The Need For Image Optimization

by Ferdinand Emy

Even though more and more Internet users switch to broadband every year, a large portion of the web’s population is still running on good old dialup connections. It’s therefore unwise to count them out of the equation when you are designing your website, and a very major consideration we have to make for dialup users is the loading time of your website.

Generally, all the text on your website will be loaded in a very short time even on a dialup connection. The culprit of slow-loading sites is mainly large images on your website, and its very crucial to strike a delicate balance between utilising just enough images to attract your users and not to bog down the overall loading time of your site.

You should likewise go to a greater length and optimize every image on your site to insure it loads in the least time possible. What I truly mean is to employ image editing software to remove unnecessary info on your images, and thereby effectively reducing the file size of your image without affecting its appearance.

If you own Photoshop, it’ll be obvious to you that when you save an image as a JPEG file, a dialog box appears and lets you select the “quality” of the JPEG image — commonly a setting of 8 to 10 is good enough as it’ll preserve the quality of your image while saving it at a small file size. If you do not have Photoshop, there’re many free image compressors online that you can download and employ to reduce your image’s file size.

On the other hand, you can opt to save your images in PNG format to get the optimal quality at the least file size. You can also save your images in GIF format — the image editing software clips away all the color information not utilised in your image, hence giving you the smallest file size feasible. Notwithstanding, saving in GIF format will constantly|oftentimes|ofttimes compromise the appearance of your image, so make your choice wisely!

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