One of the most important aspects of a website (and one of the defining factors that suggests whether it is successful or not) is its speed. Users do not like to sit around waiting for content to load, so it is important to ensure that this is done as fast as possible, otherwise you risk users leaving quickly. Images cause most of the problems surrounding speed, but this can be fixed up during the web development process.
There are a number of ways throughout the web development process that you can ensure your images do not slow down a website, including:
• Image format
Whilst most developers will have their own opinions about which format increases speed, the general rule of thumb is that JPEG’s are for photographs, GIF’s are for low or flat colour images, and PNG’s are for everything else. These images will save much smaller and lighter than others.
• Image code
Letting the code size an image is one of the biggest mistakes that a web developer can make – if you can do it yourself, then do it. Otherwise, the server will skip over everything else in a page because it sees a task that it has to accomplish – slowing everything down.
• Server optimization
As anyone with any experience with web development should know, you shouldn’t store large image loads on your server. Use other technologies, such as Flickr, to do this for you. As well as speeding up the load time of your pages, it also makes diagnosing other issues much easier.
By ensuring that you take the above considerations into account during the web development process, you can go a long way towards ensuring that your website loads much faster. Remember to keep an eye on your image format, your image code and your server optimization for the best possible results.