Make It Go Faster!

November 3, 2008 | |

While some things may be out of your hands (like the speed of the internet connection your web server uses), there are always plenty of small changes you can make that are sure to increase the performance of your site no matter where you are hosted! In this post I’m going to cover one of the most important things you can do: produce optimized images.

When making your site, be sure to determine an exact image size that will end up on your site for your product thumbnail images and detail images. There is no sense having an image that is 1000 pixels wide being scaled down to 300 pixels wide. It will make your page take more time to load and will leave you with a grainy image on the site (when a browser resizes an image for you it does so without using anti-aliasing so the end result will become pixelated). The better tactic would be to take that original 1000 pixel wide image and optimize it. There are many programs out there that can do this for you for your whole catalog (do a google search for “batch image resizing” to find a free one), or you could choose to optimize images one by one in a program like Photoshop. Be sure you are saving for the web and not for highest quality or for print. Visually there is almost no difference whatsoever, especially not at the size that your images should be and on an average computer monitor.

Lets go back a bit to where I said to determine the size of your images. There is a nice little tool (that’s free) called Screen Ruler that you can use to literally measure the space where your images will be (Download it here: http://www.spadixbd.com/freetools/jruler.htm). As a last resort, ProStores itself can resize images. It actually produces a fairly good looking result that is optimized for download. To set the sizes ProStores will use go to Product > List in your admin panel and click on Product Settings to the right, above the list of products. These settings affect all images uploaded through either the product manager, or through Support > Upload Images > Shared Images(When you change the Shared Images “Image Type” dropdown menu from “Category Photo” to “Product”).

If done properly, image optimization can noticably decrease page load times, reduce wasted bandwidth and keep your users browsing your site a little longer on average!

Sean has been programming since first learning BASIC back in 1990. He has worked in the website development industry since its inception and has been working with IntuitSolutions since January 2006. Prepared for a career in systems administration by Drexel University, Sean is our Server Administrator and he works hard to make sure our equipment is efficient and reliable. He has been working with PHP and other powerful, web-friendly languages since the 90′s.