Image Optimization

Many beautiful websites are filled with beautiful features and images that truly enhance the beauty and the sophistication of the site. The downside to an image heavy website is that images are ‘heavy’ and can take a long time to load. Delay in in loading time is not great for SEO, and definitely not great for visitor popularity. In the time it takes your image to load,the visitor is off and running to another site, without remaining around for those extra couple of seconds. Patience is not a virtue many people have when it comes to the web.

The solution to this would be to create your images and optimize them in a way that really decreases loading time. Then your beautiful and enhancing images won’t inhibit the loading time at all! Firstly you need to consider which file type is optimal for each image. Not all image files go well with all image types. To be specific, JPGs are most suited for photographic images while PNGs work best with simpler images that contain few colors or are transparent. 24-bit PNGs is the file to use for images that contain a bit of both photography and simple graphics. To further reduce file size in any image containing less than 256 colors you can utilize 8-bit PNGs.

There are other formats available but majority use the JPGs and PNGs. Easy to remember, use the JPGs for anything photographic and PNGs for everything else. Additionally if still in doubt try saving the image in both formats and compare the loading time and quality to decide which you choose.

When an image needs to fit into a specific size frame, say larger than it currently is, avoid increasing its size to fit the space, rather utilize a program such as Photoshop to resize the dimensions and decrease the overall loading time.

There also many image compression sites available. Find out your options via friends and family to feel out which ones really work. And of course once you have your images optimized and your site is nearing completion do countless test runs and invite other to participate to really glean feedback on the loading time. Be sure to check it out before you announce your ‘grand opening’ you’d much rather it that way then to find out afterwards…..