Posts tagged help

Images: three optimisation tips to help speed up your site

People like fast websites and so does Google.

In fact, your website’s speed is a ranking factor in Google search engine results.

If your site loads quickly, it’s more likely to appear when people search for your brand. This along with the knowledge that a fast site provides a better user experience (UX), means that a faster website can lead to higher conversions.

If your website isn’t loading as quickly as you’d like, it’s very likely that your images are to blame.

Here are a few common mistakes people make regarding optimising images for their website.

Images are too big

Many marketers and publishers like to use big, high-resolution images on their site, believing that these images will provide a better user experience.

The problem is that high-res images often have a very large file size, and take a long time to load, especially when there are multiple images on the same web page.

We’ve seen many publishers uploading images in the range of 2Mb to 5Mb in their blog or content posts. This image size is way too large for the web, and is one of the most common mistakes that slows down websites.

If your image is larger than 500kb, something might be wrong, and the image could be compressed.

Before you upload new images to your web page or blog post, remember these tips:

  • Before you upload any image, double-check the file size (right click the image, and choose properties)
  • Keep image files sizes below 500kb (and below 100kb if possible)
  • There are many online tools that can help you compress your images to get a smaller file size, such as io, CompressJPG, and TinyPNG.
  • If you use Photoshop to prepare your images, keep an eye on the dimensions and make sure the DPI is set to 72dpi (Image/Image Size) and remember to ‘Save for Web’ in order to control the final outputted file size.
  • Convert your images to the proper file types. In most cases, you’ll want to use JPG. However, if your image uses transparency (such as an image with a “see through” background) you’ll need to use PNG. There are some rare cases when GIF is best, but, when in doubt, always use JPG.

A specific example: An exclusive online designer footwear brand uses a lot of large banners and products images on its fashion site that dragged the Google PageSpeed score down to just 20/100.

We created a daily cron job (automated task that runs daily) to automatically resize big images down to smaller web standards, while maintaining a good quality.

In the screenshot below, we reduced the file size of an image from 1.3MB to only 142KB.

metallics webpage

reduce page speed chart

Simply by reducing image file size, we increased the Google PageSpeed score from 20/100 to 58/100.

Auto-scaling images

Another common mistake with images, is auto-scaling large images so they display smaller than they really are.

Doing this is often more convenient for the developer and content creators, but can really slow down a website.

For example, a big photo banner in a post might also be used as a small thumbnail elsewhere on the site.

The developer, rather than creating multiple versions of the image (e.g. 1000×425 for the banner and 64×64 for a side column), uses code to auto-scale the same big image to display as a small thumbnail. So a big image is being loaded unnecessarily. This shortens development time, but the page speed pays the price.

Not to mention, auto-scaled images can end up looking distorted because they’ve been stretched with code. For example, the thumbnail below is auto-scaled from 1000×425 pixels down to 64×64 pixels, and becomes distorted.

distorted thumbnail

reduce distortion on thumbnail

Keep an eye out for times when the same image is used many times on your site. If your site requires 12 different size variations used in 12 locations (something like 25×25, 40×40, 200×200, 658×258, 56×56, 64×64, 92×92, 150×156, 110×110, 160×160, and 180×180) that’s probably too many, and you might want to limit that down to less than four.

Then create a separate image for each different size, and load the correctly-sized image version rather than auto-scaling large images to look smaller than they really are.

Lack of image caching

Even if you use proper image compression, and serve properly-scaled images, a page that’s very image-heavy can still take a long time to load. Since images are static content, a great way to speed up the load time is to use CDN caching.

Caching (pronounced “cashing”) is the process of storing data in a temporary storage area called a cache. For example, you’ve probably noticed that a website you’ve visited in the past will load more quickly than a site you’ve never been to. This is because the visited website is cached by your computer.

A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a network of servers that delivers cached content (such as images) from websites to users, based on the geographic location of the user.

For example, if you’re in New York, and you’re looking at a website from India, you can load the images from a server that’s actually in New York, rather than loading images from halfway around the world.

A site using CDN caching can deliver images and other static content much faster, especially in peak traffic time, because images are not loaded directly from the web server, but from a cached server with much faster speed.

On top of this, a CDN also helps you serve more visitors at the same time. If your site experiences a sudden or unexpected spike in traffic, a CDN can keep your site functioning effectively.

Some of our favorite CDN providers are CloudFare, Akamai CDN, Amazon CloudFront, MaxCDN, and CDN77.

Mike Le is the Co-Founder and COO of CB/I Digital, a digital agency based in New York and a contributor to SEW. You can connect with Mike on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Can digital payments help disaster-proof smart cities?

Ternopil, Ukraine - September 27, 2015: MasterCard and Visa credit cards above american dollars

MasterCard is partnering with 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) to boost digital payments as a way of making smart cities more efficient and disaster-proof.

According to Pyments.com, the U.S. credit card behemoth is teaming up with the 100RC group which provides free expertise, tools and services to member cities. The group, led by the Rockefeller Foundation, is comprised of various non-profits, businesses and government agencies.

This comes as financial services companies are increasingly looking to develop the “banking of things” which seeks to harness the torrents of data being produced in smart cities.

MasterCard said it will use its resources to promote digital payments as an alternative to riskier cash-based transactions in 100RC cities.

It also will use its technology to help these cities develop their own digital payments strategies to “help cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century world.”

“In the face of rapid urbanization, removing cash from the economy has been shown to create far-reaching and cumulative benefits to all — citizens, businesses, tourists and governments,” said MasterCard’s vice president of government services Craig Driver. “Working with 100RC, we can tap into our expertise creating digital payment solutions for governments to help cities achieve greater cost savings and efficiencies, drive revenue, reduce crime, establish digital identities for their citizens, expand financial inclusion and improve overall quality of life.”

Payments alternatives can help during calamities

From the 100RC perspective, MasterCard’s expertise not only assists smart cities in becoming more economically efficient, but will improve their ability to weather unforeseen calamities.

“The complex problems facing cities in the 21st century require thinking and partnerships from experts across all sectors,” said  100RC president Michael Berkowitz. “MasterCard is uniquely positioned to assist 100RC members build efficiencies in their local economies and create cities better able to thrive and withstand both sudden and long-term disasters.”

MasterCard is currently working with 60 governments around the world on such payment issues as transit, procurement, government payroll and social benefits.

For example, Transport for London (TfL) worked with MasterCard to develop a fare collection system that accepts contactless bank cards. The result was a 5% drop in costs in fare collection in just over a year as well as simplified access to buses and trains for riders.

Meanwhile local businesses in Toronto and other Canadian cities have teamed up with MasterCard to glean digital insights that will improve competitiveness, business performance and understanding of customer behavior.

The post Can digital payments help disaster-proof smart cities? appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Help! I just launched a new website and my search rankings tanked! – Search Engine Land


Search Engine Journal
Help! I just launched a new website and my search rankings tanked!
Search Engine Land
Don't make the mistake of forgetting to optimize the new images, or else the pages on your new site may load so slowly that potential customers exit before viewing any of the content. Relying on Flash elements also can cause huge problems for SEO and
Profit by Search now offers SEO services to avoid the impact of new Google mobile usability testing toolYahoo Finance
Where SEO and User Experience (UX) CollideSearch Engine Journal
SoCal Marketing Consultants say SEO Improves Visibility, Rankings, Traffic, Leads & Sales for BusinessesDigital Journal

all 8 news articles »

View full post on seo optimization – Google News

Help! I just launched a new website and my search rankings tanked!

Inadvertently ruining your newly redesigned website’s SEO can be a nightmare. Columnist Will Scott explains four mistakes you must avoid before you launch.

The post Help! I just launched a new website and my search rankings tanked! appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

View full post on Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

IoT will help New Zealand double web traffic by 2020

Melbourne, Australia, September 5, 2004: Dancers perform the Haka during a celebration of New Zealand culture.

New Zealand is in the midst of an Internet of Things (IoT) craze that will drive data traffic to double by the year 2020.

A New Zealand Reseller News article  cites the results of a recent Cisco Visual Networking Index report that predicts the nation’s IP traffic will double by 2020 to reach 50 Gigabytes per capita, which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15%. The report covers traffic that includes Internet data along with managed networks like video-on-demand services.

As an illustration of the sheer volume of New Zealand Internet traffic, the data will grow to an equivalent of more than 72,000 DVDs every hour in four years.

“Digital transformation is happening quickly, and has the potential to improve the way New Zealanders live and work,” says Cisco New Zealand’s Head of Digital Transformation Glen Bearman.

The strongest trends that will drive growth in data traffic are expected to be the Internet of Things and digital transformation.

Millions more connected devices expected in New Zealand

The number of connected devices in New Zealand is expected to grow from 20 million in 2015 to 37 million by 2020, which will significantly increase the data load on the nation’s IP networks.

Among the applications that are expected to proliferate and drive traffic are such devices as digital health monitors, video surveillance and smart meters. As well, machine-to-machine connections will notably increase their presence, growing to a 70% share of the country’s total IP connections. Cisco expects to see this growth reach 7.7 devices / connections per capita.

The study also said increased immigration to New Zealand will drive IP data growth as 500,000 new citizens go online.

Bearman also cites faster broadband speeds as a potent accelerant of IP traffic growth.

“Higher speeds mean the consumption of rich media will continue to rise, with video being the dominant application across the globe,” he said.

The post IoT will help New Zealand double web traffic by 2020 appeared first on ReadWrite.

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15 data visualisation tools to help you present ideas effectively

The number of digital skills you need in order to be a functional and useful member of your organisation are increasing at a rate you might be struggling to keep up with.

As well as the ability to understand your analytics and be fully aware of basic SEO skills, you need to be able to present information and data in the clearest manner possible to members of your team and, of course, your senior management.

Luckily you don’t have to be a graphic design wizard to achieve this.

Here is a list of various free and premium visualisation tools that will help you communicate your ideas in a variety of formats, for a range of different experience levels. Hopefully you’ll pick up some impressive new skills here too.

Silk

With Silk you can publish attractive looking webpages featuring a variety of different interactive visualisations, based on your data-sets. These can exist as standalone pages, linking back to your own site for a little SEO benefit, or you can embed them wherever you like.

silk

Sketch

Think of Sketch as a much easier to use, far more intuitive and BS-free version of Photoshop that’s also a damn sight cheaper. I’m including it here because after a recommendation from my learned friend Chris Lake, within the afternoon I had installed Sketch, messed around for a couple of hours and finished a fairly complex but crystal-clear multichannel content marketing plan. I love it.

precision-objects

Google Fusion Tables

Fusion Tables is a web app that allows you to gather, visualize, and share data tables.

You can filter and summarize across thousands of rows, then adapt the data to an embeddable and shareable chart, map or custom layout. Plus all your data organization is automatically saved in Google Drive.

fusiontables

Piktochart

I’ve recommended Piktochart so many times – as has everyone else on the internet in the business of making your data-vizs and infographics look brilliant. It’s just so easy to use and the templates help you achieve results very quickly.

piktochart

Gephi

Gephi is an open-source data-viz tool for graphs and networks. It also allows for exploratory data, link and social analysis.

gephi

Easle.ly

Easle.ly possibly has the most satisfyingly meta-textual name on this list. It also has 1,000s of infographic templates at your disposal, as well as the ability to create one from scratch.

easel ly

Hohli

Need a simple bar chart, line chart, venn diagram or graph rustled up in a flash, without any extra complicated bells and whistles? Hohli should have everything you need.

hohli

Gliffy

Gliffy allows you to make great looking flowcharts and diagrams, but its secret weapon is the fact it has collaboration at its core.

wireframe-android@2x

Infogr.am

Infogr.am has a really beautiful collection of templates for data-visualisation, possibly some of the best looking here, and it’s very easy to use.

infogram

Leaflet

With Leaflet, you can create incredible looking maps, that are fully interactive and mobile friendly, with tonnes of customisable features.

leafletjs.com

D3

D3 basically stands for data driven documents, but there is little basic about this tool. In fact, you should probably only use this one if you have some expertise already. However the results can be more than worth the work.

d3

Bime

The analytics workspace, Bime has a great eye for stylish design, and its multi-device capabilities are impressive. Although it does come at a premium.

bime

Chartblocks

The “world’s easiest” bar chart building app, plus also one of the nicest looking and quickest to use too.

Online Chart Builder ChartBlocks

Dygraphs

Dygraphs lets you make interactive charts which you can mouse over to highlight individual values, then click and drag to zoom-in, zoom-out or pan around.

dygraphs

Timeline

With Timeline you can create embeddable sequential timelines by uploading your data from a Google Spreadsheet. Each timeline is customisable and interactive, plus even though it’s open source it’s relatively easy to use for beginners.

SIMILE Widgets Timeline

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