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Image preparation for websites

Perhaps because of the growing popularity of drag ‘n’ drop web technologies where adding content and images is so easy, there is a growing ignorance of what is actually happening behind the scenes and here I am talking specifically about images.

Many web building platforms (including WordPress) allow users to import any image into a library and place that image on a page without cropping, resizing or optimizing the file size. That’s why you will so often see images loading on a web page, painfully slowly, one line at a time as you tap your fingers, hum a (long) tune and watch your bandwidth being gobbled up!

What’s the problem with web images?

The problem is that many people just don’t understand the need to prepare images before uploading them to a website. I still have calls from clients wondering why  their site is slow and that their bandwidth is almost gone before the end of the monthly reset. When I check the admin I will inevitably find a library full of huge, high resolution, uncompressed images added to pages and posts, galleries and sliders and appearing to be fine. Thumbnails show the images as lovely, perfectly aligned rectangles, sliders and carousels work just dandy and so on. BUT the poor website is screaming out in protest working overtime to present these bloated images, especially on mobile devices.

web image preparation

What’s the solution?

The answer is to deal with web images by preparing them properly.  That will involve software such as Photoshop (the industry leader) or at a push freebies like Paint or The Gimp etc. It also involves learning that software and how best to apply the editing features to get the very best from your pictures. This can be done by anyone but it does involve money and willingness to learn. Designers will have that knowledge and facility already so it’s a choice between paying for a few hours work or DIY.  I always offer my clients that option but I know that a certain number will end up coming back to me as it’s not always plain sailing and does involve a good understanding of web site requirements.

When in doubt … ask Paul 07788 931 511

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