Make Web Ready Photos and Graphics
Great images are worth a thousand words
Adding images or photos to your website can make it more visually appealing and interesting. Photos and images can tell your viewers what your website is about even before they read the page. You can use your own personal images and photos or there are several places online where you can purchase high quality stock photography.
Purchasing Stock Photography
One really great source for stock photography that EZ-NetTools uses is istockphoto.com. iStock Photo offers millions of photos and graphics in many different categories. Each photo or graphic comes in several sizes to suit your needs. For your website you will need to purchase the small or medium sized photos or graphics.
EZ-NetTools recommends purchasing your stock photography from www.istockphoto.com for their great selection and low prices.
Photo Editing Software
To edit photos and graphics you will need to have photo editing software installed on your computer. There are several different photo editing software packages out there for you to choose from. EZ-NetTools recommends purchasing and using PhotoImpact if you do not already have your own photo editing software. PhotoImpact is an inexpensive and powerful photo editing software program.
You can purchase PhotoImpact online at corel.com
Power Through Photography
Few design elements brighten up a web page more than a well chosen photograph. Photographs are used to make a dramatic home page, to create buttons, to display products in a catalog, to create design accents such as borders, and more. The correct photo, in the right area sets the tone and conveys the message of the page. Conversely, improperly prepared pictures not only distract from the visual appeal of a web page but also take so long to download that your visitor will leave. The size of your photographs is the biggest factor in download time.
Below are some steps to follow to prepare great photos for your website.
Crop, Resize, Optimize.
You can crop your images to make them more visually appealing or to get rid of dead or distracting space. Keep in mind the photographic “Rule of Thirds”. Imagine breaking down an image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. This gives you a grid with nine boxes. Place the points of interest in your photo at the intersections of this grid. You can also place certain important elements of your photo on the the four lines created by the grid.
To crop a photo using PhotoImpact you will need to start up PhotoImpact and open the photo you want to work with. Next, you will select your cropping tool. Click on your starting point in the upper left corner of the photo and drag it down and across your photo. You will see a grid that shows the area of the photo that you want to keep. The area that is darkened will be the area of the photo that will be discarded. You can click on the corners and drag the box to make adjustments to crop tighter or more open. When you have the desired cropping area selected just double click on it and this will complete cropping the photo. You will now see what your new photo will look like.
Resizing your images for web viewing is an essential step to adding photos to your website. Because your photos will be viewed online you need to be sure that you are resizing your images to a smaller file size for faster loading and viewing times. Using your photo editing software choose the resize option, put in your desired dimensions for your image and be sure that your resolution is set between 72 dpi and 96 dpi.
Again, using PhotoImpact you can resize your photos. With your photo file opened in PhotoImpact and cropped, select Adjust from your main menu. In the drop down menu select Resize. This will open a new window that contains your resizing options. You can resize your photo using a percentage or pixels. We suggest using pixel measurements to resize your photos. You may notice that there is an option for Aspect Ratio. Be sure that this is checked. With this checked you will only have to change one number. You can change either the width or the height and the other will adjust accordingly. If this is not checked and you change both numbers your result may be a very distorted photo or image. After you have entered the desired size for your photo click on ok. Your photo has now been properly resized.
Optimizing your photos and images for your web page will decrease your image file size and make sure that no matter what type of connection your viewer has they will not have to wait long periods of time for your images to load on your web pages. Optimizing your photos and images will essentially clean up any extra color pixels and information that is making your file size larger. Each image editing software program will have the option to optimize your images.
The final step for preparing your photos for web is optimizing. After you have cropped and resized your photo using PhotoImpact you will now optimize it. Open your resized photo file.
In your main menu select Web. Select Image Optimizer from the drop down menu. This will open a new window that shows your optimizing options as well as previews for the original and optimized version of your photo. Adjust the slider to the right or the left to get your desired amount of optimization. Usually there is no need to go below 90 Quality. You will be able to view the Quality of the photo on the preview in the window. When you have selected your desired amount of optimization select Save As to save your new optimized photo.
Remember to follow the C-R-O (Crop, Resize, Optimize) steps for every image that you want to add to your website. This will create a pleasureable experience for all of your website viewers.
Now that you have Cropped, Resized, Optimized and saved your images you are ready to upload them to your EZ-File Manager. You can learn more about your EZ-File Manager on the EZ-File Manager training available through the EZ-NetTools Launch 2 Success program.