Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pictures Are Still Worth A Thousand Words

Putting lots of pictures on a website can be very helpful. They don't have to be works of art from the most professional of photographers, but they do have to be visible. I see so many websites where the photos are so small that I need a magnifying glass to view them. What is the point of that? If it needs to be a small size on the page, at least make it a thumbnail so it can expand at will to a visible size.

We do a lot of sites where photographs are of extreme importance. Some of our websites have as many as 750 photos on them. People want to see pictures. Having some nice photo slide shows is a good way. I recommend showing full size when possible for the best visibility and interest. When that is not possible or practical, a thumbnail will work well.

I am concerned how fast the page loads, but a few seconds is not a problem, so there is no need to make the photos so small that they are such a small file size. I have been very successful with file sizes under 400k and that will allow a nice size shot when expanded. Smaller files when possible is always good and will increase the speed at which the page opens. More than 400k is creating slower and slower page loads and that is not good. That kind of detail is unnecessary generally.

Bottom line: be generous with photos, crop them to show what you want to show, keep the file size as small as possible without compromising viewing. Generally more photos is better than less. Content is still king for the search engines, but photos are for the viewing pleasure of the user.

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