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Image Placeholders vs Not Image Placeholders

Image Placeholders vs Not Image Placeholders, that is the question.

That has been discussed before, but it is still relevant. Back years ago when internet speeds were much slower, it was a big consideration. Now, with huge web pages and lots of images and with many more people using the internet, even though the internet is faster, it is still a big consideration.

Using image placeholders;

If you have lots of images, and if you do have lots of empty boxes (placeholders) waiting for them to be filled, it could look like the users' update is maybe slow for the page. The potential irritation by the user for having to wait might be toward their internet transmission speed, and not so much toward your web site. The text might show up quickly and the user might be able to scroll through the page looking for the one (or more) image(s) that have a description in the image box telling them what is potentially going to be there. A goal therein is full page text, with descriptions of images, and the user reads and considers their options quickly.

  • Potentially fast full text load thus allowing the user to read and scan and decide quickly.

  • Potentially large (long scroll) size page is loaded with "lots of" image placeholders that take up space.

Not using image placeholders;

If you have lots of images, and you do not have lots of empty boxes waiting for them to be filled, then the page might jump in size each time that another image expands the height of the page. Many web pages have done this jumping in size as an image was loaded. It has occationally had the effect of a user reading some text on a web page then the page jumps in size and the user is on a different part of the page, stopped in reading where they were until they searched and found those lines again. Switching the users' position on a page has occationally disrupted a user's reading and with "lots of images" some pages have done that multiple times.

  • Not a lot of empty boxes waiting to be filled.

  • Potentially interrupting your customer as they are reading and viewing your web page.
  • Potentially irritating your customer.
  • Potentially causing your customer to be irritated with your site and if they recall your site then potentially recalling it with pre-installed irritation directed at your site.

Maybe further considerations:

A way to force image placeholders to show up could be to write the web page with code that does that. There are multiple ways, and maybe someone might help you by replying exactly how to do that.

If your customer has slow transmission speeds and you have lots of images then you probably should use image placeholders.

If your customer has a fast wireless connection and if there is a snow storm local to them then that customer's transmission speed might be slow to maybe stopped for a while and that customer might take a long time loading your web page.

If your customer is sitting at home in their underwear or naked and using their laptop to look at stuff on the internet and if Microsoft is using up vast amounts of that person's internet bandwidth uploading (via so called telemetry "data") video from that user's laptop camera and the user's fingerprint scanner, then that customer might take a long time loading your web page. Some people know to put black tape over each of those before they even turn on the computer the first time, and keep that black tape there even when the computer is "so called" turned off but still has the battery in it, but some might not. Some people completely remove the video camera and the microphone and the finger print scanner before allowing the laptop to be turned on the first time. You should consider that available (allowed, remaining, left-over) bandwidth for the customer could interrupt your web page's download.

If your customer has lots of kids using the internet, and the customer is at home using the internet, and those kids are downloading movies and other stuff or trying to play (virtually real-time) online games then that customer might take a long time loading your web page.

If you are advertising lots of items and if the customer has to wait and if the customer is irritated by your web page jumping in length and causing that customer to lose their place on your web page, then you might do well to put in image placeholders. To lose a sale because of your web page that you are paying for causing them irritation might not be in your best economic interest.

You probably should use image placeholders even if you only have one or a few tiny images.

Or, and you might have a very difficult time getting this to work, write your web page so that the javascript *works correctly* with your customers' web browser, and write the javascript so that it detects the location of the web page that is opened (scrolled to) by the user, and write the javascript so that it re-establishes that page location for the user when the page jumps in size. Surround images with text wherein the image later jumps the page size, might make this more complicated.
You probably should use image placeholders.
Feb 13 '20 #1
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