On the 3rd day of Christmas my webmaster gave to me, three inflatable nativities (see enumerated image below !-)
Yes folks, nothing bring to life the miraculous birth of our Savior like some pudgy latex airbag glowing in front of your house at night.
Of course I’m being sarcastic. I mean c’mon, what’s more out of context:
- the comfy inflatable pillow beneath the baby Jesus’ head 1;
- the slightly obese Mary and Joseph (apparently no shortage of eats at the inn) 2; or
- the blizzard like conditions 3?
Obvious anachronisms aside, I’ve actually selected these bloated lawn-blimps to remind us of yet another aspect of church websites that are as equally irritating as the neighbor who positions all three of these flightless dirigibles so that their blinding glow comes pouring into your bedroom window all night.
Yes folks, I’m talking about Image Bloat – a plague so annoying that I’m told it has the potential to turn Internet seekers into flying spaghetti monster worshiping pastafarians due to the long load times of enormous images. Or as Father Flanders put it in his now famous sermon for Sunday, July 13, 2003:
Just because Jesus miraculously turned water into wine doesn’t mean he can miraculously turn your 1280- x 1024-pixel image whose file size is 1.8Mb into an image whose file size is only 74Kb just because you changed the WIDTH= and HEIGHT= attributes to WIDTH=”420″ and HEIGHT=”336″.
In other words, one of the big problems I see with so many church websites are poorly optimized graphics – so let me make this point very loud and clear:
Reducing the height and width attributes of the <IMG> tag does not, I repeat DOES NOT, physically reduce the physical size of the file. Nor does it reduce the size of the image via â€œcolor reduction.â€
But rather than bore you with the math behind shaving minutes of download time to seconds by a little bit of optimization and color reduction, I’m just going to suggest 2 free solutions that will help get you started in the right direction:
- Quick Thumbnail: a software as a service that helps you resize images online
- IrfanView: a client application that also helps you both resize and crop your images
Either one will help you get the job done, and help you avoid overweight images that impede your visitors browsers slower than the idiot driving in front of you at 5mph to see some 12-foot inflatable Nativity scene that is equipped with a squeaky MIDI rendition of “Let it Snow!”