Website Hosting and Development

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Design your webpage with visitors in mind. Optimize your images to reduce the load time – Part 3

I know I already beat this topic to death, but I will remind you again, please take care of your web page load time. Folks with slow connection will get frustrated if it takes too much time for your web page to load.

Other than dividing your large image files into smaller chunks and reusing of your images you can optimize your images for faster load times. Currently, the most commonly used image formats are Jpeg and Gif. Each of them can be reduced in size with some simple tricks.

The JPEG file format (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is designed to compress photographs or images with continuous-tone color, such as a color gradient. JPEG format supports 24-bit color (millions of colors) and preserves the broad range of color and subtle variations in hue that characterize continuous-tone image. To optimize Jpeg image you can:

  • Use a preview option in your graphic programs to compare difference in final file size with different compression levels
  • Implement little blur effect because Jpeg format “likes” images with softer edges, fewer details and fine shades
If your image contains large areas of flat color, sharp detail (such as small type), or if you need to preserve true transparency, you should use the GIF file format. To optimize GIF image you can:
  • Reduce a bit depth in image. Gif image supports up to 256 colors. Many images can be displayed with far less color, without sacrificing the quality.
  • Crop all unnecessary white areas in the background. Gif format supports transparency, so use it freely!

One general advice for all web page image types: Reduce the size of your image (if you can of course) The smaller the image, the faster it loads.

...and stillmore to come...

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