How to Create Images for Your Website

A question I've been asked often lately is "how do you create the images and graphics for your posts?"

I've always tried to add a visual component to all of my posts and pages, but with image licensing issues and complicated design tools, it's not easy to create visually appealing posts without wasting a lot of time.

In this video, I present a simple (and free) solution anyone can use to create better website graphics.​

More...

​Click here to start using Canva, the free tool demonstrated in the video!

In case you're wondering: my preference for visual content isn't just arbitrary. Here's an infographic with some reasons why design and images matter for any online business:

Visual Web Infographic

View larger version and sources here.

With Canva, you have an easy tool that lets you tap into the benefits of visually rich pages and content without needing a designer or Photoshop.

Some other free image editing tools that you should know about are:

Update! Here are some more great tools and resources suggested by readers (see comments below):

  • ​PicMonkey - an alternative to Canva, suggested by Eric.
  • YouZign (beta) - another online image editing tool, recommended by Karim.
  • iPiccy - a simple photo editing tool recommended by Marlene.
  • Unsplash - get fantastic photos, free for commercial use (recommended by Steve).
  • Pixabay - a huge collection of free for commercial use images that I like to use.

Do you have other tools or apps you love to use for web images? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Shane

Author: Shane Melaugh

Shane Melaugh is a co-founder and the CEO of Thrive Themes. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome WordPress themes & plugins, he likes to geek out about camera equipment and medieval swords. He also writes about startups and marketing here.

  • Abdul says:

    Hi Shane,
    i have been using canva for a while and its a great tool to design images for my blog.You said in video that you can only choose predesigned dimensions but i think you didn’t see it.If you look at the top right in graphic selection menu.There you will have an option to use custom dimensions so you can make your image at any size.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for this comment, Abdul! Indeed I didn’t see that option, but it’s great that custom sizes are also available.

  • Eric says:

    Picmonkey.com is another great alternative to canva….

  • Karim A says:

    Hi Shane,

    Excellent resource, Canva is amazing!

    I am using youzign.com and its also a great tool (but still in beta). It helps me to get going with tools and come up with something looking good to start.

    Being graphics savvy, it’s a great help.

    Thanks

  • Howard says:

    Super! Getting suitable images (cheap) is something I have struggled with for some time now. This is something I can recommend to my guest authors on some of my guest-author blogs.

    …and I see that Canva doesn’t even have an affiliate program (yet). Yet another instance of superb content just given away!

    …which is why, when I see an email from Shane Melaugh, I open and read it immediately.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Howard! For high quality free photos, check out Unsplash and Pixabay. Those plus Canva should have your and your team armed with all the images you’ll ever need. :)

  • Debra says:

    Shane, I’ve used Canva.com for over a year now. It’s very easy to use. However, there are a couple of issues that I find frustrating. One, it cannot provide any transparent backgrounds. That’s a major limitation for me. Two, there is not an easy way to create a drop shadow for text. Also, I fairly regularly run into issues where the system has glitches and I have to return another day to do my work. That’s pretty frustrating when I’m dealing with a deadline. Other than that, I really love working with it. It’s a whole lot easier than Photoshop.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for this comment, Debra! As you can tell, I didn’t use Canva as extensively as you did, so I’m grateful that you’ve added some more details as a long-term user. :)

  • Canva is great! It has made the world of nice looking web graphics accessible to all. GIMP is overkill for most people, and confusing to learn, unless you’ve got Photoshop experience. What I recommend to image editing beginners is iPiccy.com.

  • Cathryn W says:

    Canva is fantastic. I’ve been using it since it came out. Mostly their templates work beautifully for me. Occasionally I need something with specific dimensions, and they make that easy to create. Canva is very service oriented. Like Thrive, they respond quickly to questions and requests.

  • Cathryn W says:

    P.S. Canva also has excellent tutorials – another thing they have in common with Thrive Themes.

  • Steve Cockrane says:

    I just recently came across Canva and I’m loving it! One resource I’ve found for beautiful free stock images is unsplash.com

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, unsplash is a great source for images. I’ve added it to the post, along with Pixabay, which I also like to use.

  • MamaRed says:

    Hey there Shane…nicely done (as always)…and yup you can use custom sizes and I see that was noted below. I’ve created a couple of list.ly lists with both tools and places to find images. I’m sharing the links here (hope that’s kewl!)
    Here’s one for images: http://list.ly/list/U9c-free-images-to-build-your-business

    And here’s one for some tools: http://list.ly/list/6Ud-lots-of-free-tools-for-turning-quotes-into-pictures

    Hopefully those will help you and others!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for the additional resources!

      • MamaRed says:

        You’re very welcome…wasn’t sure about adding links and figured you would take them out if it wasn’t kewl! Many blessings for the New Year.

  • André says:

    Yo Shane,
    the best thing I came across is shareasimage. It is not a free service, but in my opinion one of the fastest (awesome work- and shareflow). Also really great for creating pics on your social sites.
    Keep up the great work und einen guten Rutsch! :-)

    André

  • Tip says:

    For many years, I have been using a free software called “Paint.Net” which can be found online at http://getpaint.net. This powerful software is very easy to use, yet is powerful enough to give you layers, transparency, masking, etc. It can use and create Adobe PSD files. I finally bought Photoshop this year, but because of its complexity, I still use Paint.Net for much of my work.

    For vector images, I use Inkscape (also free), but this is more difficult to use than Paint.Net.

  • Great, I was looking for such type of site. After visiting Canva it seems web designing is easier than before. Thanks.

  • Phil B says:

    Hi Shane,
    I had heard of Canva, but had no idea how good it was until I watched your video.
    A quick use of the app would be to do quick updates of your social media cover images to coincide with the various major holidays, thus keeping your FB, Twitter, etc., pages fresh.
    And, yes, I am a charter member of the Capable of Creating Horrible Graphics Club.
    Best to you,
    Phil

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, good point. This must be one of the easiest ways to create these social cover images I’ve ever seen.

  • Steve Sims says:

    These are all more photo-based tools & websites rather than images or graphics. Is anyone aware of a more graphic based resource out there for things like icons, flat websiet graphics and the like?

  • Rhonda Laws says:

    Canvas is exactly what I have been looking for! Thank you!!

  • Gopi says:

    This is really i am looking for…

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