Not all Creative Commons licences allow for use by businesses. If you are a business, look for a tick box that says something like ‘Find content to use commercially’ when searching a
database of CC-licensed media.
Icons and symbols can be used to reduce the amount of text on a page.
media sites also have their own icons or symbols that are commonly recognised and used, for example:
These icons can provide useful signals to inform users of your presence on related social media platforms. Make sure that you use these and any other icons and symbols
according to the guidelines provided by the owners for their use.
Audio, video and animations
Including animated and multimedia content on your site can provide even more of an engaging and attractive visual experience for users.
Animated content is presented in a short, visual sequence that usually plays automatically. This can include words or images that appear and move across the screen when a user
opens a page on your website. Options for tools to create animated content include:
Flash is currently one of the most commonly used tools but has the limitation that it is not supported on many mobile devices, including the iPhone.
Animation software is usually quite expensive, and you may need a significant amount of training or practice to learn to use these software packages effectively.
Many institutes of technology or private training organisations run short courses on web application software and animation tools. Alternatively, if you are hiring a web
designer, they might be able to help in this area.
Audio and video
Video differs from animation because it is usually a recording of a real-life event.
Video can come from professional-grade video cameras, digital cameras, webcams and even smartphones.
Web users usually expect to be able to watch a video by pressing a ’play’ or ‘►’ button.
The simplest way to put video on a website is to make use of a video hosting service. These services are usually free, but may charge you if you want to use more advanced
features or host large video files.
Popular video sharing websites include:
YouTube — a large-scale video-sharing website that
supports sharing, storage, embedding and user-comments on each video page.
Vimeo — a video-sharing website with a smaller
user-base than YouTube, but with a greater emphasis on community and creativity. Organisations that are particularly interested in creating a specific look and feel for their
site may be more interested in hosting their videos on Vimeo.
The sites listed above allow you to embed your own videos (or videos shared by others) within your own website. This means that your visitors will be able to play videos, but
you do not have to worry about the cost of hosting services, which can be expensive.
Alternatively, if you want to handle all aspects of video yourself, you can host your own video. Depending on the format you choose, some users may need to
download plugins before viewing it.
Files with video content are often extremely large. You will usually need to make a compromise between the size at which the video is displayed (its resolution) and the time
it will take to download. The duration of the clip is also a factor in file size.