When getting ready to make a website, you may find that most website owners stick with the JPEG file format when posting images. Although GIF files are fairly popular too, they aren’t often used on modern websites. Why is that? The main reason is that JPEG image files can be compressed very easily. Compressing JPEG files does not generally have a major impact on the image appearance.
Digital Cameras and JPEGs
If you usually take your own photos and post them to your website, see if your digital camera automatically saves the files as JPEGs. Chances are good that the camera defaults to this setting. If your camera doesn’t automatically save photos as JPEGs, consult the owner’s manual for instructions. You might want to find a program that will convert GIFs and other image files into JPEGs. Note: Proceed with caution, because converting certain file types to JPEGs can sometimes negatively affect image quality.
It’s natural to assume that you should use the largest image files you can for crisp, clear, beautiful images. The problem: large files can really bog down a website. If you put huge images on your site, your load times may skyrocket (and when people have trouble loading a site, they rarely wait around to see if it will get better.) Compress your JPEG images so they are more manageable. You will not negatively impact the quality of the images that you post on your site.
You can use a graphic design or paint program to compress your JPEG images. You can shrink the image to a percentage of its original size, or specify the dimensions that you want. In most cases, you can dictate the type of compression used. Educate yourself about the available options. Always opt for the compression method that affects the quality of the image as little as possible while still achieving a small file size.