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    » » Please - dont treat my Inbox as an extension to the Profile Discussion - ask questions here in this thread! « «
    And before asking questions - please read through first page.

    Thank you!

    ------------------- ALL QUESTIONS IN PMs WILL GET IGNORED, sorry... -------------------


    Total random sidenote: Ive got a new profile. ^_^


    ...................


    I often get the question how to make profiles. Are you ones of those that want to know more about the basics of creating your own profile?
    Here Im gonna gather my most important tips and hints for everyone to read. So far Ive only worked with old school profiles so have that in mind
    when you read this small (!?) guide.

    Attention please: This is not a css coding-guide - its a help to guide you through the whole process of profiledesigning- and creating.

    Before you start reading remember that this is for you who are willing to put effort into making your own profile. It isnt for the lazy ones or for you who
    think you can have an amazing profile over one night. It takes tough work, original ideas, creativiness and time to make a profile. But the feeling of
    creating something by your own is the greatest. And the response you get from others are usually worth every minute spent. If you feel like you dont have
    the time or energy for it you can always get a free one from tektek.org or hire a profile-designer in the Personalized graphics.





    ----- To put things short I guess you can say it like this. When making profiles you usually do first graphics and then the coding. The graphics you can make in lots of
    different programs like Paint, Photoshop etc. When you have the graphics you need to add the coding. Its a clean sheet in the profile from start so you need to add all the
    coding yourself - no program does it for you. You get the codes from different css-guides that you find in this forum. You add the code you create in the emtpy box which you find under:
    My Gaia ---> Account settings --> Profile theme (Theme override). Thats for Classic profiles.



    Here is a list of what you will find in each post of this thread.
    If its only some part of profile-creating you want to know more about scroll to that certain post.


    ...........content

    [post 01] welcome

    [post 02] from idea to layout

    [post 03] making the graphics

    [post 04] hosting images

    [post 05] navigate on gaia

    [post 06] css

    [post 07] no, no, NO

    [post 08] when problems arrive

    [post 09] stealing

    [post 10] further references (links)





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    » inspiration & ideas

    Before you actually start creating anything its always good to have a certain idea of what you want with the profile you are gonna make. Ask yourself what
    kind of a feeling or theme you are looking for. Anime, music, celebrity, art, sports, any movie...? Some people think this is the toughest part of the profile-making process.
    Coming up with an uniquee idea to build your profile around isnt easy but if you find the right inspiration you cant start spinning on that. Try and figure out what
    you find interesting or funny, something that you can show others as a reflection of what you are and whats close to your heart or feelings. A good advice
    is to find one main thing to work from, having too many ideas pushed into one theme not only makes it look unpersonal but usually also cluttered and unorganised.
    Dont underestimate what you can do if you have a really good idea to start with.

    » making it personal

    This is something important. As mentioned you do want the profile to reflect who you are and your interests. You need to focus on the things you like and that is important to you.
    Looking at other peoples work may be inspirational but in the end you need to work out what suits you the best on your own. Getting advice from others can also be a
    good thing, but dont let other peoples judgements run over what you decide to do in the end. Content as well as the graphical layout are both two ways of expressing
    your real or Gaia personality.

    Everywhere you are fed with colors, shapes, words, art, figures.. from the internet, tv, conversations, people, images, clothes, music. All that makes you think and
    imagine in a certain way which makes it very hard to actually come up with an completely original idea all by yourself. Impressions that creates creativity...
    So no one should feel ashamed of browsing other peoples profiles or webdesign-sites to get ideas. Its a great way to open your mind for new things and
    I think its inevitable to not get inspired by other people or other sources. The question is just to what amount and what you do with the ideas and inspirations you get.
    There are things that you cant claim as completely yours and being open with how you work and do things is in my opinion best in the long run.
    But its a few things thats disturbing - at least thats the impression Ive gotten from most people who encounter "copying". Copying entire codes (not wrong
    according to TOS but morally not defendable...)
    , stealing images (just no no no), stealing a layout (perhaps more vague to detect but I think a creator of something
    see it straight away, just on how things are set up and displayed)
    , other details (this is really a greyzone - borders, shades of colors, fonts, individual positioning... hmm).
    Taking bits and pieces here and there no one can say anything about that. Taking lots and lots of pieces - replicating.
    I wise girl once said: there's a difference between getting inspired and being overly inspired. Have this in the back of your mind when you look around for ideas,
    no one likes copycats! Be creative on your own!

    IMPORTANT - its always nice to credit anyone or anything that contributet in any way to your profile other than yourself!
    Its not only polite towards those people its also very helpful for viewers of your profile.


    » images

    If you have a photo or an image you're fond of its a nice start to start working out of that. Perhaps you have some old avatar-art laying around? If you want you can
    always try and find a nice artist to make you some art. The Requests and Commissions is a good place to find artists on Gaia. You can pretty much find images all
    over the internet but remember to credit where you got the image from. And if you find art that someone made its always nice to ask for permission to use it
    beforehand. In case you are making a profile for someone else you always need to ask the original artist for permission to use images etc. There are plenty
    of stockimages-sites and most can be found through google. On googles image-search you can also find most you are looking for. Dont forget that Gaia
    is full of images that you can use, from the Gaia graphical sitelayout, that doesnt mean other peoples images though...

    You dont need images or avy-art to create a wonderful profile though. Working with colors, boxes, patterns etc works equally good.

    » colors

    So now you may have some ideas and/or images you want to use in the theme. But you also need a colorscheme to go with it. I usually say that 2-3 colors are
    the limit of how many colors you should use. If you add more colors than that you may risk it ending up blurry and messy. If you still decide to use a lot of colors,
    which may look great, it need to really fit with the overall idea you have. Like if its a rainbowy-theme or if you have art included that works with colorfulness. However
    sometimes if you have a strong and expressive art to focus the profile around making the rest of the graphics a bit more subtle works for the better.
    If you have art you can usually pick up some of the colors from there. Some people find it hard to see what colors goes well together and clashing colors can often
    burn peoples eyes and make the whole profile look unflattering. This and this site is good for you who wants to visualize the colorscheme before you start
    working on the graphics. Want to find the right hex-code? Try this site. (Hex-code is a code that the browser will understand as a certain color. Some colors are more
    'websafe' than others, meaning they will show up more correctly than others. example of hex-code: #ffffff is white and #000000 is black)


    » sections

    You need to decide what sections you want included and not. Having to exclude or include a certain section can both be a pain for some people. Myself I feel most
    comfortable to have less sections showing in the profile. But others feel that almost every section is important to them. Try and think through what sections that
    are important to you.

      profile (avatar) - in some profiles the avatar just dont suit the overall theme. Perhaps the profile is not as Gaia-related as others are, then the avatar seems unnecessary.
      Some people however love to match their avatar with the profile-theme or may have avatar-art included that goes with their avatarlook.

      details - in case you dont want to publically show your Gaia details (last login, joined date etc) I suggest you dont include this section. Personally I like to
      include half of the details (only the stats and not the info-part).

      wishlist - showing your wishlist can be a good thing, esp when christmas or your birthday is coming up. A lot of the times people have no idea what to give you so
      displaying a few of the things you want is nice. I put emphasize on a few since flooding your profile with items on your wishlist not only will make you look greedy
      but also the profile look tacky.

      about - this is the section I think is the most evident to include. The profile is a place for you to write something about yourself and show other people things of interest.
      Sometimes I see people that has very little about themselves and that may be ok, but in some cases it just makes the profile look empty and soulless.

      friends - personally I think that when including all of this section it requires a lot from the layout. Minimalistic profiles usually dont go well with this section.
      But if you are one of those that think the friends on Gaia are one of the most important things - sure add the friends-section.

      journal - perhaps you update your journal every day and you know many friends keep in contact with you that way - including the journal-section then comes natural.

      multimedia - in case you find an interesting, funny, suitable multimedia for the profile you have in mind I think you should include this section. But if you just want
      to add a multimedia just because you can - then dont. Sure having a multimedia play is cool but please dont add something that ruins the impression for the viewer.
      Again - think about what fits your theme.

      comments - another of the more useful sections. Letting the viewers have their reflections shown is a good thing. It makes the profile interactive and open.
      Also its fun for you to see who visits the profile.

      signature - this section can be tough to add. Perhaps you change your signature from time to time and the size of it may not be the same. Knowing how to
      make room for the signature can therefor be hard. On top of it you may have links, text, avatar-art etc in there that looks odd together with the rest of the theme.

      custom-sections - this is a pretty nifty way of adding additional things that you dont want to add in the about-section. I dont think I could ever make a profile
      without my precious quilts- and recipesections. I also want my links-sections there not only for myself to quickly get to places but also to direct visitors.
      But again, dont add a new section only because you know how to, it has to make sense for it to be there.


    Some other parts of the profile you have to decide to include or not are:
    equipped items, the speech-bubble, friends in common, avatars of the commenting people, status-buttons etc.

    All in all you have to think if the sections you decide to include adds to the theme in a good way or if it just feels unnecessary. Dont add more than necessary, dont add
    more than you are planning on using in one way or another.

    » content

    With content I pretty much mean what you add in the profiles about-section. The content is what your profile is about, perhaps you want to show some favourite art
    you have or talk about your pets or favourite band. You spice up your profile with almost anything that the viewer can read and look at. Dont think that a spiffy layout
    with complicated graphics is all that viewers see when they visit profiles. People wants to read, dig through, find links to other cool places, share things, experience,
    get to know, learn... There are really no limits to what you can do to your profile as long as you follow the general Gaia rules of course.

    When you have come this far you have thought up the most basic stuff, perhaps written a few things down. Now you need to move on to making the actual graphics.


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    » pen and paper

    Now to one of the most creative part of the process - making the graphics and layout of the profile. In case you have the theme as a clear image in your mind already
    you can head straight for the graphic program you use and start creating. But I prefer to make a simple sketch with a pen and paper first. Simply cause I want
    to know how to position everything. I rather do this than work on all the graphics and details only to find out in the end that some sections wont fit and have to redo the layout.
    (In case you dont have any fancy graphics program on your computer there are plenty of free or trial ones on the internet - see more under Further resources a bit down in this guide.
    If you look on your computer you may already have Paint installed. Its a regular graphics program, simple but then you can make most basic stuff in it.)


    » backgrounds

    Some prefer to make a main-header for the profile and subheaders for the different sections. Others make the whole background as one image and put as
    background to the content. It really depends on how you planned your profile to be set up like. There isnt any way thats better than the other and none of them are
    more easy/difficult to work with either. You can add graphics/backgrounds to:
    the content, header, body, site, all sections and their h2's (subheaders), behind avatars, as statusbuttons and their hover-overs etc etc.
    You dont have to make graphics to style all of the mentioned though, of course it also works with adding colors in the coding for them too.

    » size and quality

    Back to the graphics program. Some basic things you need to consider before you start is the size of the layout, which is dependant on if your profile is gonna be
    small, simple and neat or maybe big, complex and grand. Another things to consider size-wise is the size of the image-file when its finished. If its too heavy it
    take longer to load for people with slow connection. If you instead resize, cut or save the file smartly you can make it less heavy which will make the profile as a whole load better.
    It may lower the quality of the graphics to save in a different format but then Id rather suggest cutting the image or resizing the layout.

    » think out of the box

    There is really no limit of how to arrange the profile-layout. Its really only your coding-skills that may limit how you place and style things. You can position the
    sections on top of each other like in the default gaia-profile (old school) with a sidebar and a mainsection. You can place the sections in boxes scattered around the
    profile or positioned carefully into some sort of a pattern or shape. You can decorate behind, around, above, inside, in the headers, with borders, patterns,
    glowing, subtle, elegant, flashy... Only your imagination knows whats possible. Think colors, borders, brushes, patterns, rythm, flow, contrast - think out of the box.
    What you think you may lack in graphics-ability and talent you may gain in smart coding. There are a lot of things you can do to spiff up your profile only using css.
    Be original, innovative, stick out from the crowd. Try and find something no one else has made before. And very important take your time, dont rush through things.
    The graphics part is usually what takes the most time in my process. I carefully design the layout, look into small details, add and subtract, remake and rethink.
    Back and forth - test this and that. But I usually know when I hit the spot. Its a learning process and you get better over time. I think you really can see experience in
    a carefully made webdesign. Dont expect to be able to create the most amazing layout on the first try. Be realistic. But work it, work it...

    Ive seen unprofessional and childish profile-designers both in the PD and the Personalized Graphics going to full blossom as graphical artists in the matter
    of one year. So if you put in some time, effort and the classical blood sweat and tears I think most of you can get better and better.

    » text and subtexts

    Text somewhere in the profile always lures the viewers attention. Carefully chosen and positioned words can enchance the profiles attractiveness. Maybe you have a slogan
    or some favourite words or a short poem you want to add at the top or somewhere in the layout. Adding some main words followed by a smooth subtext makes the
    eyes flow nicely over the theme leading it to the rest of the content. Usually not any text at all makes the viewer not know what to focus on. The introducing and welcoming
    text really sets the mood of the rest of the impression. Try not adding too lengthy text-masses though. Save that for the bigger content.


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    » finding the right host

    Now that you made the graphics, saved your document/image(s) in an easy to handle format you need somewhere to host them all. You need a host thats reliable
    and that has no or a high limit of how much you can upload and generous monthly bandwidth. But perhaps most important - you want one thats free.
    There are a lot out there to chose from which are all very good but the most common and easy to use ones are:

    - http://photobucket.com
    - http://www.imageshack.us

    All you have to do is register and upload the images and grab the link that comes with it. You paste in each of the chosen image into the correct code in your css.
    More about that soon.

    » patches

    Most people with profiles also want a patch. (A patch is a small image, 50x50 pixel big, that represents your profile. Many patches makes up quilts in peoples profiles or journals
    in lack of space)
    Preferable it has the same colors or feeling to it as your profile as a whole has. The patch, of course, you also upload to the host.
    You hand out the code to friends and other people that are interested in sharing their patches with you. Patching is a nice way of reaching out to others, making your profile known. Many people are willing to share patches easily, but most people dont like it when someone demands them to patch. Its actually sometimes considered rude, people
    prefer to choose who they want to patch themselves and only cause you patched them doesnt mean they have to patch you.

    In the case that you change your profile and you want the patch to change along with it there is an easy way to solve it so that you wont have to hand out a new
    code to everyone who already patched you. Lets say you save your patch as patch.gif. You then upload it to your photobucket-account. Next time when you
    made a new patch you yet again save it as patch.gif (in a new folder on your computer preferable...), you then first delete the old patch on your photobucket-account
    and after that upload the new one. It has the same name as the old one and therefor has the same url-adress to it. It automatically updates with the new patch in
    other peoples quilts.


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    » theme override

    Now that you have the graphics and the general idea of your profile its time to head to Gaia. You need to add the graphics and start the coding of css.
    (Css is the coding-language that you use to personalize the profiles on Gaia - no html or any other language wont work. Oh except for the bb-code you use in the about-box of course.)
    It really isnt any rule that you have to make the graphics first and then start with the coding. Sometimes I make a rough test of graphics just to see if it even
    works to code. Unfortunately, as some of you know, profiles can mess up in the most weird ways without anyone understanding why. May it be images or sections
    not aligning as it should, sections not showing up at all or simply glitches. There has been times when I had to remake a whole layout cause it didnt work with the coding at all.

    Anyhow, simple guidance where to add your css-code:

    Go to My gaia ---& Account settings ---& Profile Theme ---& Theme Override

    (In new profiles (v2) you add code in: Edit My Profile --& Theme --& CSS )

    Before you start adding any code it is of course empty. Thats cause you create the code by yourself. (To find css-coding-guides check further down) The good thing
    about it is that you yourself choose how complicated you want things. Not everyone can create complex coding but anyone can create some coding.
    With css you can choose to style the font and the colors of the text and backgrounds or you can go full out and style almost the entire profile from positioning
    of sections and hover-over effects on the status-buttons.

    » other settings

    If you have your profile set on Old school you can change between four differents 'styles' of profiles; Classic, Blocks, Grunny and Custom. (You see these options under Theme)
    For the most part I recomend using Custom. That is if you decide to customize most of the theme yourself. If you want to change from Old school to v2-profiles go back
    to preferences and scroll down a bit until you see a scrollist where it says: Choose profile.

    The text (or images) you want to appear in the about-section in your profile you add if you go to Account --& About Me. Under Account you can change the content
    of most of the sections that appear in your profile like; multimedia, details, signature and wishlist. Which friends that will appear first in your friends-section you can
    edit under My Gaia --& Friends. Just select one of the friends by checking the box and choose Move to top.

    If you want comments and friends to show up in your profile its important that you set Comments to Always allow comments (yes) and Friendslist to Public viewable friendslist (yes). You do this under Account --& Preferences.

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    » coding and css

    You only make the graphics in the praphicsprogram - there isnt any program that creates the code for you.
    There is however a few features that may help you with coding - guides here in the PD (see links below) and the Firefox Webdeveloper Toolbar for instance.
    Or even sites outside Gaia that helps you with coding.


    There is no doubt about it that coding is timeconsuming. Especially in the beginning when you are learning things. When you have gotten to understand most parts of
    coding its pretty much just routine. Its good to be structured and to work logic when coding. To have control over the code makes you discover errors more easily and also
    to find certain parts of it quicker. Place everything in order and work methodically downwards in the coding, finish one thing before going to the next and so on. This
    will make the work smoother. I can recomend having some Gaia css-guides open in one browser so you can quickly switch and look if you bump into some problems.
    Also some general guides about css you can find on the net may come in handy. If you have some old codes from previous profiles youve made its always good to
    peek at those, if you know the code worked in that profile. Looking at other peoples codes can be useful if you get stuck and knows that someone has solved a
    problem you have - but please remember that taking entire codes is not the answer to truly understanding what it is you are doing. And even if it isnt straight out not allowed
    it is very much disliked among all profile-creators and others as well.

    There are a lot of different coding-languages you can use on the net. However in the Gaia profiles only css will work. So if you have a html-code or perhaps a code
    from a myspace-layout it will not work. But as most people know css is a common known language since you can use it when you build regular websites.

    To define css I took some help from w3schools-definition.

    What is CSS?

    • CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets
    • Styles define how to display HTML elements
    • Styles are normally stored in Style Sheets
    • Styles were added to HTML 4.0 to solve a problem
    • External Style Sheets can save you a lot of work
    • External Style Sheets are stored in CSS files
    • Multiple style definitions will cascade into one


    If you know html or any other coding-language beforehand you have a good understanding and should be able to grasp css quicker. Most languages has the
    same logic and basic build of how you do things.

    Please have in mind that being correct when coding is important. Every bracket is important for the code to work properly. Either if its missing or there by mistake.
    (With bracket I mean these things } but also ; and other digits are important.) Spelling mistakes can easily make the profile not show up properly or at all.
    Make sure to check and doublecheck things like this before you go asking questions of whats wrong in the code. Css is built up in a certain and logic way. Example:
    #about {background: none;}
    This tells the browser that you dont want a certain part or element (in this case the about-section) to have a background. Every code is set up in that way basically.
    It differs a bit from old and new version of profiles though. You can control a lot of things that concerns the about-section if you add other codes between the
    brackets ( these: { } ). Example:
    #about {background: none; width: 100px; height: 200px; border: none;}
    I think what I added to this code is pretty much obvious...

    » browser compatibility

    On the net and of course on Gaia people uses different browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, Safari etc). Usually they display sites very much alike but sometimes
    not and this is something you have to have in mind when coding profiles. I guess you can say that they all accept and reads css in different way. Usually there are
    no problems when you make a fairly non-complicated layout but some of the problems you can run into are:

    * filters (glow etc) and colored scrollbars (works in IE only)
    * positioning of different sections and objects (dont align the same in IE and Firefox)
    * rounded caption-corners (wont show up in IE)

    To me its cruical that you design the profile for at least the three biggest browsers out there; Firefox, IE and Netscape. I dont see the point in putting all that effort into
    a work and perhaps be missing out on a lot of users who cant view the profile properly. I know this is hard since usually when you design you do it on your computer
    and for your computer, but then please take a step back and try and view it and think of it as an outsider.

    Perhaps you are curious about how many users use what browser. Its hard to tell but I once made a poll in the PD and I got a surprisingly result that over 60% uses
    Firefox. But you should then have in mind that us PDers may be a kind of our own with a lot of browser-awareness. Next after Firefox came IE with like 20% users and
    then the rest of the not so commonly used browsers.

    » resolution

    Resolution is another things that people may disregard when making layouts. Basically its the size-setting of the screen someone has on their computer.
    It can vary a lot simply because some uses newer better screens that allows you to view larger and highquality content. However some people still own pretty old and
    bad screens which cant show a big resolution. Lets say you create a layout or a background thats 800px wide and 1000px in height. Those with lower resolution
    than that wont be able to view the layout all at once but will have to scroll down. Then again the users who has higher resolution than the mentioned size will see it
    all on the screen. You can easily see what resolution your screen are set to now by (in windows) going to your control panel --& display --& settings.
    Id say the most common resolutions are 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768.

    Usually different resolution shouldnt cause any problems in profiles but there are some occasions when this happens. Sometimes when positioning things the
    resolution affects where things show up. Whats positioned right in one resolution may end up in a different and wrong place in another. As a general rule its the best
    if you dont use layouts wider than 800pixels in profiles. That way you are assured most if not all can view the whole layout properly. Backgrounds are especially hard
    to control considering the resolution can affect how it shows up. Having a busy patterned background in the body may end up not aligning up correct and the
    pattern gets broken.

    » borders and decorations

    When I first started making profiles I made pretty much all my graphics in a graphics program first and then coded it all pretty simple. Nowadays however
    I elaborated and evolved a lot. Ive come to understand how many things you can do with just coding. Styling the text and links with font and colors and such are
    just the basics. But there are also borders, background-colors, small sections that can be adjusted. Simple things like how to display the wishlist-items or to change
    how names are displayed in the comments. The details section are another part of profiles that are worth looking into if you want to make simple changes with only coding.

    » tektek-profiles

    When taking tektek-profile codes and modifying you may think its the easy and fast way around having to understand css and sure it can be a great way to learn.
    However if you want to grow a deep understanding for css and profiles I strongly suggest that you learn and create the code by yourself from scratch. That way you
    know how to continue with not only profile-creation but also have learnt something that you may find use for outside Gaia on the net. So I say read up on the
    css-guides there is, they explain things in a very easy way. A lot of the times I see people in the PD who took a tektek-code or someone elses code who are asking
    question or requesting the most basic css-codes that in my opinion you should grasp before you start fiddling with someone elses code. Its pretty frustrating when
    people dont read the stickys and guides there are and whine when codes arent working cause they fail at the most basic stuff. Usually in the PD I answer questions
    in a manner that in some way forces the person to at least try and understand and learn what it is they are doing instead of simply handing them finished codes.



    If you are having problems understanding how to get started with the actual code read this by Elindranyth. Its mostly refering to new profiles (v2) but
    the overall logic works for all profile-coding.


Elindranyth
Gaia takes care of the necessary HTML. All you need to do is start putting CSS in.

The order you do the code in doesn't matter TOO much. The browser just applies the styles to the page in the order it reads them.

So if you apply styles to the comments, and then to the about section, it will apply them both even though generally the about section is higher up in the HTML than the comments.


The only time order matters is if you are applying a style to a bunch of sections, but then you have an exception later.

So like if you said .panel{background: purple;} but then you wanted your comments panel background to be blue, you'd have to put .comments_panel{background: blue;} somewhere in the code BELOW the purple thing.

So like this:

.panel{background: purple;}
.comments_panel{background: blue;}


If you switched it around the other way and put the exception above the overall one the exception would be overwritten because it applies styles from top of the code to bottom of the code. So you'd tell the comment section to be blue, but then you'd tell all the sections to be purple and it would end up purple.

There really isn't any set way to do things either.

Like when I make profiles, I just work my way from the top down. My first step is always to center the profile, cause I always center my profiles. Then I do the header, and set up the content columns. Then I just work my way down into smaller more specific details. I set the color of the links on the page, and for the header links if they're different. I set the background of the panels, the formatting of the panel headers, then if there's any exception panels I set the formatting for them.


It's often less confusing to go back to your code if you have like things grouped together.

I tend to code the height and such for my header, and then work into my columns, and then go back and mess with the placement of the header navigation. But even though I do it in that order, in my code, I put the header navigation code just below the regular navigation formatting. And then I put the link formatting right below that so that if there's a different color for the header links, it's still right with all the other header code.


plysch

You only make the basic graphics/layout/backgroundimage in a program like that.
There isnt any program to create the code for you.
You will have to read a guide on css (css is the codinglanguage
you use for gaia profiles).
Read what codes you need and add that to the empty box
which you find under: My Gaia ---> Account settings --> Profile theme (theme override).
It looks like this:

User Image

This is the box empty when you still havent added any code to it.

User Image

This is the box when added a code to change the header with an
image you made instead of the Gaia default one.

I know it may be difficult to know what codes to add and how to write them
but thats just something you will have to learn to be able to create a profile.
Its not easy and its not supposed to be easy either in my opinion.

That specific code that I used in my example to change the header-image
I found in this post in one of the guides I showed you.
As you can see there are a lot of different codes for different things you want to do
and change in the profile. Like change how links show up or colors of text etc.

When you have made an image in a graphics-program you save it
and upload it to a host on the internet like www.photobucket.com
for instance. The you take the link to the image you get in that host
and add it to the url in the code. The image then shows up as the
profiles "header" at the top.


    User Image


    » what not to do:

    Everyone has their own taste in how to make things and there really arent any rules when it comes to profiles. Ive seen maaaany styles with great layouts and
    not so great coding - or with average graphics and amazing coding. Ive seen people do the most common mistakes still pulling of their theme wonderfully.
    And Ive seen people who followed every advice there is and still there seems to be something missing to make the profile IT.

    There are some definate no-no's that I have to bring up that sometimes beginners seem to fall for. Im not saying you cant do it, but its just some small advice that
    my experience from rating and hearing other peoples likes and dislikes have taught me.


    • too many images
      Either in the layout-graphics as a whole or the About-section. This is a very common mistake especially since v2 came out and people easily could add
      more and more images. Simplicity is the word! The viewer dont have the patience or the interest to scroll and scroll only to view one anime-image after the other.
      They all get lost in each other and it doesnt add any charm to the profile at all. So spare us the cluttered about-sections, please.

    • scrolls
      Wanting to use one or two scroll is understandable when the room in some sections arent enough. This especially goes for the comments-section which you cant control.
      You just dont know how long comments people will make. However there is a difference in having one scroll and a total overload of them. Not only is it
      uneccassary but also very unflattering to the profile as a whole. If you want a lot of content in the about dont squeeze it all into a scroll, resize the layout
      instead or rethink if all that content is important. Again, dont think that coloring the scrolls will all of a sudden solve the problem since that only work in IE.

    • clashing colors
      Using clashing colors in the layout can look funky and cool and Ive seen it done nicely some times. But you have to be careful when choosing the colors.
      It shouldnt burn the eyes of the viewer and the theme should not look scattered and unfinished.

    • unreadable fonts
      This is very important. No one wants to stare at the screen trying to figure out what you have written. Chose a readable font-color and size
      AND make sure the texts background arent messy or in a way that you cant read the text against it.

    • autoplaying multimedia
      A lot of people use autostarting multimedia in their profiles. Ive actually gotten so used to it that Ive lowered the volume on my speakers. But to me thats just wrong.
      Other people shouldnt be able to control my "air-space" that easily. The music you chose for your profile may be awsome, but not everyone thinks so and may even
      leave as soon as they hear the music. Instead add a play OR at least a stop-button so that you provide some control to the visitors.

    • image theft
      No one wants to see this and believe me you dont want to be caught with it. Make sure you have the right to use the images in your profile.

    • too long wishlist
      Are you the bragging-kind then go ahead and add those 30 items to your wishlist. But how do you think you are percieved by other people? Isnt it better to add the 8-10
      most precious things you really want instead and perhaps even get a chance at getting them... Dont forget to clean out the wishlist from time to time.
      If you buy or get something on the wishlist - delete it.


    User Image


    » getting stuck

    This happens to everyone from time to time. Perhaps codes just wont work although you KNOW it should. Come to the beloved but sadly enough not that
    active forum for the lovers of profiles - Profile Discussion (where you are now..). Before you post a new thread you should look around. First check out the
    sticky-threads, like the FAQ, at the top of the forum - they bring up the most common questions people have. Also perhaps someone else already posted a thread with
    your question so all you have to do is read a bit in that thread? But if you start a thread please be patience - the forum is really slow so it may take some
    time before someone comes and answers but someone usually do sooner or later though. In this forum you also find the most commonly used and
    best css-guides.

    » inspiration

    Inspiration can be tough. Its not always I can find the right mood to be able to create new interesting graphics all the time. But you really learn from experience.
    Dont be afraid to play around with things. If its just blank try and take a step back and do something else for a while. Like listen to music, watch tv, a movie,
    take a walk, browse the web. Dont be surprised if it take some time to get back, we just arent on the top every day.. or week.


    User Image


    » copyright:

    All of you who have created something you feel proud of know how upset you would feel if someone copied or stole your work. Unfortunately too often on Gaia I
    see people who obviously cant be creative on their own and therefor steal other peoples work, may it be codes or images. They take the easy way out maybe
    because they dont know how to/are lazy/arent clever enough to come up with own great ideas, but most of the times they end up looking like fools when people
    reveal or see through their cheap tricks. Ive revealed many people that have taken both codes and layouts and luckily most of them have admitted and felt ashamed.
    I like to put it this way: Dont you prefer to get praised of your own ideas and work instead of something someone else has done? Isnt the feeling of having done
    something all by yourself better than taking from others?

    However, coding-theft arent reportable since it isnt copyright protected in that sense that images are. But if you see someone using your images/graphics
    dont hesitate to report them to an online mod. Make sure to backup your report with evidence if possible.

    When selling graphics/profiles/banners etc on Gaia have this in mind:
    Unless you have explicit permission from the copyright holder you may not use: commercial artwork (anime screencaps, artbook scans, manga scans etc.) artwork
    done by independent artists
    (scans, fanart, stuff you found on Deviant Art etc.) any other artwork found which you do not own (photographs, doll bases etc.).
    Example; you cant sell profiles with copyrighted images in them unless you have permission to use the images. Sailormoon is a copyrighted character that
    belongs to the company that created it.

    Adding some info about this Gaia rule in your shop is important so that customers know before they order.

    ------------------- --------------------- ---------------------

    Was this guide useful? Did I miss something? Should I add something? Found any errors?
    Just post your comments below here and I will look into it.
    Thanks for reading. =)

    And good luck in your profile-making!



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