Attack of the Giant Pictures

There have been numerous studies that claim a website has only a scant few seconds to grab the surfer’s attention and keep them on your site. I have unfortunately noticed a trend with many crafting websites that use shop software to run the site – the sites take forever, I mean like 5 minutes or more to load.

I ran into this once again the other day. You know when you use a digital camera and the photographs are like 1100 pixels wide? Well this site owner used those original pictures on her site! No wonder it took around 8 minutes for her site to load on my stupid dial-up connection (yes, there are some of us still using those things).

I have brought this issue up on crafting forums and have even emailed some website owners when they have submitted to Crafty Tips and have made this mistake.

I think I finally have come up with an analogy for this…

Let’s say you want to have a single cup of tea. You put 5 gallons of water up to boil. While you will still have boiling water to make your tea with, you had to wait for the entire 5 gallons to boil.

When website owners use the original over-sized picture and then resize the image using the code used to display the image (height=”something” width=”something else”) they are actually causing the entire 1100 pixels wide image to load. Yes, the image is displayed at the size they intend for it to be. But, they are basically boiling 5 gallons of water to get a small cup-full and expecting their website visitors to wait for all of that gigantic picture to load.

I hope this post gets at least one crafter out there to realize that by using giant pictures where they are not needed that they are inviting people NOT to stay at their website. If someone does stay long enough to look at an interior page where your products are listed, do you think they will stay long enough for all of those giant pictures to load too?

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