Optimizing Images for Web: A Practical Guide
One of the reasons photographs are so relevant in eCommerce is that they are said to be worth a thousand words. Without the ability to pick up, touch, and review a product, customers rely heavily on photographs to appreciate the color, quality, and narrative of the product. A good image optimizer knows how and to what extent to retouch images for the web.
As a result, it stands to reason that the pictures must be high-resolution and clear. However, this comes at a cost. Big, high-resolution files can have enormous file sizes. If you have a few of these on your web, the snappy impression of browsing your online store may become more akin to moving through molasses. Not only would this lead the visitor to leave your site, but Google will note the issue as well. Thus, this gives rise to the importance of image compression online.
When saving an image for any website in eCommerce, it’s important to strike a reasonable balance between image quality and file size. In this article, we’ll teach you how to optimize images for the web.
This guide is for you if you've ever taken a product shot and uploaded it directly to your store. It will be very helpful if you have no systematic training or method for saving photos with file size in mind. This guide is also for you if your site has many photos and things are running slow. This guide will be particularly useful if you haven’t started creating your online store yet.
File Format Image Options
For saving photos tailored for the internet, we’ll want to concentrate on 3 file formats: GIF, JPG, and PNG. Each file form has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which must be understood and kept in mind when storing a photo.
Functioning of JPEG Files
JPGs (also recognized as JPEGs) are by far the most common image file type on the internet.
· When it comes to an optimal image, JPGs are ideal for portraits or dynamic pictures of several colors, backgrounds, gradients, or intricate shapes. JPGs perform better with these types of pictures since they have a large color range to work with.
· JPGs can be stored in high, low, or any quality between. This enables you to precisely change and saves the image while balancing quality and file space.
JPEGs are by far the most-used data format online, and they are widely used for product photos, portraits, and website hero banners/images.
Functioning of PNG Files
PNGs are another popular web file format. PNGs can be saved as PNG-8 or PNG-24 files in Adobe Photoshop.
· PNG-8 has a color scheme of just 256 colors. Although the file size is reduced, this is not a suitable choice for complex pictures or photos.
· PNG-24 produces a much greater image quality at the expense of greater file size.
· Most notably, PNGs are transparent. This is one of the most significant differences between PNGs and JPEGs.
PNGs are often used for logos due to their high quality and ability to accommodate clarity. This fits well for logos because they always need clarity; you probably want your logo to be of high quality but of a small file size because logos are a minor part of the website itself.
Functioning of GIF Files
GIFs became more common many years ago, but they are still a viable choice for limited picture sizes and images requiring just a few colors.
· GIF formats, like PNG-8, are limited to 256 colors. As a result, GIFs would never be used in product photography.
GIFs should be used for icons, but due to their small color palette, they aren't widely used in eCommerce.
How to Save Images Correctly
Large files, as would be evident, take longer to display. When we say ‘large’, we are referring to the file size rather than the image dimensions, i.e., the size in KB, MB, GB, and so on. Given that 47 percent of users expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds and 40 percent would leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, the photos must be small enough to guarantee a fast load-time of your web storefront.
To better optimize your photos for your online shop, you should do three main things:
Save with the Appropriate Dimensions
You can open the picture in Photoshop and zoom in to 100%. When you save a file for the internet, you will display it at the same scale it will be viewed on a screen monitor.
Save Photos For the Internet
It is crucial to decrease file size without drastically decreasing image quality. Our favorite way to reduce file size without sacrificing image resolution is to use Photoshop’s "Save for Web" feature. Open your image in Photoshop and go to File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy)…. A window will appear, which will allow you to choose your export quality.
Compress Photos For The Internet
Some software deletes unnecessary data from image files, such as additional rating scales and metadata (such as the position of the photograph). These tools provide a fast and simple way of reducing file size without sacrificing image quality. So, go ahead and eliminate those extra storage bytes without compromising on the quality. Image compression is your best friend!
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