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Fourth: Clip Art, Photographs

But what about photographs and clip art? Those are expensive! Go to any typical online clip art or photo site, and you can expect to pay upwards of $300 for a high quality photo image. In fact, at Comstock, photographs start at $49!

As hard as it may seem to believe, there are many online clip art and photo sites offering free high quality images for home page use. A few standouts are Tripod Image Gallery, Free Foto, and the NOAA Photo Library, an underated government site offering thousands of science-related photographs. But the best one of all is Microsoft's site, Microsoft's Design Gallery Live, a cornucopia of clip art, photographs, and sound files-- 

And all for free!
Fifth: Fancy Bells and Whistles

Here, it seems-- in the case of adding cool effects to your site-- we have hit a snag. Let's say you want to do fancy stuff like what you've seen on the flashiest Flash-enhanced sites?

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to buy Flash to create Flash-like effects. There are many free java applets that actually mirror some of the more popular Flash effects, like slideshows and menus with rollovers and sound effects. 

But let's say that you must have Flash at any cost? Well, you could always get Flash navigation at, search for free Flash files to embed into your web site, or buy Swish, a low-end cousin to Flash MX, which only costs $49 to register. With Swish, you can't do some of the more sophisticated stuff that you could with Flash MX, but if all you want to do are simple text and image effects, it may be just what you need, and at a fraction of the cost.
Sixth-- and lastly: Community

You may be convinced up until now that there's a free alternative to most aspects of web building. However you may be wondering about message boards. Is it possible to get a free professional message board at your site, or are you stuck with the one from some online service requiring you to pay a monthly fee to remove their annoying pop up and banner ads?

It is definitely possible. How? By installing a free, high quality message board on your own server-- a forum like, say, PhpBB. That's right-- with minimal programming experience, you can actually download message board software that you can then upload to your site. What? you say-- you need php to install it and can't do it at your web host without paying extra money? No problem-- Tripod UK is a free host that has php. If you're facing the same problem when it comes to using cgi script on your site to run a free message board script you've found, you could always go to