Web site background graphics can make a huge impact on the look and feel of your web site and at the same time remain subtle. Web site background graphics are simple to use, small in size and is a great way to affect your visitors’ subconscious minds without seeming to do so . So, really, you have absolutely no excuse not to use it.

How do they work?

When you use a background graphic, what happens is the browser will repeat that graphic over and over until it covers the whole of your web page. You’re probably aware of the term ’tiling’. This is what a browser does with web site background graphics. It tiles is across the web page, both horizontally and vertically, until it covers the whole screen.

Making the most out of them

There are several things you need to keep in mind before you start going on a background shopping spree:

  • Watch your graphic size. Having a large background grahic will increase your web page’s loading time. And one of the most annoying thing on the net is to wait for a page to load. On the other hand, small graphics are not much better. It makes your web site look too ‘busy’. It also takes more processing power and time to tile it across the browser. So, try to stay within th mid-range.

  • And watch your graphic file size. The size of your graphic is not the only thing you should be looking at. More importantly, you should also keep an eye on your graphic’s file size. Usually, the bigger the graphic, the bigger the file size. But this doesn’t mean that a smaller graphic has a smaller file size. It also depends on how many colors the graphic uses. As a rule of thumb, try and keep your background image below 10K. The background graphic on this web site, for example, is only 4K.

  • Don’t use it behind any text. Try not to use any background image behind your text. This will give your web site visitors a headache. And when that happens, they won’t be coming back. In fact, don’t even use another color. It is best to stick to the norm i.e. black text and white background.

  • Use a darker color. Your background graphic should generally be a darker color than the rest of your web page. Its purpose is, after all, to affect your visitors without attracting too much attention. The darker color would help your visitors stay focused on the white area and at the same time reduce the ‘glare effect’ of too much white space.

There you go. That’s it, I think. Don’t worry, if I remember anything else remotely related to web site background graphics, I’ll be sure to update this article wink.