SEO Report Card: Auditing Your Website For Common Mistakes (Part Two)

Nov 29, 2013

How Image Selection Plays a Significant Role In Web Design:

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”  This saying also applies when developing a website. There are many options for adding imagery to the site. Something as simple as a beautiful flower can enhance the viewing experience. Some clients choose an image gallery to allow many images, while others prefer showing off only a few changing images on the home page. Whichever method is chosen we suggest that you choose only top quality images, royalty free and friendly for a pleasing web experience.  If company images are chosen (those are normally taken with your own camera) consider the image quality before going forward.  Bad images on a website is one of the top common mistakes that website owners make.  These hastily prepared images of low quality,  can quickly destroy the web experience and determines the overall professionalism of any website.

Company Specific Images:

Research to find the best imagesIf you have specific company images and want to represent the company in this way,  just be sure the images are not blurry or badly lit.  Consider each image, the quality and the message the image suggests.  Creating a short marketing message is a great way to introduce the company and main services offered.  Choose the best photos for the home page since they may be the larger images. Other small images can be placed on other pages of the site. Remember all images are public and if you do not have permission to use these specific images, it is best to forego this option. Get permission for all images to be safe with liability issues.  Further, if the company specific images are not worthy of displaying on the site, hire a professional to come by and take some great images of the facility, staff headshots, etc.  This can greatly enhance the value of your site.

Why Consider Royalty Free Images?

This is the choice for many clients who prefer no liability issues. Royalty free images can be found on many stock image sites on the web and are available in any size needed. They are cost-effective and can be used for all pages of the site.  The greatest advantage in using royalty free photos is that there is no need to obtain permission from the photographer or the subject.

What About Image Download Time?

To save on download time, images which are not going to be displayed in a jQuery image gallery should be kept to a maximum of 10 mega pixels. jQuery methods allow for larger images which should be kept for the home page alone for best results. A jQuery image gallery which allows many images might be considered for other pages. Reducing the size of the image does not necessarily harm the viewing quality. This may also allow the page to load more quickly.

Image File Format Choices Available:

There are three ruling file formats for web images. They include, the JPEG, PNG AND GIF formats. Each has a different role to play and choosing the correct format will enhance your visitors web experience. Although a PNG may yield the highest reproduction quality, it is usually not necessary to optimize the images to this level and will cost you in download time. A JPEG also has a relative high quality and is only a fraction of the PNG’s size, thus loading more quickly and is a better choice when download speed is being considered highly.
A GIF file should only be used when you are using animation. However, PNG is known to out perform the GIF in almost all situations. Read about and study each file type before making a determination on which is best to use for your project. A little pre-planning will go a long way in making your site optimization the best it can be.
Hurry back for more from the Design Wizards … enjoy the holiday season.
Staff at Inside Design Orlando!


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