A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

Author:  Nola Young

Pictures speak volumes. Like words, they tell a story. They also create images that customers will associate with trust. They add credibility to your Web site. So choose and use your pictures wisely so each and every one creates a positive and lasting image.
Every picture has its place. If you are a public speaker, for example, it would be wise to include a photograph on your Web site that shows you in front of a crowd. If you are offering a product, show your customer what it looks like – in addition to listing the benefits.
Don’t use too many photos. If you have many on hand, it might be worthwhile to set up one page of your site specifically for small “thumbnails” of your photos. Your Web site visitors simply click on the thumbnail and the larger picture loads. Photos need to be optimized so that loading time is minimal. Specific programs are available to optimize your photos or you can use Photoshop. Optimizing can be achieve by smoothing the image for better compression. (Images with fewer hard edges compress more efficiently.) Be careful, however. Although blurring an image reduces the file size, it also reduces the image quality. There is a balance between image quality and file size. You have to work with each photo to achieve that balance.

Quick tips:

1. Present Web site photos in black and white. If possible. This cuts down on the file
size so they will appear more quickly.
2. Photos can be put together in a collage. This becomes more like a graphic rather
than a photograph so the load time is relatively small.
3. Avoid placing photos on the first page of your Web site. The initial load time is
crucial in keeping the viewers attention.