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Getting Started With Web Graphics: The Basics : Page 3

Here's an overview of the kinds of graphics used in Web design, the ways you can use them, and the fundamentals of getting them to work right.


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The Bandwidth Bottleneck
You've heard it before and you'll hear it (many times) again throughout the width and breadth of this site that all-important word: bandwidth.

Bandwidth refers to how fast data can be transferred across the network. It is the greatest limiting factor as you add graphics to your site. This is not an issue with text files because those files are usually small and text data takes up very little room. But with graphics it is a whole other story!

Graphics files—and graphics data—fill much more file space than text files and to understand how your readers will see your page, you'll need to be aware of bandwidth issues.

A Picture Is Worth...
Think of it this way. If one picture is worth a thousand words, thats a text file.

Another way to think about image file size is by download time. How long would you wait for an entire Web page to download? Twenty seconds? A minute? Longer? (I doubt it...) Heed the Golden Rule of Web-page creation:



Do not ask your users to wait any longer than you would happily wait for an entire page to download.



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