Despite the fact that more and more Internet users turn to broadband each year, a large section of the web’s population continues to run on good old dial-up connections. It is therefore not very wise to count them out of the equation when you design your website, and a very major consideration we have to make for dial up users is the time your website takes to load.
More commonly, all the text on your website will be loaded in a very little time even on a dial-up connection. The culprit of slow-loading sites are mainly large images located on your website. It is therefore very important to strike a delicate balance between using the sufficient amount of images in order to attract your users and not to bog down your site’s overall loading time.
You should also try to go to the extent of optimizing every image on your site in order to ensure that it loads in as little time as possible. What I really mean is to make use of image editing software in order to remove unnecessary information on your images, and thereby effectively reduce the file size of your image without affecting its appearance at all.
If you own Photoshop, it will be quite obvious to you that when you save an image as a JPEG file, a dialog box will appears and let you choose the “quality” of the JPEG image — Usually a setting of 8 to 10 will be good enough as it will preserve the quality of your image whilst saving it at a small file size. If you don’t own Photoshop, there are many free online image compressors that you can download and make use of in order to reduce the file size of your image.
Alternatively, you can choose to save your images in PNG format in order to get the best quality at the smallest file size. You will also be able to save your images in GIF format — the image editing software will clip away all the color information which is not used in your image, therefore giving you the smallest file size possible. Nevertheless, saving in GIF format might quite often compromise the appearance of your image, so make sure you make the wisest decision.
James Reid is contributing editor at WebDesignArticles.net. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.