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Our guide to image compression

peoples images in grid website image compression

It goes without saying that images play an integral part in creating desirable web design outputs that not only look great but effectively convey messages that convert as well. As easy as it may be to incorporate images into your web design, however, most web developers and website owners have been struggling with one particular aspect of the process: image compression.

The importance of getting your image compression right

At first, the idea of image compression may seem like nothing more than a speck on the windshield of effective website design. Yet, it actually plays a significant role in the overall quality of your images. Without the proper use of image compression, know that you can compromise the size, appearance, and overall quality of your website’s images.

The problem with image compression is that most web designers and business owners are more likely to misunderstand and undermine it, especially when it comes to figuring out what type of compression works best. If you aren’t careful in choosing a form of compression for your images, then one of two results may take place after:

1. Your images will never look good as they’re supposed to in your website
2. The file sizes of your images will be much bigger than they’re supposed to be

Fortunately, image compression isn’t a difficult topic to comprehend as long as you take the right bits and pieces of information into mind. In fact, all it takes is in knowing the difference between all the types of image compression to understand and apply correctly in your website designs.

Lossless vs. lossy compression
To ensure that you aren’t messing up the images in your website design, let’s look at both types of image compression in further detail:

Lossless compression
Generally speaking, the common golden rule that most web designers follow is that they can only use image formats that have lossless compression. Sure, it may be safe to assume that lossless compression is apt or even superior for a variety of image types. Nevertheless, remember the keyword “most” since lossless compression isn’t necessary for other kinds of images.

Lossless compression can be simply defined as an option that preserves all the data from the original file. This can be great for archival purposes and quality, but not so appropriate for easier user experiences and faster website loading times.

Lossy compression
On the other hand, a lossy compression is an option that entails removing quite a bit of data from the original file and saving the entire image itself with a further reduced file size. As opposed to lossless compression, lossy compression disregards a certain percentage of data, an option that may reduce the quality quite a bit, but will help with loading the website faster in the long run.

Lossy compression can be achieved with a variety of different methods to create smaller file sizes that are still very much intact in terms of quality. For instance, you can reduce an image’s colour space to the common colours within the image to reduce a bit of data along the way. On the other hand, you can also apply lossy compression in your website’s JPEG images by using a method called transform encoding, which essentially averages out the colour of the image itself in small blocks to reduce the total amount of colours.

Image compression is one of the most important factors that you should take into consideration when putting an effective, attractive, and easy-to-use web design together. By simply knowing the difference between lossless and lossy image compression, you can set your web design up to work well with the images that you incorporate in it!

If you are looking for a professional web design company in Huddersfield, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

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