We live in a time of high resolutions, large screens, and high-speed internet. It is impossible to imagine a website without a banner ad, product image, or logo today. Modern cameras produce large, detailed photographs appropriate for high-quality printing. But too large images are not always suitable for the Internet. They can noticeably slow down the loading speed. Images often weigh a lot, and it significantly affects page size. According to the HTTP Archive website, the average page weight on a computer is 1511 KB. The images take up almost 650KB, which is about 45% of the total. So the priority task of the developer is to process images in a way to preserve their quality and still maintain satisfying site loading speed. This process is called image transformation, and it can be realized in different ways. Keep reading this article to learn about the most efficient methods of image transformation and the benefits they can bring to your site.
CDN is an efficient tool for optimizing sites with large images. The main advantage of this technology is the automatic smart conversion of images into modern formats to ensure the minimum weight of the downloaded file. CDN cloud uploader can be considered a second server that caches the site and serves requests through data centers that are much closer to the site visitors. This makes sending any data from one corner of the world to another incredibly fast.
All pictures are usually uploaded in one of the following formats:
- GIF (Graphics Interchange Format). It can store data in a compressed mode without any quality issues. But the restriction is 256 colors. This format supports animated images. For a long time, GIF was the most widespread format on the Internet until the PNG format was created.
- PNG (portable network graphics) format compresses the image without losses and stores an unlimited number of colors.
- JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group, it was called after the name of the developer). It is the most common format for storing pictures and other images. The JPEG algorithm allows you to compress an image with some losses and without. Here you will have to choose between the quality and size.
- SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics). It allows you to place vector images: logo, background, buttons, maps, diagrams, and images for responsive sites.
- WEBp is an alternative format from Google. It allows you to significantly reduce the file size with minimal loss of quality. It requires special converters and is not supported by all browsers.
You can follow this selection algorithm if you have doubts about what format to choose:
- JPEG will be fine for a photograph with a quality parameter of 50-80 units.
- For a bigger image, JPEG will not be the best choice as the result with contain distortions. In this case, PNG will work better.
- For an animated picture GIF format would be the most appropriate.
- And try to avoid using TIFF on the internet. It is suitable for printing, but not for the webspace.
Optimized and responsive media assets
A “responsive site” is a site that reacts to the device from which the user comes in and adapts to its characteristics. In other words, such a site looks and functions well on any device. Besides transforming parameters of your media files, you use other parameters to boost their delivery to the user.
The main idea of transforming images in the framework of responsive design is to request the user’s platform and ultimately return the image that is suitable for a specific resolution. The mobile user gets light and small images, and the owner of a widescreen monitor can see a full-fledged high-quality version with a large expansion. At the same time, thanks to additional algorithms, the image can be cropped when loading on a gadget with a small screen. It is usually done with a loss of insignificant areas of an image.
You can make an HTML page “responsive” by using media queries in CSS.
Some services allow you to check how your responsive site will perform on different resolutions and devices.
Responsive Web Design Testing Tool. This service is available not only in the online format but also in the form of a code;
ResizeMyBrowser. The service allows you to resize the browser window in accordance with different resolutions and device models. In the opened window of the required resolution, you can load any site and analyze the degree of its adaptability.
Transformation of media assets with the help of dynamic URLs
A dynamic URL is one of the characteristics of a page. It says that the page address, as well as the information transmitted from it to the user, are generated in the process of receiving and processing his request. If the site content is stored in a database and displayed on pages on demand, then dynamic URLs can be used. In this case, the site consists only of content templates.
Visual content plays an increasingly important role in the promotion of media products. Smart image transformation will help you win the battle for traffic and increase the attractiveness of your site. There are many tools to apply and make your site available to a wider audience. They allow you to customize your images and modify them to your needs. The transformation will enable you to adapt images to various layouts. If you approach this task carefully, your efforts will be paid off by considerable business growth.