This is a question I hear from many of my friends, perhaps you have the same issue.
One of the best pieces of advice I received from Chris Farrell was on this very topic and it was in regards to images on your site.
I have talked about this elsewhere but lets recap.
You need to find a source of images that you can use in your marketing legally and cheaply, that would be Stock.Xchng.
Once you have this source you need to manage your files correctly.
Here is how I do this and recommend you do the same.
- Find an image relevant to the site or post you are creating.
As it is the 4th of July then this would be relevant to the post you are reading, this image was originally 1259x959px which is far too big to show in this post, so I have resized the image down to 800px fit this post.
- Check the terms of the image, most are condition free but some require you to take action before you can use them
- Download the file, using a filename template such as: description_source_artist, for this image, I used American-flag_sxc.jpg
- Prepare the file ready for use on your site
It is this last step that many omit and is the reason perhaps your site is slow to load.
I have 2 image libraries, one is for the originals and the other is for those ready to use online.
What does ready to use online mean?
Simply the image is under 100Kb in file size, of an acceptable quality and normally in jpg format.
This can be achieved by either reducing the original image to a width of 600px or reducing the image quality, often its is a combination of the two.
Thus the original image becomes and is now called American-flag-web_sxc.jpg
There are many software options to choose for doing this and I started with Photoshop Elements(PSE) but its load time is far too slow for a task that can be completed in seconds with the right software, this is where irfan view comes into play.
It is ultra fast to load and with the RIOT plugin allows you to complete the resizing of images in seconds.
This is achieved by combining the reduction in width with the altering of image quality, in fact you could even just ask it to compress the image to a sub 100Kb files size and not worry about all the other settings.
However you really should do this step manually as ideally you want your image library to consist of web ready images of a standard resolution, all under 100Kb in file size, the file type of choice is jpg as png (a lossless format) struggles to reduce to under 100Kb consistently.
You can see a short video of me going through this process here…video walkthrough
Of course it has many other features such as image cropping cropping, slide show generation and multi-media playing but I already own PSE and other software optimised for each specific task which is why I focus on using irfan View solely for rapid image resizing.
If you are sharing images online then I recommend that you start to optimise your images for online use and the best software for this can be obtained for free from the irfanview website which needs to be combined with the RIOT plugin to ensure the best results.
Finally to all my American friends, I hope you have a great July 4th.