Using images on your website

Adding images to your website can be a most frustrating experience, especially compared to adding it to a document that you print out.  Here are some common frustrations:

  • the image appears in the wrong part of the page.
  • the text doesn't flow around the image nicely.
  • the image is a strange size, or gets stretched.
  • suddenly everything grinds to a halt.
  • somehow it doesn't look as nice as you imagined.

A little bit of work managing your images before you upload them will save you a lot of difficulty.

Getting your image in the right place

Accurately placing an image requires one of two things:

  1. a little knowledge of how html works.
  2. letting your website software control the image placement and size.

If you are not confident using html, it is better that you have a good software platform to do the heavy lifting for you.  If you look at most blogs (especially the ones that load quickly), you will see that images appear at a consistent size and in a consistent place, all the time. 

Many website software applications offer tools in the background that automatically resize your image so you just have to find your image file on your computer and then click Upload.  This solves the problem of having unnecessarily large images making your website too slow, or even cause it to crash.

Some people worry they will lose control and flexibility when their images are placed for them by their software.  We understand this, but our experience of using many different types of website software supports the idea that few people are very inconvenienced, and that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.  

We also believe it is important that pre-placement of images should involve a certain amount of choice, and at AlbanyWeb, we allow all our customers to decide how they want their images to behave as their website is being created - and for those few who want more freedom, we can give that too.

When you always know what your image size will be and where it will appear on your page, putting an image on your site becomes very easy, and this allows you to be certain that your website looks good on any screen size.  It also helps to enhance the look and feel of your website, by making all your pages consistent and neat (placing pictures at random can look very ragged and unprofessional).  Once you know what your image size will always be, you can also take steps to make the most of the images that you upload.

Editing your images before uploading them

One of the drawbacks to having images automatically resize is that sometimes your image gets stretched or cut off (especially if you are using a mix of portrait and landscape orientations).  Any photo album software  offers you simple tools to prevent these problems, and it is worth taking a very few minutes to tidy up your image before uploading it to your website.  A few examples are:

  • using a Crop tool to trim your image to the desired size or aspect ratio.  This will prevent strange stretching or cutting in the wrong place.
  • using a Resize Image or Scale tool to reduce your image size.  If you know what your standard image size is for your website, you can resize your image to fit.  This simple exercise can help you to better visualise what your image will look like when it is online, and it will make the upload quicker (since the software is not trying to scale down an enormous image).

In future blogs, I will discuss ways and means to more finely control your image placement, using html, and also how to crop and edit your image to make the best use of it.



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