How can you protect your art while showing it on the internet. Let's start with the premise that the reason you have a website is to display your art and attract prospective customers to admire and buy your art. Given this premise, what are some things you can do to achieve this purpose and still protect your art.
First let's consider the size of the image. Marketing research indicates that when a viewer lands on your site, you have 4-5 seconds to capture their interest before they move on. So the very first reason for them to leave your page is an image that is 3 MB (megabytes) large because that's the size of the image that came out of your digital camera. Even with more and more people accessing the internet via high speed links, it can take 35-55 seconds to download this image. Your prospective customer has long since departed your website.
Another reason to keep your image sizes small relates to how the images are displayed on the viewer's screen or monitor. These devices are only capable of showing images with a resolution of 72 dpi (dots per inch). The images that are produced by your camera have a resolution of 300 dpi which are appropriate for sending to the printer. Therefore if you are loading large images to your site, you are providing a potential thief with all they need to extract your art, blow it up to a reasonable size and print it out. Opps.
MyArtClub.Com recommends that you resize your images between 50 KB (kilobytes) and 140 KB before loading them to your site. We have found that in most cases, this size of image provides a clear representation of your art that can be loaded to most computers in a matter of seconds.
As computer screens are replaced with larger sizes (19" and 21" screens), the available real estate to display your image gets larger. However, many of your prospective customers may still be using a smaller 15" or 17" screen size. Therefore to show your art to best effect, display your art so that it can be seen without having to scroll up and down the page to view the whole image.
Most image editors have a mechanism for resizing your art. We recommend a couple of simple tools that are freely available to download off the web. They will either resize your art images one at a time or can resize an entire directory of images for you. They will also control the physical size of the saved image for .jpg files by controlling the compression or quality factor. The Microsoft editors save your images with a default quality of 80%. However you can vary the quality factor to set the physical size and improve the image at the same time.
In our next blog we will discuss other recommendations about displaying your art on your website.