JPEG or GIF?
May 30, 2010 9:00 AM
Tagged as GIF or JPEG
When it comes to graphics on a web page, you generally have two options - GIF or JPEG. To determine which format will serve your needs, it helps to know a little bit more about them.
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GIF is short for Graphics Interchange Format, and these files carry the file extension .gif. These file types only support 256 colors, compared to the 16 million colors the JPEG files support. They are ideal for simpler illustrations or images that don't require a lot of detail. Despite this limitation, GIFs have special characteristics that make them especially useful in specific situations.
First, the background of a GIF can be made transparent. This allows the color of a Web page to show through and allows users to place an image without a "boxed" look.
Second, GIFs can be animated, which can be useful to draw attention to a specific point or area on a Web page.
Third, GIF images can retain their quality even after data compression.
JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. This is the common file type of digital photographs because it supports rich colors and subtle gradations. JPEGs can offer vivid and natural-looking images because the colors blend smoothly from one shade to another. JPEGs are more vulnerable to compression issues than GIFs. When you compress a JPEG image, you lose quality.
Whether you are using JPEG or GIF file formats, you should always keep in mind the file size. A large file will take longer to download on your Web page, so if your goal is a quick and efficient load time, you will want to optimize your graphics to accomplish this.
Questions about how to do that? Send me an e-mail or post a comment!