Optimize Your Images To Reduce Load Time

This post was written by Internet Marketing John on September 2, 2009
Posted Under: Website Usability

When designing your website, it’s a good idea to optimize your images to reduce load time.

Although the amount of Internet users who switch to broadband increases every year, many people still use landline telephone dialup connections to access the Internet.

There are many reasons for this, but cost and the availability of broadband connections in rural areas are the main reasons.    In any event, you should not discount these users when you’re designing your website.

Since load time is a primary consideration of dialup users, optimizing your images to reduce load time will keep you from losing potential customers due to a slow loading website.

Usually the text in your website will load in a very short period of time regardless of what type Internet connection is being used.

The problem, and primary culprit of a slow loading website, is with larger images and banners you may have on your site.

These large images will bog down a dialup connection, and normally cause long delays in load times.

It’s important to balance the number of images you use to attract potential clients to your website, with the amount of time it takes to load these images via a dialup connection.

Don’t mire down the overall load time of your site with too many large banners or images.

You should spend some extra time and optimize your images to reduce load time by using image editing software.

This software can remove unnecessary information from your images, and also reduce the file size of your large images, without affecting the actual appearance of the image.

The format that your image is saved in, and ultimately published to your website, can affect the load time, and the quality of the images.

Photoshop, and other free photo editing software such as InfanView, allows you to manipulate your images to achieve the best qualities for your website.

When you save an image as a .jpeg file with Photoshop, you can choose the quality of the .jpeg image from the dialog box when it appears.

Normally when you apply a setting of 7 to 10, the quality of your image is preserved, and your file size is kept small enough to allow a dialup connection to load reasonably fast.

Play with the file size, and optimize your images to reduce load time or even change the file format until you get an image that loads quickly.

Saving your images in .png format will give you the least file size with the best quality.

If you save your image in .gif format, the imaging software will remove all the color information not used in your image, and give you the smallest possible file size.

This format will often affect the image’s appearance, so depending on what type image you are using; you may, or may not choose to use this format.

Regardless of what file format you use, if you optimize your images to reduce load time, you will have a website that will load quickly with even the slower dialup connections.

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