A Stitch In Time…

Since Net Neutrality is anything but safe, proactive arts managers will begin developing some skills to optimize your organization’s website so pages load as fast as possible.

One of the key elements in creating web pages with snappy response times are optimized images. Just look at how much important Google places on this aspect of web design:

Images often account for most of the downloaded bytes on a web page and also often occupy a significant amount of visual space. As a result, optimizing images can often yield some of the largest byte savings and performance improvements for your website: the fewer bytes the browser has to download, the less competition there is for the client’s bandwidth and the faster the browser can download and render useful content on the screen.

Image optimization is both an art and science: an art because there is no one definitive answer for how best to compress an individual image, and a science because there are many well developed techniques and algorithms that can significantly reduce the size of an image. Finding the optimal settings for your image requires careful analysis along many dimensions: format capabilities, content of encoded data, quality, pixel dimensions, and more.

I published an article today at ArtsHacker that walks you through a new image analysis tool from an already great resource on helping you optimize webpages. It utilizes a very non-technical approach, which should make it that much more accessible regardless of your technical comfort level.

An Already Great Tool Just Got Better: WebPageTest.org Image Analysis

Additional articles on testing page speed and image optimization:

One Of The Best Free Tools You Can Use To Measure Page Speed

Does This JPG Make Me Look Fat? The Thinking Manager’s Shortcut To Image Optimization

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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