Reducing Load Time Through Image Optimization

Image Optimization

Even though more and more Internet users switch to broadband every year, a large portion of the web’s population is still running on slow connections. It is therefore unwise to count them out of the equation when you’re designing your website, and a very major consideration we have to make 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 it is very important to strike a delicate balance between using just enough images to attract your users and not to bog down the overall loading time of your site.

You should also go to a greater length and optimize every image on your site to make sure it loads in the least time possible. What I really mean is to use image editing software to remove unnecessary information on your images, and thereby effectively reducing the file size of your image without affecting its appearance.

If you own Photoshop, it will be obvious to you that when you save an image as a JPEG file, a dialog box appears and lets you choose the “quality” of the JPEG image — normally 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 do not have Photoshop, there are many free image compressors online that you can download and use to reduce your image’s file size.

On the other hand, you can opt to save your images in PNG format to get the best 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 used in your image, hence giving you the smallest file size possible. However, saving in GIF format will often compromise the appearance of your image, so make your choice wisely!

How Photos Can Improve Your Website Design

Web Design Photography

Images are a powerful way to deliver any message, but to get the most out of images and photos on your website you have to use careful thought and consideration. Visual appeal is a crucial aspect of any site, and carefully placed images can help to enhance your visitors experience, reinforce a news story, help with your branding, as well as potentially increase conversions on your site.

What are Your Goals?
Good photo’s are crucial to web design and can become great sales tools if used in the right way, but placing images without any purpose, to fill bare space for example, will not benefit your site in any way as studies find that users ignore images that are irrelevant to a page’s content. Great website design caters to the needs of the user, so whether your sites’ visitors are looking for news, entertainment or to transact with you, each page on your site needs to have a clear purpose and should only have relevant, supporting images if necessary.

You can use simple checks such as whether the image helps to convey your message, how your visitors may respond to the image, and whether the image relates to your brand or services to sift out suitable photo’s to use in your website design.

Providing Information
Most online users tend to want to get what they are looking for quickly, and website photography is a useful and fast way of providing information if done properly. Sometimes the adage ‘less is more’ is true in an age where content is king, but content does not have to be waffle, sometimes website photography conveying your message to prospective clients can be more effective. For example, you can choose images that create an emotional appeal between your visitors and services, or concentrate on showing exactly what the benefits of using your products are, to potentially increase your conversion rates. Always ensure that any images you use complement the web design of your site, are easy on the eye and match the style of images elsewhere on your site to create an identity.

Use Real People to Tell Your Story
Nowadays people want to know more about where and how products they use are sourced, as well as the ethos and the people behind the businesses whose services they are using. Website photography has evolved from just being images of products on sale to become powerful tools that provide a connection between users and service providers. Use behind the scene photo’s, pictures of your stock or of how your products are made, as well as staff photo shoots to keep your users updated while creating a relationship through conveying your company’s ethos and keeping your web design and content frequently updated.

Images that use real people to illustrate a concept are priceless, if you can use an image to answer a user’s questions about your products and services, you’re on the right path to good web design.

Using photo’s effectively for better web design means you can convey your message to your visitors quickly and effectively, while carefully selected images and pictures will provide a better user experience and enhance the design of your site. Using the above information will guide you on how you can achieve better web design using photos.