Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Web Designers and other Freelance Design topics.
You probably already know that Web graphics are usually either GIFs or JPGs. You may also know that simple graphics are usually saved as GIFs and photos as JPGs. How do you really tell, though?
The right format for your image is whichever one makes the image smaller. The point of having different formats is to help you, the designer, create faster pages without losing too much image quality.
Adobe Photoshop is the standard program for creating Web images. Its "Save for Web" function allows you to see how an image will look at varying sizes and in varied formats.
There's a third Web graphic format, PNG, which can sometimes result in a smaller image and may be worth trying. However, it is not supported by some older browsers, so you'll want to test any pages that use PNGs for cross-browser compatibility. A busy freelance Web design pro may conclude that this third format is not worth much time.