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Using Image Files to Design Website Layouts

Many people choose to design the layout of their web pages using a graphics application such as Photoshop. This can be a very useful approach if you know what you are doing. By this we mean you should understand the following:

Web pages are based on HTML, not graphics. Except in very rare cases, you should not use image files to create a web page. Rather, you create the web page using HTML and CSS and add image files as required. If you are using a graphics app for design, the idea is to create the layout in the graphics app, then convert the layout into HTML/CSS. Image files should almost never be the sole content of the page.

If you are one of the many people who wants to make a nice-looking photoshop temple and then click "Save As..." to make a web page, think again. You need to go back a step and learn how web pages are made first. You should only proceed with your image-based template once you know how to make it into a nice standards-compliant HTML page.

Why Not Use Image Files For Web Pages?

Just to clarify, we are talking about using only image files as the content of your web page. Images themselves are fine of course, it's only a problem when you don't have any decent HTML, CSS, text copy, etc.

Here are some of the reasons why using only images is a bad idea:

Making Image-Based Templates

The best advice we can give is to check out some of these web page templates made in Photoshop. You will see how the templates were made plus the resulting HTML, CSS and image files. Follow the same path and you should be fine.

Here are some more tips:

More Help

Web design is a complex thing so don't expect do go into a forum and ask "How do I make a great website using Photoshop?" You will need to search, read tutorials and see how other web designers do it. In time you will pick up most of the basics, after which you will be able to ask specific questions in places such as our web design forum.