You are currently browsing the HTNet archives for October, 2007.

If you’re a regular reader of HTNet, you’d know that I’ve been looking for a new web hosting provider. The good news is that the server has been reasonably stable since then. The bad news, for my current hosting provider that is, is that I’m still going to switch to a competitor.

As server operating costs become lower by the year, you can now get decent hosting packages at reasonable prices. Heck, some annual packages now cost less than a monthly fee ten years ago!

However, with this benefit comes a curse; where can you find reliable quality hosting at affordable rates?

I’ll be straight up with you, one of the hosting providers I’m seriously considering is HostGator. I know that they’ve been around for ages! It also seems that they’ve grown a lot during that time.

Nevertheless, it’s only prudent that I do some research before subscribing to their services. I’m also in no rush as my current hosting term will only expire in May 2007, so I have just over half a year to find a better deal.

One of the sites I stumbled upon while searching for HostGator reviews was HostGatorReviews.com. The layout is simple and very user friendly in my opinion. You can pretty much navigate around the site very easily without getting overwhelmed.

It has over 40 reviews of HostGator covering all their services which include; Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting and Dedicated Servers. That’s a pretty high number by any standards, especially for a site focused on just one hosting provider!

Another surprisingly wonderful aspect of HostGatorReviews.com is that it also showcases HostGator Coupons! You can get almost ten bucks off your purchase of any HostGator package by using the coupon codes listed there.

If I were ever to jump on board the HostGator ship, I might take another peek there again. Who knows, there might be better offers then!

I stumbled upon The Best and Worst Logo Remakes of the Century by aclevercookie and thought that it was a very educational and well written post.

As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, I also believe that style is pretty much a standard. Any logo, or design element at that, doesn’t need to be beautiful in order to have style. In fact, more often than not, it’s the simplest of things that are the most stylish.

Need examples? Well, here are some I can recall off-hand:

What are some of your favourite logos?

While waiting for Streamyx’s arrival to my home, I’ve been logging on to the Internet occassionally using TMNet’s 1315 dialup service. Man, it’s a hellish experience! At 33.6kbps everything takes ages to load and I’m merely visiting web sites!

I tried to visit some friends’ blogs and just couldn’t believe how bloody long it took to render the pages! After a while, I started to wonder how long would HTNet take to load on dial-up connection and I took a peek. I’m glad to find out that it loads pretty quickly.

Optimizing your web site’s loading time isn’t difficult; it’s mostly an excercise of common sense; smaller pages load faster. Hence, we should make our pages as small as possible without sacrificing the information we want to present on them.

When it comes to load time, images are undeniably the biggest culprit. However, in this multimedia age, using images is an almost unavoidable excercise. The key to using images efficiently is to select the right image for a particular purpose.

When choosing an image format, we basically have three popular formats to choose from: JPEG, GIF and PNG. Each format has its own strength and weaknesses:

  • JPEG
    • Excellent for rich coloured images
    • Decent file size compression to quality ratio
    • Doesn’t support animation
    • Doesn’t support transparency or alpha-blending
  • GIF
    • Small file size
    • Supports transparent regions
    • Supports animation
    • Limited colours (supports up to 256 colours maximum)
    • Doesn’t support partial transparency or alpha-blending; making transparent regions look chipped and unsmooth
  • PNG
    • Can be in true or indexed colour format
    • Supports true transparency and alpha-blending
    • Cannot be animated
    • File size can be big
    • Cross-browser support is an iffy deal (especially when it comes to Internet Explorer)

So what functions suit which format? There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to this issue. However, from my experience JPEGs are best suited for photographs and images with vibrant colours. GIFs on the other hand are ideal for animated icons that brings attention to nearby text content.

PNGs are my preferred choice when it comes to background images and logos; especially when full or partial transparency is involved. By overlaying PNGs on top of one another, you can achieve pretty stunning visual effects! Better still, most modern browsers support PNGs much better than in the past.

As an owner or maintainer of web sites, one should always experiment with these three formats to get the best visual representation at the smallest size possible. Play around with indexed vs true colours, compression rates and image dimensions. Explore the capabilities of each image format and you’ll make better decisions when it comes to using images in your web pages.

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You can read more about these image formats on Wikipedia: