Image Optimization in Attorney Web Design
Use these helpful tips to ensure that your website has fast loading graphics that are visually appealing, yet won't slow page loading time. Your users will thank you for it!
All designers serving the legal community want to create an attractive, effective website that leaves a visitor wide-eyed and utterly dazzled. Usually a very attractive web design involves a lot of graphics, increasing the overall page loading time. This article will provide some not only useful, but creative tips on how to keep your website attractive but still making sure that it still downloads quickly.
As less users are using dial-up, more and more attorney web designers are creating custom websites laden with heavy graphics. In some extreme cases you will discover some legal websites that take as much as a few minutes to load their content in your browser. Of course your site visitor will never wait that long, and will click on to the next website in his search results.
So why are the majority of attorney web designers still creating slow-loading bloated attorney websites? This is predominantly due to a lack of knowledge of image optimization techniques that will allow them to maintain a beautiful, creative website while keeping the page file size within modest means.
How many website designers are aware of the fact that a bordered box with rounded corners can be achieved using CSS, without the need for any graphic image? Maybe not many, but it is possible! Before the seasoned CSS designers say that it cannot be done for every browser and that a high level of programming is required, my response is that dealing with the most common mistakes attorney web designers make regarding optimization can have simple solutions.
An unwise option would be to limit the designer by placing restrictions that impact the final outcome. You might make the claim that what a web designer can do with graphic software is impossible to implement by code. I disagree. When the design is finalized and you are ready to slice it, your creativity is being tested. Everything you do at this stage in the design process will affect the total page size. If your attorney web design contains rounded shapes that overlap each other or contains areas with gradients, then you must slice it carefully so as to achieve a small file size.
1. Do not make large slices that contain lots of different colors. And if you find yourself slicing solid colors, check to see if just specifying them as a CSS background color would be a more effective means.
2. Do not make a large slice that contains the same graphic structure. Slice a small portion, even 2px is fine, and have it repeat using HTML or CSS. This is a commonly found mistake found in attorney web design when dealing with gradient color background.
3. Do not be confined to using JPG format. In many cases a GIF format will be much smaller in size. A rule of thumb - a slice with high number of colors will be smaller in size using the JPEG format rather than the GIF format, and the opposite is also true. Photographs are usually better suited for JPG format, and solid colors, or logos for instance, with very little color variation, are better for GIF format. When you start in the field of attorney web design you will see that many of the images used in this industry will contain solid colors or patterns.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
E Wilkerson is the President of Hybrid Design, a web design and graphic design firm serving the legal community since 2002. Her experience lies not only in attorney and law firm web design, but also in internet marketing, search engine optimization, and graphic design.