How do you make Bebo skins for your account that will really stand out? How can you let your personality shine through this social networking site? The answer is easier than you might think.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Skin
First things first: you need to have an idea of what kind of "theme" you want for your skin. This may be a certain set of colors, a nice picture, or even a nationality. You can even have a logo or company as long as you don't host it on the Bebo site. There are many other sites such as BeboSkinz that will host it for you.
In fact, while you're there, you can use their free Bebo skin creation tool to make your own skin. If you don't want to take the easy way out and prefer to get your hands really dirty with the graphics, fire up Photoshop (or some other graphic editing program such as Pixlr) and get ready to create some beauty!
Seven Steps to a Bebo Skin
So how do you make Bebo skins with just seven images? You will need to create seven graphic images with the following file names in order to create your Bebo skin. The file names are important, but you can substitute .gif instead of .jpg.
- nav_bg.jpg Your first graphic needs to be the navigation background. It will end up on the lower left of your screen, and needs to be 510 x 25 pixels. Don't put too much of your theme image in this; most of it will be covered with navigation buttons. It might be best to simply use the colors from your image, and maybe some highlights.
- main_bg.jpg The main background is the primary place for your theme idea. At 760 x 375 pixels, there is plenty of room to put colors, images, words, and whatever you like. Remember, though, there will be text over this area, so you probably want to make sure that there are enough solid colors to ensure that it is readable. To make it more stylistic, you might want to make sure the edges fade to a solid background web color.
- main_footer.jpg This is the first of a few "accent" graphics. This image will be repeated over and over in a line at the end of the main summary of the Bebo site. It is only 11 x 15 pixels, so there's not room for much expression. However, it's worth playing around with to give your skin just the right highlights.
- main_icon.jpg The main icon is 20 x 20 pixels and is used much like a bullet point. It sits next to each option on the site. It can be as simple as a circle or as complex as a tiny cartoon masterpiece. It's a good idea to make it clearly self-contained, using a solid color or a border, so that it helps draw the reader's eye to the available options.
- module_header.jpg Next to the main background, the module header is probably the most visible (and therefore most important) part of the theme. There is room here (375 x 44 pixels) to add in words, images, or fancier graphics. However, keep in mind that a Bebo page is made up of modules, so it will be seen a lot on the page. If you make it too "busy," it will distract from the content. The right module header can be the difference between a skin masterpiece and an eyesore.
- module_bg.jpg The background of each module is likewise a chance to reinforce your theme with images, but again, less is more. At the very least, the top of the 375 x 50-pixel graphic should blend into the background color of the module so that the skin becomes more fluid and seamless.
- module_line.jpg The last element is the module line, which is literally just that: a line, 32 x 3 pixels. You can alter the colors and perhaps make the line dashed or dotted, but there's not much to do with this final element.
That's it! You've just created a Bebo skin! You can control the appearance of text (color, font, etc) through style sheets, but that gets a bit more complex. With these seven graphics uploaded to your personal Bebo account (through the "roll your own" directions) your creation is ready for you or anyone else to try out on their own Bebo site.
How Do You Make Bebo Skins Popular?
Once you've uploaded your skin images either to your account or to an online host, you can start to show it off to other members of the Bebo community. Blogs such as BeboLayouts will be full of people who have suggestions for improving your layout or want to trade skins with you. Bebo makes it so easy to try on other people's creative skins that you can have one for every mood, or just change with the season. It's one of many reasons millions enjoy this personalized social media site.