What Are The Best Image Formats For Websites

There Are Dozens Of Image Formats. [1] Many Of Them Come From Graphics Editing Programs Such As The Photoshop Document File Format (PSD) Comes From Photoshop. Some Come From Digital Photography Companies, Such As Camera Image File Format (CIFF) Is A Raw Image Format Designed By Canon. On The Internet There Are Only A Few Key Image Formats That Has A Lot Of Prominence And Impact Online.

The Format Of An Image Will Affect Many Different Aspects, Such As Load Times, Rendering Times, Image Quality Loss Over Time And Color Quality Of Images. There Is Also Compatibility Issues To Consider. For Example Hosting CIFF Image File Is Not Supported By Many Applications. For Example Google Docs Does Supports Many File Types Such As Adobe Illustrator (.AI) Adobe Photoshop (.PSD) And Tagged Image File Format (.TIFF) But It Does Not Support CIFF. [2] You Can Store CIFF Files And Send Them But You Can’t Use Many Features Such As Image Preview.

JPEG Is The Most Commonly Used Image Format Online. This Is Because JPEG Is Excellent To Show Photographs And That It Has A Small File Size Is Because Of Compression. If Users Want To Download A Files Websites It Is Usually Best To Use JPEG. The Compression Is Of Course A Double Edge Sword. One One Hand It Lowers File Sizes, And On The Other It Causes Problems. Because Of The Compression JPEG Files Are Not Good For Images With Sharp Edges And Text. Sharp Edges And Text Become Very Blurry With Only A Few Transfers. [3]

Original Cute Cat Photo In JPEG Format (62KB)

Cute Cat Photo In GIF Format That Was Converted From JPEG Format (37KB)

Cute Cat Photo In PNG Format That Was Converted From JPEG Format (164KB)

GIF Is An Important Image Standard. Its Key To Fame Was Its Ability To Have An Animated Image. GIF Only Has 256 Simultaneous Colors. GIF Has A Low Amount Of Available Colors. If An Image File Is Converted To A GIF File, The File Size Can Become Substantially Lower. It Compresses Really Well But With A Lot Of Loss In Image Quality. [4]

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) Is Becoming A Powerhouse In Its Presence Online. PNG Is Becoming More Important, As Internet Speed And Storage Space Increases There Is Less Need For Compression And Lowering File Size. With Increases Capabilities Users Want More Quality. Many Believe That PNG Will Make JPEG Irrelevant. [5]

PNG Compresses Really Well. It Has Great Edges And Text. It Has Transparency. PNG Is Becoming The Standard. Because PNG Is Lossless, It Is A Suitable Format For Storing Images To Be Edited. While PNG Is Reasonably Efficient When Compressing Photographic Images, There Are Lossless Compression Formats Designed Specifically For Photographic Images. Another Reason Why PNG Is So Popular Is Because PNG Is An Open Standard Supported By The World Wide Web Consortium. [6]

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_graphics_file_formats
http://support.google.com/drive/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2423485&from=1189935&rd=1
http://smallbusinessplanned.com/marketing/what-is-the-difference-between-a-jpg-gif-tiff-png-and-eps/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49_BX4HeIw4
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/30941/whats-the-difference-between-jpg-png-and-gif/
http://www.w3.org/TR/PNG/

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Allen Ray

is a graphic designer. The Design Mag was founded in 2008, and since then she is constantly looking for new ways to serve the Design community both online and offline. It is her ultimate goal to make The Design Mag the best source for Design related Tutorial and Resources. Follow on Twitter@thedesignmag

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