Prepare Images for Your Web Site – Part 3
2002 Herman Drost
significantly improves your site's
effectiveness. Whether your success is measured in revenue
per user, page views, unique visitors, or pure profit,
accelerating your Web site makes a huge difference.
Part 1 of this article
discussed when to use images for your
web site and what image file formats to use on the Web.
Part 2 discussed how to
optimize your images for the Web
Part 3 will present more ways to optimize your images so
your web pages will be fast loading.
Studies show that a one-second improvement reduces click-aways
up to 65%. Faster page views means more page views and a
better user experience. This leads to higher user retention
and therefore more revenue.
Here are a few ways this can be done:
Make 2 copies of your large image in your favorite image
editing software (Fireworks or Photoshop). Make a small
“thumb-sized” version of your large image and put it on
your first page. Put the large version of your image on
another page. Link the small image to the larger one. When
visitors click on the small image it will take them
immediately to the larger image.
If you want a large image to load fast, you can pre-load the
graphic on another page. Create a 1x by 1x pixel of the
larger image and insert it at the bottom of an earlier page
(it will appear as a dot and the visitor won't even know it
is there). The browser caches the image. When the visitor
arrives on the page with the large image, it appears almost
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This is where you divide a large graphic into smaller
pieces. This keeps the file size of the images smaller
enabling them to download faster. Slicing a graphic can
also help with design and layout of your web site.
Use Height and Width Attributes
for your Images.
The browser doesn't have to calculate the image size
because you've told it the height and width values
already. If the height and width attributes are not
included, the browser has to load the entire image, then
calculate its size before displaying it.
Height and width attributes are inserted automatically in
the HTML code by WYSIWYG page editors.
Don't use the height and width attributes to make a
graphic appear smaller on the page than its actual size;
this just creates a larger download time plus added
computer processing time. Resize the graphic in your image
editing software instead
and use it in your page at its true size.
Have you noticed web graphics appearing on the page
gradually in layers? As each layer appears the image
becomes clearer until it is in full focus. It gives the
viewer a rough idea of what your image will look like and
decide to wait or click onwards while the image is
rendering. On a fast connection the image will load
quickly, so you won't notice the rendering effect.
Interlaced images increase file size slightly. Only apply
it to large GIFs where the file size is less noticeable.
Use of Alternate Text
Some people surf the Web with the graphics turned off (for
faster web page loading), or they are disabled (visually
impaired people use the text-based Web). A good Web
Designer will accommodate these situations by adding the
ALT attribute to the HTML element. The ALT element allows
you to put text in place of the image so the readers have
an idea of what the image is without having to view it.
The ALT attribute will show up if your image is broken. It
can also be inserted as one of your keywords, for search
Using the Gif Wizard
This is a handy tool to reduce the file size of your
graphics.If you go to www.gifwizard.com, it will compress
your graphics online, on any platform.
Optimizing your Web Site will deliver faster page
downloads, increased page views, improved user retention,
a better user experience and therefore more sales.
Herman Drost is a Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of iSiteBuild.com
Web Site Design and Low Cost Hosting
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