How optimizing might change your life.

When creating a website from the scratch, one needs to take a few things into consideration. The actual design details of the website are very important, of course, but there are technical elements that play an essential role with web-making. Designers, coders and computer “geeks” would call this Web Optimization.

To optimize something means to amend to all the specifics, to develop everything further, and to enhance all of the functionalities to the max. And when it comes to the web, there are several things that need to be acknowledge in order to properly optimize your design.

To start, one will need to make sure to give the website the fasted speed possible. This has a couple of advantages that are important for any type of website nowadays. Firstly, it allows our users to navigate rapidly and comfortably through our data. The biggest reason why it is important for the users to be able to go through our content fast is because in the technological today, everything flies by our eyes, and if our websites take longer times to load, or have an overall slower capacity than the rest, very few people will actually keep engaging in it. Lastly, it is also a leeway for more information to be able to fit into the website. If the volume of the site is lower, it allows for more content to enter if necessary. The more, the merrier. However, it is vital to understand that having more material does not equal to a crammed, overcrowded website. Websites today should be as minimalistic as possible, as it has been shown to be more attractive to the eye and easier to process.

Another very important element to study when building websites is the file types one will want to incorporate into the site. There are a lot of different file types out there to choose from, but today we will be looking at the three predominant types.

JPG or JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

Probably one of the most recognized and used file types, JPEG is mostly used for still images and photography. The reason being is because this type of file has a 16-bit format, which translates to being able to combine the colors red, blue and green in order to compose and display millions of variations of colors. For a color-based photography, you will want to stick with JPEG. In addition, it is also flexible with compressing your image to your liking, which can be helpful in many ways. It goes from 0% to 100%, but it is advised to be careful with compression, as it damages the quality of the image. This is what puts these file types into the Lossy type category. Lossy files are not as useful when you one is dealing with a file that has to endure ongoing editing, because they progressively loose their quality as they are edited and exported.

GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)

Unlike JPEG, GIF files are limited to using a maximum of 256 colors. This reduces their usage to files such as graphics with flat colors or without gradients and to simple animations. The great thing about GIFs is that, because of its color limitations, the file sizes are usually quite small, which helps improve the velocity of websites. Also, GIFs are a lossless type format, meaning that they are easily reconstructed without loss of quality.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

My personal favorite, PNGs are subdivided by two forms. Both of these are lossless formats that, as I mentioned before, means that they algorithms that allow for the original data to be manipulated freely with no quality or value loss. Because of this, they are also one of the most popular files. Its subdivision consists of PNG-8 and PNG-24. The main difference between the two is that PNG-8 is limited to 256 colors, just as GIF files; on the other hand, PNG-24 allows the rendering of images with the same variation as JPEGs do. Lastly, both subdivisions enable transparency, which is a key factor for a lot of graphic designing.

With this brief but informative material, one can be somewhat prepared to start a web-designing project. Certainly, there is a lot more to this art than what I wrote above, but if you continuously keep these tips at hand, you are likely to start your journey off on the right foot.

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