Optimising the images for use on your new website is an important part of good website design and use and it is best to do this before uploading them.
Why should you optimise an image.
- Most modern digital cameras produce images of several MB in size. This is much larger than you need and will slow down page load speed particularly for any one browsing with a slow connection. Slow page load speed is guaranteed to frustrate visitors and cause them to move on and may also harm your page ranking.
- There are many image formats available but not all image formats are supported on the web.
- Most computer monitors display images at 72dpi (Dots Per Inch).
- Images are usually the slowest part of a web page to download and display.
If you want to make your website load fast then you need to optimise any images that you use.
How do you optimise an image.
The best way of optimising an image is to use a program where you can compress the image, reduce it’s resolution and save the image in a format suitable for your website. There are many programmes that can do this including Adobe Photoshop as a high end product to free photo editors.
Free photo editors may include Picassa, Irfanview, Gimp, Paint.net, PixBuilder Studio and many others that are available for download. Some of these are quite powerful but also complicated to use so if this is new to you, try one of the simpler ones such as PixBuilder Studio from WnSoft Ltd.
When you have decided on an image editor you will need to optimise your image to make it ready for uploading. This process is usually quite easy and it is just a matter of importing your image into the image editor and re-saving it to a suitable format, size and quality.
For photos, jpeg is the preferred format and image size is largely your personal preference as to what looks best on your website and if you intend the image to enlarge when clicking on it. My preference is to set the maximum image size to 700px (pixels) on the longest side and at 72dpi.
Another important point to note is to make sure that you title your image with a meaningful name. This is important for SEO reasons. An image file with a name such as dsc_2433 is totally meaningless for search engines. Give your images meaningful names and descriptions.