How To Display Your Photographs

One of the things you may want to display on your web-site are images. The pages below show only a small sample of the different ways in which images can be shown.

Due to the fact that visitors to your web-site are an impatient lot, and any page that loads slowly because it contains a large image (or several) will tend to drive them from your web-site (never to return). So if you do want to use large images then you have to reduce their file size for the initial page viewing. This may necessitate a
  • change in format (.jpg etc. ),
  • reduction in colours, or
  • the use of thumbnails.

Changing the format of your images.

As a general rule there are 3 main types of images that are used on web-sites. These are:
  • Graphic Interchange Format (.gif),
  • Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpeg or .jpg), and
  • Portable Network Graphics (.png). This format was developed due to the fact that the .gif format was subject to copyright.
Photographs are usually converted to .jpg format as this offers high quality images with very small file sizes.
This format is not the best one to use for images with few colours or lots of sharp edges and/or lines. These images look much better when converted to .gif or .png format.

Reducing the colours of images

Reducing the amount of colours in an image will dramatically reduce the size of the image but it can also reduce the quality of the image.

Pictures in JPEG format can either have 16.7 million colors or 256 gray-scales. JPEG format is therefore particularly suitable for photos.

GIF format can only display 2 to 256 colors and is specialized in achieving higher compression rates for pictures such as pictograms, symbols and all pictures with sharp edges, for example, comics.

Image Thumbnails

Thumbnails are a way of letting visitors see large numbers of images on a single page. The visitor clicks on the thumbnail and the full size image is then shown.