Horrible or Awesome #3 – Optimise Your Images

Optimizing your images in Photoshop or another image editing program takes time – your valuable time. Just leaving them huge and making the customer download 3MB of images for each page in your site takes time too – the pesky customer’s time.

Everybody knows customers love to wait to buy your products. Play a game! See how big you can make your images, see how long your load time suffers, and then see how your conversion rates fare!

Challenge yourself to approach dialup speeds over your cable modem using your stellar layered uncompressed image design – I’m sure your customers will love it.

Do you optimise your images as much as possible?  Doing so will make your site look better and make your customers shopping experience better.  Read on…

There are many image editing programs out there, and I can’t cover each and every one. However, the process for all of them is roughly the same.

You need to either “Save for Web” in Photoshop or “Export > JPEG/GIF Optimizer” in Paint Shop Pro. What this does is allow you to compress your images in quality and color depth so that they download quicker. Quicker loading images means happier customers that spend more time looking at your products and not waiting for the page to load. Happier customers mean more sales and higher conversion rates.

You will find that some images save smaller in GIF (usually images with fewer colours) and some save smaller in JPEG (photos, product images, larger images, headers). Play around, and try to find the best mix of quality and size.

Remember: To pop the page up in less than 8 seconds on 56k, you need to have less than 30k of images.

This is probably impossible with an ecommerce site, but it gives you a measuring stick of how long your images are going to take to load.

This post is courtesy of my good friend Jason over at JC Commerce.

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