the address: https://pl.wordpress.org/plugins/canva/
Admittedly, the extension hasn't been updated for quite a while (3 years), but its main job is to load the Canva interface inside WP, so it's not a particularly complicated plugin. Most of it happens on the software servers anyway.
The second solution is a tool called Stencil. Here too we have a free plan and the ability to integrate with our site running on WordPress.
In the video below you can see how the integration and overall interface of this software looks like.
A tool that is very practical and convenient to use to the point of pain, and to top it off you can have it in a full, unlimited time version for only $49. All you have to do is grab the deal on AppSumo.
How to prepare graphics for a website - Summary
I personally use all three of these solutions. Maybe Canva the least, and mainly Bannersnack and Stencil. All three allow me to create extremely fast and in a very convenient way graphics for the website, social media and more.
So if you care about uniqueness and want your graphics to stand out from your competitors who, like most, use mainly stock photos without any modification, you should be interested in these applications.
I especially recommend you look at Stencil right now because of the amazing opportunity to buy one-off lifetime access to the most expensive plan of this service.
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