***UPDATE MARCH 2011!***
Twitter has changed the dimensions and arrangement of the Twitter page layout. So the old template I had up here in August will NOT work anymore. You can still use it (if you created a background with it), but it isn’t going to look right. Twitter is in the process of rolling over ALL accounts to the “new Twitter.” So instead of one wide column on the left and a skinny one on the right, you will see two equally sized columns.
I’ve had several people asking me lately how to create a custom background for your Twitter page. You have a few different graphics options within Twitter when you set up your account (and you can change it at any time), but they are all pretty generic. You may have seen some great Twitter backgrounds as you’ve peeked around Twitter. I particularly love @sharpiesusan, @hoanghuynh, and @thebizguy.
It’s a great idea to have your organization’s contact information right there at the top left area of your Twitter profile. Website, cute photo, phone number, etc. should be where people can easily see and find them. The bummer is that Twitter doesn’t allow you to use HTML in those areas, so those links won’t be clickable. Your background image can have text on it, but it has to be just that–an image.
So you have a couple of options if you want to create a special background for your Twitter page! You can create one yourself using a photo editing program like Adobe Photoshop, or you can create a free one on several different websites. (Be aware that these websites will “brand” your background by placing their own logo on it).
I’ve created a custom twitter background template that you can download and use to make your own background. It’s a PSD (Photoshop) file, but you can open it in a few other types of programs as well. Once you’ve customized it to suit you, then upload it from within your profile on Twitter.
If you want to create one on a free website, a couple of good ones are www.freetwitterdesigner.com and twitbacks.com. If those don’t suit your fancy, there are lots of other sites; just search around on Google.
Another thing–if you don’t have Photoshop, but you’re familiar with it or want to try to learn, but can’t afford the pricey program (it’s really expensive!), check out a program called ArtWeaver. It’s a free download, safe software, and it works pretty much exactly like Photoshop! We’ve installed it on the computers at our adoption center and they use it to crop animal photos and do all that stuff. It’s a great free little program!
Let me know if you have problems with the background template or other questions about Twitter backgrounds (or anything else!)
Click here to download the custom Twitter background template. (UPDATE 3/2011 – don’t download this file. the dimensions are no longer correct for the new Twitter layout)
Thanks for all you do for animals.