To publish my site how much space do I need?

  Revi 20:42 26 Dec 2004

I have just completed a 6 page website totally comprising 8MB. Now the question is what should be the most suitable space I would require in a webserver. Is it enough to have 10MB or should I go in for more, and if so, why?

  Taran 22:15 26 Dec 2004

My first advice would be to redesign your pages with optimised images. Your current page average is well over 1mb per page - nobody on dial up 56k Internet access will be prepared to wait the several minutes each page will take to load.

I have just completed a fairly large dynamic site in ASP for a client and it comes in at 2.28mb in its raw form, or just over 5mb including its database. It will require some content added to it by the client via their control panel, but it already contains several dozen images and lots of ASP files to make up the site (279 files in 28 folders).

One of my own sites is a mere 7 pages and 9 images. It comes to 226kb - slightly less than one quarter of a megabyte.

If you need help on optimising images or advice on suitable image size (pixel by pixel height and width) for your pages then feel free to ask.

10mb of web space is huge, believe me, and you could fit hundreds of pages with dozens and dozens of images into that sort of server space.

  Revi 22:26 26 Dec 2004

Once again thanks for your very useful guidance, as usual of course. My site comprises 6 pages and 9 photographs. I will try to optimize the pages as advised by you and will look for information in the web to be able to do so. But since you have offered help, quote "If you need help on optimising images or advice on suitable image size (pixel by pixel height and width) for your pages then feel free to ask." unquote, I would be glad to receive any help that I can get. Regards.

  Revi 22:47 26 Dec 2004

Am I doing something terribly wrong? The 6 page website (Frontpage 2003)that I have built has 8 product pictures.

The report page shows the following:
64 files - 6927kB, 58 images - 6890kB, 6 slow pages - 763kB.

Grateful for help in image optimization and related matters.

  Charence 22:58 26 Dec 2004

have you used graphical buttons? To optimise pictures, make sure they are in a compressed format, such as JPG. There are also other things you can consider such as resizing the image. In FRONTPAGE there is a RESAMPLE button on the PICTURE toolbar, and this will optimise the picture.

Please Note if these pictures are original copies and there are no other copies, its better to make a backup copy.


  Taran 23:04 26 Dec 2004

OK, in general terms, web images, if they are going to be big, should be displayed as a thumbnail. Beside the thumbnail there should be a text warning detailing just how big the image is, to give people an option on whether or not to take the time to download a copy of it to their browser.

One gallery on a site I did recently for a client has images sized uniformaly to 400 pixels high. On another site I used a uniform width. This depends on your page layout since top navigation bars and left navigation panels may look better with uniform height or width.

If you use a good image editor to do your resizing you can use an option to maintain or lock the spect ratio of the original. In plain English, this resizes the width in relation to the height and keeps the image in its original form - it is just a smaller version of it.

You can also choose options to save or export for the web, but be careful what you do here. Some image editors make the file sizes larger than the originals when doing this, which defeats the object.

Basically, any image of 400 to 550 pixels wide will be OK with most layouts. You can go slightly bigger if you want, but the larger the pixel size the larger the actual file size.

Save your files as .jpg if reasonably high resolution is to be maintained. a .jpg image is, by default, highly compressed. Bitmaps and PNG files can keep greater detail and definition but this is seldom required for the web. Most web images should be well under 100kb each and if you do your job well you can easily half that.

The main logo image on one of my sites is fairly large and is 340x243 pixels - it comes in at 25.2kb and is absolutely pin sharp with rich colouring and excellent detail.

It would help to know the image editing software you are using, but unless you are limited to an extremely simple program most products feature resizing and optimising.

One problem many people stumble over with a WYSIWYG web editor is when they pull an image into a web page and then resize it to display at a smaller size than the original.

In this way you can pull an image off a digital camera that may be a 2 or 3mb and 2500x1800 pixels, but you tell the web page to show it as 450x180. Any visitor to your site still has to download the original file, and your browser obeys the resizing instruction in the HTML to display it at your preferred dimensions.

It really is one of the cardinal sins of web design and people often just don't realise that to display an image resized by your web browser requires a copy of the original (at its full size) to be downloaded to your cache so that the browser can show it at your desired dimensions.

Give me some information about your software setup and we'll go from there if you get stuck.


  Taran 23:07 26 Dec 2004

If you would like me to look at your web for you, click the envelope icon next to my user name to email me.

I will reply with an address you can use and you can send me a Zip file of your web root folder with all files and folders in it.


  Forum Editor 00:38 27 Dec 2004

in how to optimise images for the web
click here

You will also do well to remember something that often isn't mentioned in tutorials, and that is to choose the right file format. Many people simply save all their images as JPEGs without a second thought, and completely ignore the fact that for images consisting of clean, simple lines and blocks of plain colour (like many logos and button images) GIFs are a better option in terms of file size. The other big advantage with GIFs is that you can include transparent areas, so the image can be overlapped, allowing another image - or parts of another image - to show. You can't do that with JPEGs. JPEGS are the format of choice for detailed photographic images.

There's a third image file type, called PNG which attempts to combine the virtues of both JPEG and GIF images into one format. With PNG files you can use what's called Alpha transparency, which put simply is a way of graduating the transparency level of an image.

By far the best way to learn about image optimisation is to read a couple of good tutorials and then experiment for yourself. Watch the way that varying degrees of compression affect JPEG images. and play around with GIFs and PNG files to see which works best for your purpose. Most reasonably specified image manipulation applications will allow you to work with images in all kinds of ways, but be guided by one of the golden rules of web design - keep the files as small as you can whilst maintaining a reasonably crisp image. The key, as Taran has already pointed out, is not to get images sizes right by resizing them inside your web design software (FrontPage in your case) - don't be tempted to drag the image to your required dimensions in other words. Create the file in the required size with your image editing program and then import it to your FrontPage web. That way a visitor's browser will read and load the file far faster.

  Revi 08:23 27 Dec 2004

Thanks for all the valuable help I've received. Taran, I'll revert to you after new year.

  Revi 15:51 27 Dec 2004

Thanks very much for the Frontpage tip. I have made backups of my original photos.

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