Preparing graphics for a website is a journey into the unknown: You’ve got no idea what kind of monitor folks will use to view your images, how fast (or slow) their Internet connections are, or which web browsers they use. It’s a proposition riddled with variables that you have zero control over; all you can do is prepare your graphics well and hope for the best.
The main challenge in preparing images for the Web in Photoshop boils down to finding a balance between image quality and file size. Premium-quality, minimally compressed JPEGs look stunning under almost any conditions—but if your site visitor has a pokey dial-up connection, she might decide to click elsewhere rather than wait for the darn thing to download. On the other hand, if you try to satisfy the slowest common denominator by making ultra-lightweight images, you’ll deprive those with broadband (high-speed) connections from seeing the impressive details you’ve lovingly created.
Luckily, there are several tricks for keeping file sizes down and retaining quality. That’s what this chapter is all about. You’ll learn which size and file format to use when creating images destined for the Web. You’ll also discover how to make animations; craft favicons (those tiny graphics you see in web browsers’ address bars); mock up web pages; and publish professional-looking online photo galleries.
For a tutorial on creating your own custom Twitter page using Photoshop, visit this book’s Missing CD ...