Website tip - shrink your .gifs
it seems as you are 'surfin' the Net' that everyone wants to put up cool
sites - you know, the latest in layout, great graphics and "This site
has been enhanced for Netscape". And you get this huge graphic logo
that takes for ages to download with a slow connection and your slow speed
modem that you'll upgrade as soon as you can afford it.
just you, but a majority of the Web population - your potential customers,
if you have a Web site that you are wanting to use to attract new business.
are ways of having some good graphics which do not take
for ages to download. Here's a few tips on how to achieve this:
The first two
tips can reduce a 40k graphic file to a 4k file, and this, combined with
the 4th tip, can make all the difference between your visitor hitting the
'stop' button and going on to see what you really want to tell
them. Incidentally, we've found that Paint Shop Pro is an excellent
for amending graphic files.
- Make the
graphic smaller. Does it really have to be 400 x 200 pixels
large? Why not reduce it to 200 x 100. Perhaps it will look just as
- How many
colour are used in the graphic? We've seen some which only use 5 or
6 colours, which have been saved as 256-colour or 16 million colour
files. Totally unnecessary. Try to optimise your graphic files as 16-colour
files. Even if the original file is more than 16 colours, you may find
that reducing it to 16-colour will not detract too much from the appearance.
- If you
save the file as a 'version 89a' gif file - an 'interleaved graphic
- it will load in stages for your visitor, so that at least something
is visible before the full graphic loads. However, note that a 'version
89a' graphic (non-interleaved or interleaved) can be converted to have
a 'transparent background' - which means that it will appear to be 'floating'
on whatever background your visitor's browser is set for.
- Is the
graphic really necessary? Sure, if it's your logo at the top of the
page. But what about all those little buttons, fancy lines and so on
which you think adds to the appearance of your site - and, after all,
they are only a few hundred bytes big. That may be so, but remember
that every file has a downloading 'overhead' attached to it. Whether
it's 700 or 70,000 bytes big, it will still take several seconds for
your visitor's browser to contact your site prior to downloading the
If you want
an on-line service that reduces the size of your GIF files while you wait,
try out the GIF
We hope that
you are finding that we practice what we preach!
Dalton sent us this additional valuable point about speed-loading
WIDTH and HEIGHT tags with images. Browsers will then allocate the space
on the page for the images and load the text around them before they load.
your visitors will start to see some information quickly, which will encourage
them to wait for the rest of the download.
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