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Make Your Web Standards Compatible

Simple conventions to make your web compatible with contemporary internet speed, software, browsers, operating systems and hosting computers

It is important to design web pages and web sites so that you can reach the largest possible audience.  Sometimes the lowest common denominator is necessary and at other times modern technology is important.  Common reasons for assumptions:

  • There are still 10s of millions of users with dial up connects.  Your web pages should load as fast as possible for slower connection speeds. 
  • AOL alone still has 3 million dial up customers at the beginning of 2013, mostly in rural areas and small towns where some of your customers may live.
  • Image files should be sized to work at slower connection speeds.
  • Browsers are common in many difference versions and made by many company brands.
  • Many versions of Windows are in existence; Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 are common.  There are still web visitors using Windows 98, Windows ME and even Windows 95
  • The Apple OS and Linux computers are about 12 percent of internet users
  •  Computing on smartphones and tablets is growing into the majority of users.  Even the small iPod Touch and larger iPads support image sizes recommended on this page
  • Web pages should be designed in the most contemporary formats to keep your web site current into the future - HTML 5 and CSS 3 are recommended technologies to use now for all web sites
  • Older technologies (meaning older web browsers and older computers and computing platforms) will display most basic pages and functions created with HTML5 and CSS3.
  • Modern browsers, computers, operating systems and web hosts DO NOT support some Microsoft FrontPage functions

Page width and Monitor display

Monitor sizes vary today.  The minimum disk top monitor is considered to be 20 inches in 2013 but there are still millions of computer users with 17 and 19 inch monitors.  The trend is to larger monitors so widths up to 27 inches are not uncommon.  The standard web page with of today is considered 1024 pixels in width.  This page width will display fully visible on all of these common sizes.  1024 pixel wide pages display well on small notebooks, smartphones and tablets including iPods, iPads, and Androids

Images on you web.  The size and editing reasons of images

  Perspective Considerations
right arrow Image characteristics Image files are large.  Images take up a lot of server space and can cause web page to load slowly
right arrow Images sizes The "standard" computer display size is 1024 pixels or more. (including laptops, tablets and smartphones)  Photos no larger than 800 pixel width fit within web pages that are 1024 pixels wide and load in an economical time.
right arrow Image compression File sizes are minimized and Web page load times are improved with lower image quality
right arrow Image file types The most common image file format today is JPG because they offer the best monitor display quality and the best compression (saving file size space).  PNG images are larger but offer transparent backgrounds.  GIF images offer transparent backgrounds but lower color display options but can save space.  GIF files are the only type of these files that can be animated
right arrow File type notes JPG is the recommended and most advisable format to use.  JPG viewers are available on all computer platforms.  PNG files are advisable only when part of the picture needs to be transparent..  GIF files should be the least common type file used unless animation is needed.
right arrow Compression notes The higher the compression of an image displayed, the lower the quality but the faster it loads on a web page..  Most computer screens display files well enough at the 60-70% quality setting for JPG files.  View the image on your own screen to see if the display is satisfactory for you before you use the image in you web.  
right arrow Dots Printable images need a high dots per inch setting, recommended is 300 dpi.  Images for computer screen only  display can be 96 or even 75 dpi.  The lower the DPI, the smaller the image file and the faster it is to load on a web pages
right arrow Thumbnails Smaller than full size pictures should be displayed on a web page as a rule, especially when there are many images on a page.  These small images are known as thumbnail (sized) images or thumbs. The large, full size images should be accessed by links when clicking on the thumbs.  This keeps the page loading to the fastest times.  NEVER put the full size image on the page and resize it into a thumb when you want to show a thumbnail size.  If you do, the page will load the full size picture even though only the thumb size is seen - it will slow the page load time down

Image recommendations for web pages

 Many of these recommendations apply to files on your web for display on monitors.  High quality printing files require higher resolutions

  • Rename your images to a meaningful name so you can find the images later (no special characters or spaces in the file names - see file naming conventions below)
  • Never put the original images in your web.
  • Keep your original size image in case something goes wrong when you are resizing for web pages (copy the folder where your original images are stored so you have a secure version)
  • Use JPG file formats in most cases
  • Resize images to no wider than 800 px in most cases
  • Create a separate thumbnail size when displaying more than several images on a page
  • Use thumbnail sizes only if there is no real user advantage to see the photo larger
  • Link the thumbnail to the full size image when appropriate for your site user to see the image full size
  • Use 50% to 70% quality setting if these setting display the images well enough when you do test viewing
  • Use maximum 96 dpi setting or even a 75 dpi setting if the mages display is satisfactory   
  • Import the finalized image into your web

See the end of this page for a simple photo editing procedure using the Windows 7 version of Microsoft Paint

File Naming Conventions - ALL files in your web should:

  File Name Rule Reason
right arrow Not Contain Spaces Spaces show up as %20 in the url address bar.  example:  This page would show up as www.smalltownwebs.infowebs.info/help%20making%20you etc. if it had spaces in the URL
right arrow Not contain special characters User only - (dashes) or _ (underscores) instead of spaces to separate words in a file name.  Different operating systems or web hosting computers or browsers or search engines or other systems or software may gives errors with special characters.  Examples include special characters such as $ ( @ * ) ! # $ & and many others.  WARNING: Some versions of Windows creates files that are copied and pasted in the same folder as copy (2) etc. Rename the file to something else before you use it in a web.
right arrow Never start  with an underscore This is a number one no no - see above.  NEVER start a file name with an underscore or a dah! Example:  _picture.jpg is a no no.
right arrow are in lower case Some software permits and sees files with duplicate names as different files if one has some upper case and the other lower case and permits these duplicates in the same web folder.  Exception.  Page name URLs sometime appear better if they have Up/low names.  FYI, FrontPage allowed duplicate file names when the up/low varied in the file names

Importing Files and Information into your Web

  Import Rule Reason
right arrow Copyright Respect You are legally responsible for all your web content..Text; photos; drawings; music; data; or descriptive materials and other information may be copyrighted. Respect all laws, ask for permission to use copyrighted material copied from the web and post "used with permission" on your pages when you get it.
right arrow Metadata
ALL FILES pasted or imported into you web has hidden META DATA; that is. it has information that cannot be easily seen or changed.  This information is a part of the file and is unique to that file.  Never believe that files in your web are anonymous.  The meta data identifies the source of the original document just as your finger print identifies you.
right arrow Copy problems Copying from a web page and pasting ANYTHING from web pages DRECTLY into your own web can cause site code problems.  The copied information pasted into your web page will very probably bring along hidden code into your web that IS NOT COMPATIBLE with the format of you page, the version of the software you are using, the HTML version you are using and so on
right arrow Importing Images The correct procedure is to save images to your disk FIRST, not into your web.   Edit image size before importing it into your web, and then and only then import the file from your disk into your web
right arrow

Importing Text

Copied text from a browser or another software program DIRECTLY into your web is NOT RECOMMENDED because of Copy Problems suggested above.  The best way to copy text into your web is the copy / paste special (or paste as text).  This will paste the text without its previous location formatting code.  After it is pasted as text, format it in your web page itself.  Example:  Copying text from Microsoft Word and pasting it directly into an HTML editor will contain Microsoft code that is NOT automatically HTML5 compatible

Using MS Paint to simply resize photos to 800 pixels

MS Paint is a simple editor, and it is free with Windows.  Most earlier version of Windows have an earlier version of Paint but the procedure may be different.  MS Paint DOES NOT offer options to change Dots per inch (DPI).  You will need more feature rich software to change the DPI

Free images editors come with some new cameras and from other sources, you can buy more sophisticated software such as the CorelDraw suite which includes Corel PhotoPaint or Adobe PhotoShop and so on.  We still use PhotoImpact X3 . It is almost as powerful as Adobe Photoshop and just $30 from corel.com.  PhotoImpact is older software but it works with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.  We wrote a PhotoImpact X3 review on one of our sites

Rename your original file to a meaningful name first, before you start then
Open Paint

  1. Use only a COPY of the original in case something goes wrong
  2. file menu
    Click on the blue menu bar tab with the down pointing arrow on the upper right - open the image file
  3. On the home tab, click resize
  4. On the "Resize and Skew" dialog box click pixel
  5. Change the horizontal size to 800
  6. Click ok
  7. On the blue menu bar tab click save

If thumbnail size is needed

  1. file menu
    Click on the blue menu bar tab with the down pointing arrow on the upper right - click "Save As" using JPG on the fly out.
  2. Give your new file a name to include "thumb" or "small" in it.  For example the original image is mypicture.jpg.  The thumbnail might be saved as mypicture_thumb.jpg
  3. On the home tab click resize
  4. On the "Resize and Skew" dialog box click pixel
  5. Change the Horizontal size to (thumb sizes range from 50 pixel to 256 pixels)
  6. Click ok
  7. On the blue menu bar tab click save

Image resizing options are available in other software .  Sometimes other software calls the feature resampling

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