Building a Website on the Cheap – Graphics Programs & Tools

If you’re new to building websites, you may think that it costs a lot of money to get one up and running. While it’s true that you’re not going to be able to create your own equivalent of Facebook in a few days and with a few dollars, a simple website is not something that has to set you back thousands of dollars.

Firstly, if you have a limited budget (and enough spare time!), then the cheapest way to get a website up is to build it yourself. Of course there are many advantages to having professionals do it, but if you’re more interested in just building a personal site, then not only will a D.I.Y attitude save you a lot of money, but it will also allow you to learn the ins and outs of websites! This sort of knowledge can prove invaluable if you ever have to hire professionals, because at least you will have some sort of insight into what they are talking about.

Creating Visual Elements & Graphics
Firstly, I won’t go into either buying a domain or web-hosting. There’s a ton of information and guides out on the web, not to mention here on Instead, let’s have a look at some of the tools you can use to help use to create graphics for a website. Most importantly these tools will be 100% free, although you will still need a computer; sadly that is a critical requirement.

Most graphic and web design pros favour commercial applications such as Photoshop when it comes to creating their own visual elements for a website. There’s a good reason for this: if you do design for a living you’ll always want the best tools, and Photoshop is a very mature, robust and feature laden program. It’s also quite expensive, so I suggest to those who want a cheap program check out “The GIMP”. No, I did not mistype that, nor was I making a joke, “The GIMP” actually stands for “The GNU Image Manipulation Program”, and it’s an open source – completely free – visual editing and manipulation program. Sure it’s got something of a questionable name, but it’s got a ton of functionality. It’s also totally cross-platform, you can download it and run it on Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista), GNU/Linux (i386, PPC), Mac OS X, Sun OpenSolaris and FreeBSD computers.

While “The GIMP” isn’t 100% user friendly, and won’t suit pros used to high-end commercial software, it has more than enough features for a newcomer who wants to create graphics for the web. It exports to all of the major web formats (JPEG, PNG, and GIF) and comes with a wide variety of filters and graphic manipulation tools built in.

Now that you’ve got a fully fledged graphics editor, it’s time to start thinking about selecting a HTML editor so you can take those visual elements and put them into HTML. In my next article I will look at what free software programs are the best for editing HTML.

How to Integrate T-Shirt and Graphic Design Tools to Magento and Other eCommerce Platforms

Many online businesses are just warming up to the ever-evolving virtual world of eCommerce solutions. It’s all about finding SEO friendly services that will put your business on the map. Many eCommerce solutions are now beginning to integrate t-shirt graphic design software into their stock manifests, and allowing companies to run online t-shirt and graphic design tools as live applications! Once your product is listed on an eCommerce website, then it essentially goes viral, and your website traffic goes up like 20 times. There are some loopholes before you get your online t-shirt design tool software on any eCommerce solutions’ radar. You still have to jump through a few hoops, but once you’re in, you’re in!

Magento is a fan favorite when it comes to online solutions. It is perhaps the first stop if you’re looking to get your software on the global map. This is by virtue of the fact that it offers all kinds of cool add-ons organize editing, it has a shop-by-price-and-category plug in, clip art management, multiple language support, free shipping options! Need I continue? It is still the fastest growing eCommerce software, and possibly the best place to maximize the reach of your online graphic design tools.

How do you do it? Well, to integrate your graphic design software requires approval from the eCommerce solutions websites you plan to partner with. There’s quite a list, from Virtue mat, to X-cart, Zen cart, you typically buy the whole enchilada. These are all typically common online solution websites, all of which have to be convinced of the high level functionality of your product. In this case, the solutions carry out some routine testing of the online t-shirt design tools, the online graphic design tools, and give a verdict. If they approve, then what essentially happens is that they list your software on their official website and voila! Your online software is in the public domain.

It’s a fairly simple process, but it all comes down to high value performance of what you’re offering. eCommerce solutions are now the go-to-guy for most business ventures. The priceless characteristic of increased web traffic has people lining up for Search Engine submission, Search Engine Optimizations to pull them to the top of the food chain. That said, integrating your software with these eCommerce solutions typically increases your market worth based solely on increased traffic, so I say-go for it!

Finally, turnkey solutions were one of the first design softwares to integrate with Magento, and is now boasting of top of the line services to thousands of people all over the world.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 – Improved Workflow and Editing Tools

Several professional photographers and graphic artists have been utilizing the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 as their one-stop resources of photo-editing needs. It costs around $299 for initial buyers and for up graders, they lowered the price to $99.

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 and its predecessor’s main goal are for photo sorting, developing and publishing. But with its newly released third edition, it is more flexed toward photo editing with its increase noise reduction program and incredible raw processing.

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is easier to transfer images into because it grays out the files that has been already imported making it easier to sort through hundred of photos. You can even make presets for your import needs to make it easier on the future use with just a couple of clicks away.

The best changes they’ve made with it are its ability to process RAW files. Adobe was very smart to rewrite their programming on vignetting, sharpening and demosaicing functions. Some pictures don’t yield out the same results as with others, which is the usual case for all Adobe products. The noise reduction tool is very impressive in clearing out the unneeded noise of the photo but still remaining the important details

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 with its custom package can let you make pages of different colors and upload photos into these pages by customizing cells. You can simply drag these photos from the filmstrip and you can arrange these cells however you want to.

A great addition to this photoshop pack 3 is their watermark feature that any professional shooters would really agree on. You can save several preset watermarks with your copyright statement and name. You can simply import them when you need to place watermarks on your photo. This feature is really useful when you’re uploading many photos and still need to put watermarks on them. Instead of using the text tool, you already have a preset watermark to copy and paste.

Considering the upgrade done to the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, serious photo-editors should consider this program to be a part their daily squabble with photo noise and contrast. Aside from that, it improves the common function of organizing, cataloging and importing images from your computer to their software. Even the noise improvement alone is enough for it to be a worthy upgrade.