Tips for Web Designers, Developers, and Bloggers

PART 1: JPG – To Be Used Only With Photos

Many websites have great graphic content. Images, videos, banners, etc. you notice them everyday – they aren’t clear looking. Notice here on a picture I took from Core-PHP:

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Core-PHP WordPress Logo for Their Front Page

Notice how it’s not too sharp? That’s the problem. This image is a JPG (A.K.A. JPEG). That’s exactly what happens when you put an image created using a computer (whether it’s a Mac or PC) is saved as a JPG. Keep in mind, a JPG isn’t all bad. For it to work with vector graphics, or any high quality graphic, you need a bulky file – so it’s almost impossible to compress without any problems. Here’s another example:

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A Zoomed Demonstration

This file format should be used only with photos. That’s all. If you made Photoshop adjustments, it’ll be OK, but make sure it’s good looking. Test it out before it’s online. To test it out, download a copy of all common browsers, or ones that are for your website. Type up some markup and open the file in the browser. Here are common browsers:

  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Firefox
  • [Google] Chrome
  • IE (this one is known for problems.)

Part 2: PNG, for Everything Else

If you have regular graphics, you should use PNG files. Portable Network Graphics are really common over the internet. They’ll be used for still images in high quality. Just use PDN or Photoshop to turn GIF files to PNG files, if you are used to GIF. Here’s an article about 8-bit alpha – why you should switch from GIF to PNG.

So, GIF files are great for animation, but you should use Flash SWF files instead – they even have better resolution (duh). PNG’s are for still graphics, and JPG’s (or JPEG’s) are for photographic wonders.

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