Depending on how the forum is set up, you might also be able to use images in your posts or signatures. An image could be a picture of yourself, or something animated, or a drawing, a smiley face, anything. It’s completely up to you. However, you should keep a few important things in mind.
Keep it civil – Use something appropriate for all ages. You don’t want to use anything that might offend anybody.
Keep it small – Don’t choose an image that is rather large, which would cause every page that you use the image on to take a lot longer to load. This is very rude towards people that use slow Internet connections such as dial-up. Please keep your image size down to a few Kilo Bytes.
Keep it tasteful – Animated gifs can be fun – the first time. But after seeing the same flashing/spinning/rotating image over and over, it can get annoying very fast. Choose an image that people don’t mind looking at repeatedly.
Stick to one image – The image will usually be stored in the cache on each viewer’s hard drive and therefore doesn’t require any subsequent downloads. But if you constantly change the image, each new image needs to be downloaded again which increases page loading time.
Please keep these simple rules in mind as a courtesy towards others.
Now, in order to use an image, you need to have access to a web server where you can store your images. Most ISP’s provide a few MB of free web space to their customers. Then there are a bunch of free web space providers out there. Or maybe you have your own web site somewhere that you can upload the image to. Either way, the first step to use an image in your signature is to upload your image to a web server.
Once the image is uploaded, try to access it in your browser to make sure it works. For example, if your web site is www.whatever.com, and you uploaded the image into the images directory, and the image is called mypicture.jpg, then the address to use would be http://www.whatever.com/images/mypicture.jpg. You get the idea.
The next step is to insert the code that actually displays the image into your signature. In HTML, you would use the following syntax:
<font color=”red” size=”5″ face=”Comic Sans MS”><b>My Signature</b></font>
The <p> tag inserts a paragraph break between the two lines for some empty space.
Your signature in action
Now let’s see what this looks if we do this for real. Let’s say your forum nick name is MonkeyBoy, and you uploaded a picture of a chimpansee called chimp.gif to the web address /images. Then the code for your signature would look like this:
<font color=”red” size=”5″ face=”Comic Sans MS”><b>MonkeyBoy</b></font>
And used in a forum as your signature it would look like this: