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Use Lowercase Markup For Better Compression – avoid uppercase markup to improve xhtml and html compression

Lowercase markup compresses more efficiently than uppercase markup. Along with the benefits of XHTML compatibility, lowercase markup allows HTTP compression to work more efficiently by increasing redundancy. In this article we show the benefits of using lowercase markup on five popular sites.

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Use Conditional Server Side Includes – conditional css style sheets xssi

You can minimize HTTP requests by combining external CSS and JavaScript files. You can go even further by server-side including the remaining external files (with restrictions for XHTML due to its XML nature). One additional technique is to make those SSI work harder for you by serving up conditional content. Conditional server-side includes let you deliver different content based on environment variables sent by browsers to servers.

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Graphics: Blur Backgrounds for Optimized JPEGs – optimize jpegs by blurring background for smaller jpeg optimization in lab color mode

A close cousin to regional compression, blurring reduces higher frequency details for smaller JPEG images. Blurring smooths out abrupt color and tonal transitions, making the JPEG algorithm work more efficiently. The amount of savings depends on the amount of blurring, and can range anywhere from 5% to over 20%. The less detail there is in an image, the more efficient the compression.

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Graphics: Minimize Dithering – reduce banding diffusion dithering in gif png for smaller optimized images

At lower bit-depths, color quantization can reduce smooth color gradients into discernible bands of color (see Figure 1). Dithering is the process of changing pixels in these color transition zones to minimize banding. This feathering process strategically places patterns of available colors to emulate colors eliminated in the color quantization process. The resulting image appears smoother, but dithering makes file sizes larger (see Figure 2).

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Graphics: Minimize Bit-Depth – minimize colors in gif png for smaller images pngs lzw algorithm

For palette-based formats like GIF and PNG, file size is directly related to the size of the color palette, or the number of colors in the image. As the number of colors in an image crosses a power of two, the file size jumps. A 33-color image must use a six-bit palette, while a 32-color image can use a 5-bit palette. Smaller palettes mean smaller codes (representing pixel patterns), which makes for smaller files. So minimizing the number of colors in index-color images like GIFs and PNGs will minimize file size.

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CSS: Substitute CSS2 Menus – replace graphic rollovers with css menus

Substituting CSS-based techniques for old-style graphic rollovers and DHTML menus is one of the most effective web site optimization techniques available. Graphic rollovers use “on” and “off” graphics to create rollover effects, with and without JavaScript. DHTML menus create nested menu structures with JavaScript, some of it complex. With the widespread adoption of CSS2-aware browsers, there is a better choice: CSS-based techniques. Substituting list-based markup, CSS2 to style, and an optional dash of JavaScript makes for fast, small, and accessible CSS menus.

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Graphics: Use Lossy Compression for Smaller GIFs and PNGs – gif lossy png compression for smaller images pngs lzw algorithm

Lossy compression is a good way to squeeze extra bytes out of your GIFs and PNGs. Lossy compression changes pixel patterns to match other pixel patterns to allow more efficient compression. You can apply lossy compression to the entire image, or selectively using weighted optimization with alpha masks for less important areas of your images (see Figure 1). Although the term sounds catchy, it should not be confused with the lossy compression used in JPEG compression.

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