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Steps To Choose The Right Image File Format For Your Website

Do you know what to look for when choosing an image file format for your website? Remember that the images on your website play a huge role in a visitor’s online experience, so choosing the suitable file format is a big deal. By nature, we are visually driven and tend to perceive pictures faster. First, images are scanned, and then our eyes move on to words.

Photos and animations enhance text content on a web page.

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Visuals can be informative and appealing and even subconsciously communicate brand, messages, and aesthetics to your target audience. Your website will need a good image to effectively persuade, inform or connect with your website’s visitors. Still, many website owners need help in this case.

More so, in terms of which file format to choose and optimize. Selecting the wrong format may result in accidentally exporting low-quality graphics or slowing down your page speed because it could be a better format available or optimized for the web.

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Digital Creative Asia has experts who know precisely how to optimize your website with the perfect file format.

Fortunately for you, we’ll tell you how to choose the right image file format for your website in this article with examples.

Steps To Look For A Perfect Image File Format For Your Website

According to designpowers, choosing the best image file format for your website is a big deal because the images on your website play a large part in the visitor’s online experience. A majority of us are visual by nature and visually driven. We perceive pictures faster than words, so images are scanned first, before the text. And, this invites more curiosity in the target audience.

Basically, photos, screenshots, and animations are often used to enhance the text content on a web page because visuals are highly informative and emotionally appealing, and subconsciously communicate messages, brand, and aesthetics. In simple terms, we all love consuming images! Not surprisingly, only 7.3% of websites don’t use any visual content at all.

On that note, your website needs a touch of good images if you want to inform, persuade, connect with, and sell to potential visitors.

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But, many website owners still don’t know what image file format to choose or how to optimize it. The end result? You accidentally export low-quality graphics and slow down your page speed because it’s not the best format available.

Or rather, simply because the image is not well-optimized for the web. Yikes! This means, that your choice of image formats is vital. With that in mind, below are the simple steps that you can follow to have the best image results.

Step #1: Image Resolutions And Dimensions

The resolution is the detail an image holds. Image resolution is usually described in pixels per inch (PPI) for display resolution, and for printer resolution, it uses dots per inch (DPI). A higher resolution means more dots per inch, creating a crisp, high-quality image. Screen images have different mechanisms than prints.

So, we need to consider the pixel dimension of a monitor instead of the object size, and each monitor has a different screen resolution. With the display quality improving as newer tech emerges, it becomes tricky to design a website where images display perfectly across every device. Printed images will typically require a minimum of 300 DPI to be precise.

More so, in order to produce an image of decent quality at the standard size. Always factor in DPI and PPI since they heavily impact print quality. However, they are different from the display quality that will appear online. While taking photos and scanning, always capture images at a large resolution and size because it’ll be easier to reduce image size.

As well as discard pixel information rather than enlarge it or create pixel information. Secondly, optimize images with consistent pixel dimensions for performance and display on the web.

Step #2: Image Color Modes

All Easter images are saved in one of the two color modes, CMYK and RGB. One mode will be the better option depending on how and where you display the image. CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key/Black) is the color space for print and represents the four inks combined during the printing process. Image files that are saved in this mode are optimized for printing.

RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) is the light-based color model used for the web as they combine to produce other colors. Image files saved in this mode are optimized for the web or generally anything that appears on the screen. Luckily, you can always convert from CMYK to RGB and vice versa.

Step #3: Lossy And Lossless

Raster files, which are JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and PSD, are all either lossy or lossless, depending on how the chosen image format handles the data. Image optimization is done through lossless compression, while Lossy image formats are compressed to smaller sizes by removing data when saving images.

They approximate what your original image appears to look like. This will usually result in a lower image resolution and a reduction of colors, stripping the file of unnecessary data. This format will reduce quality but also reduce file size, making it perfect to use online, where file size and download speed are a priority.

A lossless file captures all data of the original file, the resolution doesn’t decrease, and nothing is lost, thus the name “lossless.” You can always reconstruct an image back to its original dimensions despite being compressed. Therefore, always start with your original image in a lossless format and keep a copy.

Step #4: EXIF Data

Every image stores information, such as the file type, dimensions, size, device model, GPS coordinates, camera settings, date and time, an image thumbnail, descriptions, and more. This format is known as the EXIF (Exchangeable image file format).

This data is helpful for photographers who want to know what tools and settings they used in creating a particular image, or the location they took the photo. However, more data means a larger file size. EXIF data is usually edited out or removed from images to optimize them for the web. There are also privacy concerns to be considered with that sort of data file.

However, geotagging your photos can benefit Local SEO and improve your ranking in search engines. Location tags assist browser users in finding a search result based on location, which increases the chances of your image featuring at the top of searches. After enabling metadata support settings, you can use Squarespace to import metadata to images in a gallery.

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This way, you’ll ensure that your photo contains all the metadata you want or don’t want to be included before uploading.

Step #5: Using JPEG

JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, the technical team that developed it. It is one of the most widely used formats for photos, large web images, and email graphics.

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JPEG’s sliding scale compression lets you decrease file size considerably while increasing pixelation as the image compresses.

JPEG is optimal when dealing with online photos and artwork. They offer the most flexibility with raster editing and compression, allowing users faster downloading when needed. Additionally, JPEG is ideal if you want to print those photos or artwork because this format heavily supports editing and printing at high resolution.

You can even use JPEG when sending a quick preview image because they are an excellent email option. It is vital to remember some points about this format like it does not have a transparency channel. GIF or PNG will be more suitable if you need a transparent graphic. It also doesn’t support layered files and might compress your layers into a single layer you cannot undo.

Step #6: Using GIFs

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and is a widely used web format for animated graphics. Think images, but one that moves. Despite this format being lossless, you can export them in customizable settings. Enabling these settings will reduce the number of colors and image information, which allows a reduction in file size.

GIFs are used to create web animations since they hold every animation frame and timing in the same file. Creating GIFs is easy and accessible through Photoshop, where you can further export them as a GIF file. GIF allows transparency and has alpha channels that can be transparent, so you can modify the background color as you desire.

GIF compression technique is impressive, allows your GIF formatted images to shrink exponentially, and is ideal when you need small files like simple icons or web graphics. However, avoid using the GIF format when you need a photographic image since GIFs have a limit of 256 colors. In contrast, a decent-definition photo is supposed to have thousands of colors.

This reduces when converted into GIF, giving it a flat and less vibrant appearance. Also, avoid using GIF file format if you plan to print out your image and opt for PSD or JPG instead.

Step #7: Using PNG

PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics, which allows transparency and has a high color depth translating into millions of colors. This format is the web standard and is rapidly becoming the most widely used format. PNG is the ideal format that provides high-quality and transparent web graphics since they have a transparency channel allowing all transparency ranges.

PNG allows for a vibrant image with color depths compared to GIFs image. They are also best for a small color palette, so PNG can be your go-to for illustrations with limited colors. The best part about PNGs is that they can shrink tremendously, making them the ideal format for web graphics when you need a small file.

However, if you’re working with photos and artwork, it’s best to avoid PNG because of its lossless formatting, size tends to get large. Additionally, PNG is optimized for the screen and may not work for a printing project; it’s best to choose JPEG.

In Conclusion:

There are certain things to look out for when choosing an image file format for your site. A higher resolution means more dots per inch, creating a crisp, high-quality image. Still, screens work differently than printers, so always capture images at a larger resolution because it’s easier to discard pixel information than to create it. Image files are saved in either CMYK or RGB.

CMYK is used if you want to print out images, and RGB is optimized for the web. All roster files are either lossless or lossy. EXIF data is valuable when you want to keep the stored information about the image. Photographers usually keep the exit format. Finally, there are certain situations where you should use JPEGs, PNGs, and GIFs, as discussed above.

Other More Related Resource References:
  1. What Is WebP Image? Plus Tools For A Website To Load Fast
  2. How To Resize Images Online | PNG Format To AVIF Or To WebP
  3. The Topmost Best WordPress Image Compression Plugins List
  4. How To Convert An Image To HTML With Fronty AI-Powered Tool
  5. How An Image Background Remover Works | Top #10 Free Tools!

Finally, we hope this article has been informative and helped you choose the right image file format for your website. But, if you’ll still need more help, you can always Contact Us and let us know how we can sort you out. You are also welcome to share your additional thoughts, opinions, suggestions, recommendations, or even contributions below. Thank you for reading!

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