How should you format your images for web?

A picture may speak a thousand words; however, if it is not formatted correctly for your website, it may never get the chance to say anything at all. Pages that fail to load swiftly are often abandoned by web users accustomed to receiving instant gratification. If your web pages do not load instantly, you could be alienating the very people you are hoping to impress.

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When you consider that most of the ‘weight’ a website carries comprises images, it is easy to see how a failure to format these images correctly can contribute significantly to slow loading speeds. Anything that encourages your website’s images to load quickly and easily is therefore of paramount importance.

Search engines focus on speed

According to Forbes, Google is only too well aware of the problems caused by slow-to-load imagery. The search engine giant is currently hard at work perfecting a JPEG encoder, which is designed to shrink image file sizes by over one-third without affecting overall image quality.

Web designers understand the need for fast-loading sites. Search engines take a dim view of sites that are slow to load and rank them accordingly. For most business owners, studying the format of image files can be a step to far, but luckily there are any number of professionals only too willing a lend a hand without demanding hefty fees. Whether you are looking for web design in Sheffield or Southampton, you will find experts such as to ensure that your site features with search engines for all the right reasons.

Understanding compression and image manipulation

For those who like to update their own sites, you need to understand the importance of compression and formatting of images to obtain the highest-quality image at the maximum load speed. There are three main file types:

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– PNG offers the highest quality, but the files are very large.
– JPEG allows you to adjust levels for the optimum balance of file size and quality.
– GIF is very basic, utilising just 256 colours, making it the best choice for animations.

Using software such as Adobe Photoshop and Affinity Photo, you can manipulate your images to achieve the appropriate levels of compression and quality to ensure that your pages load smoothly and quickly on every device.

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