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  • Optimizing Images for Websites

    No comments March 30th, 2016 2146

    Images are an essential element when it comes to grabbing readers’ attention and breaking up long paragraphs of text. Images educate, emphasize, and elaborate. The more images used, however, can gradually slow your browser’s speed, increase the size of your pages, use up storage on your server, and ultimately increase the page load time for your visitors.

    The answer is optimization.

    The first thing to pay attention to is the image format. Most images will allow you to save them in various file picturesformats. Typically JPEG or PNG are used for the web. JPEGs are prime for photographs as they compress the colors well and don’t lose quality. PNG works better with screenshots or graphic images. Because of PNG’s higher compression quality, however, those files will be larger. Sometimes this payoff is worth it for the clear quality. Even though GIFs are usually used for animated files, the format also can be used for low-quality pictures with few colors or smaller files. Avoid putting larger pictures in GIF format, as this usually significantly reduces the quality.

    Another aspect to note is which category the image compression is: lossy or lossless. A lossy compression loses quality while taking up a small amount of space. Lossless gives you the exact quality of the original image but uses a greater amount of memory.

    JPEG = Lossy

    PNG = Lossless 

    GIF = Lossless

    Most graphic editing applications allow you to save your image for the internet, usually labeled something like “save for web & devices.” You want to select the lowest size possible without losing image quality. Try to keep your images under 70kb.

    Decorative images such as buttons, banners, and borders can take up more space than you can afford. Avoid this by putting simple patterns in GIF or PNG-8 format to reduce the overall size. Look for areas where you can replace pictures (such as colored sections or backdrops) with CSS styling. Are you using a wallpaper background image? Try playing around with the size. There is usually a bit of wiggle room between how much you can decrease the size before it starts visibly decreasing the quality as well. A neat trick is to crop the center of the background image out or replace it with a filled color. This will reduce the size considerably and, as long as the content covers the center, your viewers will not notice a difference!

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  • Minecraft Update for Duel-Wielding

    No comments March 8th, 2016 1999

    minecraftMinecraft Update 1.9 now allows your character to fully utilize both arms. This might not sound like much, but it will dramatically enhance your method of playing. Now you can grasp a sword in one hand and a shield in the other or dig tunnels while placing a road. This will simplify the building process and allow for more efficient multi-tasking, eliminating the need to toggle between tools for simple tasks.

    As you try this out for yourself, note that the system recognizes a main hand and an off-hand. The automatic setting is the right hand for the main and the left for the off-hand, but this can be switched under Skin Customization for those who favor playing left-handed.

    This is useful in more than just combat situations, where it provides convenience and efficiency. A user can also utilize the dual wielding option during eating, mining, and building.

    How does this work? On the bottom right side of the player avatar, you will find a slot with a shield outline, which represents the off-hand slot. Anything you place there should appear in your character’s left hand (on the default setting). For speedy use, press “F” to equip your left-hand and switch items out of your inventory into that hand.

    You can use the item in your off-hand while your right hand is empty or unusable. The main hand always takes priority. Two actions cannot be completed simultaneously, as there is always a slight delay between using the first and second hand. While empty, the off-hand is invisible in first-person.

    This update is exciting and useful. It does remain optional, as you can choose to ignore the addition of the off-hand and play as before. The choice stays up to the player to decide what is the most convenient and useful method to employ.

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  • News Popup

    Comments Off on News Popup February 12th, 2012 2733

    October – We are very proud to be one of the first hosting providers to offer SQL Server 2017 on all Windows-based hosting packages!

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