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Image Optimization And Page Load Time

Posted by Blain | On: Sep 11 2010

Although more and more users switch to broadband internet every year, a large portion of the internet’s population is still running on a dial-up connection. Because of this it is unwise to forget about them when you’re designing your website, and a major consideration we have to make for dialup users is the load time of your website.

In General, all of the text on your website will be loaded in a very quickly even on a dial-up connection. The main cause of slow-loading sites is large images, and it is important to find the balance between using just enough images to attract your viewers and not bogging down the overall loading time of your site.

You should also go to greater lengths and optimize all images on your site to make sure it loads in the shortest time possible. What I mean is to use image editing software to remove irrelevant information on your images, and  effectively reducing the file size of your image without affecting the appearance.

If you own Photoshop, it’s obvious to you that when you save an image as a JPEG file, a dialog box will appear and lets you choose the “quality” of the JPEG image — usually a setting of 8 to 10 is good enough as it will preserve the quality of your image while saving it at a small file size. If you don’t have Photoshop, there are a ton free image compressors online that you can download to help you reduce your image’s file size.

On the other hand, you can opt to save your images in a PNG format to get the best quality with the smallest file size. You can also save your images in a GIF format — the image editing software will clip away all of the color information not being used in your image, therefore giving you the smallest file size possible. However, saving in GIF format will often compromise the appearance of your image, so choose wisely!

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