PixelClerks

Using Image Backgrounds



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Using Image Backgrounds

A lot of sites, like PixelClerks, tend to have a blank white background. These make the content extremely easy to see and read and helps to avoid any confusion for the user. But other sites like to use image backgrounds with maybe a container over it in the middle that has the content inside it. The container ensures that the content is still readable even though there is an image background. Do you guys like to use image backgrounds? Or do you like to keep it simple with a colour background?

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wiseagent

I think it totally depends on the niche that your blog / webiste will have. In some of them, I think these background images are very interesting, but in some cases they're totally exaggerated and out of context (and I particularly find this very annoying).



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DarthHazard

Definitely. I think a problem with a lot of blogs and sites is that they tend to use image backgrounds when it is not suited for the site. I've been on several sites where they have used an image background and it makes it almost impossible to see the actual content of the site. This was extremely popular around 8-10 years ago when people were creating basic sites and thought image backgrounds were "cool".



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wiseagent

The visual exaggeration is something that bothers me a lot, especially when the image doesn't match with the contents of the blog / website.

Prioritizing a possible beauty of a blog / site instead of your niche / content is a death announced for the project (because it certainly won't last for long).



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JoeMilford

I am glad that trend towards the over-image based sites is coming to a close. For my personal taste, especially considering I ma such a content-oriented guy, I can't think of a website concept where the over use of images in the background WOULD be a good approach.



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wiseagent

I think soon this trend will come to an end because people are realizing how unnecessary this is. The technological advances bring new possibilities and in this way, the thoughts change as people become influenced by them.

The question remains: will people be influenced positively or negatively?



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cmoneyspinner

I have experimented with using image backgrounds. They're OK. But it's probably because my eyes are not as good as they used to be. I prefer a plain background because the image backgrounds make my eyes work extra.

So if a person has weak eyesight, they will probably be influenced negatively.



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Painterly

This is a very solid answer! I've been to many sites which are clearly created by clever graphics designs students, but who did not take subject matter into consideration. If I'm on an informative site, such as a recipe collection or a tutorial for a construction project, I want my information now! That means I don't want to have to visually sift through clutter and splashes of color all over my screen to find the relevant data I've come to consume. The right amount of imagery can be a huge boost and keep my interest in a particular site. Too much of it and I'll walk away in a heartbeat, regardless of the quality of the primary content.



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mdbree17

I couldn't agree more. That's why sometimes it's hard to navigate when it's too crowded and too colorful. Not unless they specify a color with its usage.



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wiseagent

It's something that particularly irritates me a lot, because even if it all makes sense: less is always more. After all, there has to be a balance for everything (although many people unfortunately ignore this).



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mdbree17

Yes, less is always more. Glad to hear from a man. I often hear those words from a vision of a woman. Overall, it should be simple and easy to navigate. It shouldn't be more colors than even the rainbow itself will be jealous. Lol



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wiseagent

Honestly, I hate those hyper colored things, haha. I can see more beauties in the simplest things (in a broader sense of life). "Less is more" is one of the most important rules of my life and as far as possible, I try to teach this to other people who live with me.



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mdbree17

That's a very good thing for the people around you. You're teaching them how to live simple and happy.



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vinaya

I also believe that the niche of your blogs and website determines whether to use a white background, plain color background or image background. If your blog and website contain text that need to be read than having a white background is very appropriate. It is easier to read when the background is white. If your website has contents that need to be viewed, image background can be good. Image background looks good on travel website.



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Martinsx1

Personally, I prefer white blank background just like pixelclerks because of its enhancements of write-ups. It gets my edgy when a particular background image is imparing the clarity of what I'm trying to read or write.



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Baburra

I dislike this practice and I advise against it almost always. Thankfully, these days, people are much more knowledgeable about this and do tend to just use plain backgrounds. I think having a picture background is just too distracting and while it can be used correctly, unfortunately most of the time people don't do the right types of moves that can make it work. For me, if I were to use a picture background, I will most likely put up a plain second background to serve as a spacer to make the text more visible again.



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wiseagent

I think this was just a big problem when it was seen as something new and everyone wanted to try, try, try to get it right to do something decent at least.

Nowadays, using a photo as background is seen only as a support point, however... It still gives margins for many mistakes and exaggerations.



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mdbree17

Just because it's the trend now, that's why they're so eager to try it. Never knowing what will be the impact.



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Baburra

I think using photo backgrounds can be done but only when done correctly. Bing, for example, uses photo backgrounds on their page, but they are only able to do that because there's only really the search bar you have to focus on. For any other site that has multiple buttons, it would be best to just keep a plain background as much as possible, in my opinion.



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JoeMilford

I agree with you here as well. Why ever distract your audience or potential audience from your content with over-active or bust backgrounds? Taste is important, and I think that less is more and content is king. I think that the over-active background is always a poor choice and poor practice.



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JoeMilford

I also agree that the picture background is too distracting at blogs especially. When I am going someplace primarily for the content, I just ant to focus on the words. There are other types of blogs or sites where I think imagery is more appropriate or significant, even necessary, but at most blogs I like a minimalist design and an ease of feel as I peruse the articles, threads, or commentary.



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JoeMilford

I like plain backgrounds as well. They make the content stand out more, and this also emphasizes that the content is the focus of the site in the first place. I have been to a few forums lately with very busy and "loud" backgrounds, and this really turns me off, to be honest. Sites like this one, for example, are doing it right, if you ask me. An elaborate background is not necessary, nor is it practical. I am a minimalist at heart, I must admit, so I like things stripped down in the first place; however, I do think that people should not design their sites with decorative or distracting backgrounds, just as a general policy.



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wiseagent

Minimalism is also on my list, Jon.

I always like to take care of all the details (however small they may be) in the best possible way because for me, everything within the project is very important.

Plus... Often, the small details make all the difference. Using Image Backgrounds



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JoeMilford

I agree about the details, but I find this can be troublesome for me because I am such a perfectionist. You sound like you might also be wired a bit the same way. Making final decisions on the small details is tough because I feel like I can always improve on what I have done, but you just have to stick with your best decision and go with it and not overly obsess.



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wiseagent

I think that making the final decision of any project is always something very tricky because the feeling of being able to do something better is always constant.

It's like a hammer in our mind: "You can do better than this... You can do better than this", haha).



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JoeMilford

Right--and I honestly think that I am a bit OCD. Seriously. It can feel like no project is ever finished, and that you have to constantly keep editing. You just have to learn how to let things go and to let your projects flourish on their own. You are most likely being just too hard on yourself half of the time.



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wiseagent

Sometimes I think I exaggerate and become somewhat paranoid about this "perfection" in writing, but it's something I can't help myself. I would like to learn how to write and "get rid of" things quickly, haha!



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mdbree17

And when that hammer strikes, boom! It sometimes ruins it. right? The irony.



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Yellow701

It was a trend before, to put an image background to sites for it to look beautiful, but now's different. If we look again to those sites, it seems boring now, because the trend now is minimalism. Even Microsoft has gone minimalist, you can see that in the difference of the logos and icons of Windows 7 and 10. As for the question, I would say that I like to keep it simple with a color background, preferably white, because for me personally, I love simplicity.



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JoeMilford

I wonder why most of us are leaning towards minimalism now these days? I too love simplicity as well. Also, I prefer a white background with black writing on it. Sites that have different colored backgrounds, tiny fonts, and fonts in odd colors are tedious and hard on the eyes, if you ask me!



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Baburra

I think it looks way better as well. Probably, Apple had a lot to do with the trend because they got really popular and their marketing and packaging always looked very high end because of the minimalist style. I do prefer it as well and am glad that it is the trend now because even back in the day I always thought that having an image as a background seemed too gaudy and always just got in the way of the text in front of it anyway.



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treecko142

The trend nowadays is more about having a minimalist style. I personally prefer plain color backgrounds, favoring the lighter colors more with the exception of black, and finding a good contrasting color for the text.



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Martinsx1

I have seen some websites and blogs use image backgrounds and I must confess that as much as it looks beautiful, it's very annoying at the same time. The only place I would appreciate an image background is on my personal chat messenger with close friends of mine and not on a website or blog.



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DenisP

I'm not at all a fan of using images as backgrounds. I can understand using images as banners or perhaps including images to enhance the quality of a post, but as backgrounds when you're trying to read? Absolutely not. It can be a real strain on the eyes to read anything that has an image as a background, and sometimes it's nearly impossible. The only way to guarantee text is readable with any background is the make it white with a black stroke around it, and that just looks awful.



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Martinsx1

This is very true, if the picture used is very big, it's definitely going to be hampering the visibility of content in the site and matters would even be worse if the poster is making use of eye glasses to read. If a picture must be used, it better be of average sized that would hardly pose any problem to readers and posters as well.



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DenisP

As someone with a background in graphic design, I can say that I generally abide by a personal rule that text and vibrant backgrounds simply do not mix together. Perhaps one can use images as headers, footers, or borders in some way, but anything that intends on being read absolutely needs to be separated. Solid color backgrounds with contrasting text is fundamental and is universally used. Why? Because it is simply the most comfortable reading experience.



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Soulwatcher

My website has a image background that is very pleasing on the eyes. And I also think that it gives it a huge boost to the overall visual of the website. But it's a gaming website, having said that this website's white background fits it well.



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DenisP

I like the way you've done it with your website, and that is for several reasons. For one thing, the background image remains static while you scroll through, looking for and reading different forum posts. This dynamic take on it doesn't strain the eyes and makes it a satisfying browsing experience. Not to mention that the colors of the background image compliment those used on your site's user interface, which is great because having a cohesive color palette is incredibly important in good webdesign.



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Soulwatcher

Thank you Dennis its always nice to get a compliment on my website. It probably took over 100 hours setting everything up and changing things around to get it where it is today. It use to look totally different, I changed the wordpress templates may times until I found the one that I liked and I changed the Xenforo templated 3 times. All in all I am very proud of my website and how it turned out.



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Martinsx1

Over 100 hours invested in putting your website design to the best taste that you desire is not an easy task. If it's not someone who is not willing and determined to give the best to his or her website, I bet that getting at 20 hours mile working on the site, the work would be abandoned to be the way it sees itself.



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iamawriter

I go by what I experience while surfing the Net for information. Those pages that have fewer images or background images open faster. Keeping this in mind using an image background for my work I would think twice as I am sure others would skip looking at my work if the pages take long to open. I would concentrate more on the quality of my work.



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Soulwatcher

You can always optimize the images for the web. But you're 100% right, some websites have this huge background that they uploaded and other huge images that they have uploaded and the website takes forever to load. Those websites are a turnoff for me was well.



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iamawriter

It is time the world knows that 'loaded' pages have no demand while informative pages are what viewers search for. That makes me wonder whether learning the art of graphic designing is useful at all in the end.



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treecko142

It always helps to check other websites when deciding on what type of design you want for your own website. It helps provide a visual representation of what you prefer when browsing and you can then apply the technique on your own site.



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nnacrter

Using image background makes the content more meaning to tell. It also create a story or brief for the introduction. Images usually tells all ideas of contents.



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kammy143

It depends. Sometimes having a background image adds flair to the site. It helps on identifying the kind of brand I am selling of interested in. Sometimes minimalism also works, having a one or two toned background helps in making the content readable and easy to find. Having a background image or not, It is important to consider the proper placing of widgets, contents and the readability of the contents.



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vinaya

If your website has content that needs to be read, having white color back ground makes it easier for reading. However, if your website has contents that need to be viewed, having image in the background can be very effective. There is a difference between reading and viewing. An article needs to be read, a photograph needs to be viewed. having a plain color background is also good for the website that needs engagement.



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ballyhara

I do like simple, classical backgrounds. Usually a lot of colors and images on the back, tend to look like disorder. Maybe some natural images like the ocean, or a forest, maybe a nice mountain view, can make it work too. But all those geometric shapes, neon colors, and specially things moving or flying around the website, definitively those are big no no.



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Barida

I don't really have much preference when it comes to background colors of sites. It's all about having that special connection with each forum that we join and try to interact and share ideas on those sites. Pixelclerks did a wonderful job with the white background color as well.



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vinaya

I think if you want your visitors to be readers, then having a white background is better because white background makes easier to read the text. If you have images in the background, reading will be difficult.
However, if your website does not contain reading material and it is more of a showcase kind or ecommerce site, than image based background can be a better option.



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ballyhara

Agree, a simple background makes reading easier, and cause less distraction. I know what you mean with difficulty while checking a website, usually people confuse modern design with excessive one. So more often than not, you will find sites completely covered in animations, adds, flying things, and lot of stuff like those. Also, as you say, it depends on the purpose of the site, but for a commercial, serious business, a simple background is the best to have.



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Barida

You are right in the sense that the white background used by some sites makes everything easy for those that wants to be part of it. There has been reports by people that don't like some colors on websites, but I doubt this is the case when we talk of white background which is almost generally accepted.



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vinaya

I don't think using a background image on the website that is basically a blog or content website is a good idea. If you have an image in the background, there will be a lot of distraction while reading. However, image background works better if your site is an online store or business website.



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mildredtabitha

I really like using image backgrounds but I never see that option on my site. I do not know how people get to put the image background. I still feel the white background is okay especially for a site like pixelclerks because we can be able to read and see every post and each user without having to strain.



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Krisleen

As a person who loves art, I like the idea of using image backgrounds but I want to make sure that the contents will still be readable. Image backgrounds give an attractive look that is enticing for readers. It is also important that while keeping the readability of contents, the background image should also be relevant or something that gives support to the contents. Basically, quality contents with very attractive aesthetics can be a great combination that catches the interest of readers.



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treecko142

Yeah, people should learn how to strike a balance between content and images in a way that the image complements the actual text without overpowering it and becoming too unnecessary.



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romyter013

Yes I agree its still defends on how you use or appreciate the image you can view on the background. Yeah what they used here are really simple but this is very helpful to read properly and concentrate to answer the topics and its very neat for my eyes. Some are created very artistic like when you move your cursor, the backgrounds moves too like water and that's very relaxing for me too.



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anjanetteclyde2

Well for me, It depends. Using image backgrounds are sometimes helpful to a certain content or topic. There are blogs or sites that I saw used this but turns out to be so nice and creative. They get to attach the perfect image as a background highlighting out the perfect point of the blog without hurting our eyes, sacrificing beauty or neglecting the content. Though personally, I would still go for an image like widgets on a blog where it doesn't cover or occupy most of the space. In that way, I will be able to check out and focus on the content first before browsing the displayed images. Because sometimes, I tend to click and enjoy the images leaving me no time reading the content. Hehe Using Image Backgrounds



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Adesuwa08

Using image backgrounds in your blog, forums or websites firstly depends on your needs and taste for it, there are some people who keep it simple and artistic while others prefer the luxuries of good images placed on their background.

Apart from your presence and taste your type of blog and contents matters with the background, a fashion blog or forum cannot keep it simple because images with background is what they represent, always remember that viewers have differences either you put on an image background or just black and white it depends on your blogs/forums/websites on the content of it.

To me I prefer to keep it simple my field is just simply on writing, and my books with articles that's all so my blog isn't all that filled with image backgrounds.



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Barida

I totally agree with you that some of the sites that used heavy color background must have been because of the goals which the site wants. This is different from what you say when a site is just there to pass information. Just like you mentioned the fashion blog, it is necessary that they used the background that depicts what they are into since it is the first impression they pass to those who visit the site.



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