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File Sizes

When designing your site, consider the fact that most viewers will be connecting to your site with a modem. While you and I may have DSL or faster connections, most people do not. Consider too that, even with a faster-than-average connection, the "speed" of your site will be judged by the amount of time necessary to download each page.

The single most effective way to reduce download time is to pay attention to the size of your graphics files.

Table 1-Parameters that Impact Graphic File Size

Parameter

Description

Dimension

The dimension of a graphic can have a large impact on the ultimate size of a file. Consider that the number of pixels required to represent a two-dimensional graphic is a square relation to the dimensions of the graphic.

Palette Size

In GIF images (or any palette-based image format), reducing the number of colors in the palette will have a significant impact on the overall size of the file. Even if the colors removed from the palette were not being used! This is because of the way the color information is stored for each pixel in the GIF format.

Degree of Compression

For JPG images, the degree of compression (sometimes called image "quality") can sometimes impact the size of the file without compromising the quality of the image. Try different values until the image looks bad and then back off a little.


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