Have you been on ActiveRain for a while & wished that you could Jazz up your profile with some reall awesome graphics or picture? Several members contact me regularly in complete frustration from trying to add a really great looking header to their profile.
Have visited a blog & come across a header that resembles one similar to this:
As you can see above, the photo I inserted does not even cover the whole bar & is so distorted & blown up that you really can't tell what it was. So, I thought it was time to share with everyone how to design a really great looking header for your outside blog. Granted, there are several ways to design a really awesome header, but for this exercise we are going to use a single photo.
There are so many different photo software programs you could use to create. The key to making the process smooth & successful is using photo editing software you are familiar with. In the past I have used everything from Pro-Grade Adobe Photoshop to a cheap PC program called Microsoft Picture it 10. In fact, my latest header was designed with a free online software program called Picnik.
How To Create an Awesome Header
The first thing you need to do is chose a photograph to work with. You want to make sure that the photo you are working with is at least 960 pixels wide to start. If not, things will become all distorted or not fill up the entire header box. Here is the original picture I chose to create my header. The original size was entirely too large at like 1620 x 880. So the next thing you will want to do is resize the photo to 960 pixels wide.
After choosing a photo & resizing you will then need to make some cropping adjustments to the photograph. The dimensions for your header need to be 960 pixels wide by 134 pixels high. Most pictures are not going to fit these dimensions exactly. In fact, 99% of the photos you chose are going to need to be cropped to fit properly. So, what you need to do is open the photograph up in any photo editing software & find the cropping utility. Enter the correct dimensions & move around the selected area to crop out the section of the photo you would like to use.
Now that you have the photo cropped, you can either use that photo as is for your header. Or if you want, you can add your logo or text onto the header. Make sure if you are adding text that is a descriptive title & NOT Contact information. All Your Contact info is on the side already. If you place your email address or website URL people will become frustrated when they try to click on the header & it doesn't do anything they are expecting.
The Final Result?
This is how it looks on my ActiveRain Blog
Lastly, you can see it on my Outside Blog as well:
I hope this helps all of you that have been frustrated designing your blog header. For those of you who feel daring, you could using multiple photos like Debe Maxwell has on her blog. But process is much more complicated and advanced.
As always, do not feel overwhelmed by designing a Header! This header was designed in less than 10 minutes time. Also, Do Not Get Caught up on Photo Quality. The photo I used was taken with my iPhone one evening while out on a bike ride through my neighborhood. No fancy equipment, or editing software was used to enhance the photo. I simply took the photo, did the simple steps in Picnik & uploaded.
So, now that you know how to jazz up your ActiveRain & Outside Blog, stop making excuses & get to it!