Why would you want to speed up load times for slow connections, or make your pictures look better? Good looking images are the sign of professionalism and class, and you surely don’t want your site to have either of those.
Sure, successful shop owners say better images sell more products, but you don’t have to listen to those people. After all, what does a successful shop owner know that you don’t?
Never mind that image contributions like the excellent On The Fly Auto Thumbnailer or the UltraPics contribution actually decrease your workload while producing better images. Keep posting your 800k images to your site, and laugh at those people who talk about “Site optimization” and “load times”. You think jagged images are nice, and that’s just fine with me.
How does that grab you – if you are running standard osCommerce, maybe with a template – I can almost guarantee that you have not truly considered YOUR CUSTOMERS satisfaction. Read on…
Thumbnail contributions are the bee’s knees. They rock, and you are going to love them. They improve load times, they make your images look better, and a site with thumbnails projects an overall more professional appearance to the customer than one with browser-resized images.
There are quite a few thumbnail contributions out there. Some allow you to upload small, medium and large pictures, some allow additional product images to go along with your main image, and some automatically resize large images into multiple sizes using image libraries like GD, GD2 or ImageMagick installed on your server (contact your host to see which you have). The point is, you can get an image contribution that will work with your hosting plan even if you don’t have the advanced image library features.
A couple I have checked out and liked (I am sure there are more):
UltraPics: Allows multiple images, multiple file sizes, optional automatic resize using php libraries.
On the Fly Auto Thumbnailer: Simple, automatic thumbnail generation for your single product image. Not as much cool added stuff like multiple images, but easier to install. Requires GD2 or ImageMagick libraries to function.
Most of this post is courtesy of my good friend Jason over at JC Commerce.
What I usually do for my clients is amend a couple of files, like this;
- admin/categories.php – in here I add calls to “large_product_image”. I usually just copy “products_image”.
- I then add an extra row in the database to deal with this.
- A couple of language changes to make the customer aware that “products_image” is now a thumbnail, and “large_products_image” is now used for a larger image only in the image pop-up.
- Change 1 line of code in “popup_image.php” to check whether a large image exists and show it. if it doesn’t exist, then show the thumbnail.
All of that is maybe 5 minutes work and is less complicated in my opinion than adding other contributions. Here is one I made earlier which you can drop in on an unmodified store…
As you can see, it just adds another browse button. And then does the rest of the processing when you “update” the product. Easy as 123.