One of the foundations of web design are images.  If your images are shabby, your web design will look shabby.  I follow some pretty simple rules when deciding how to save an image for the web.  I choose one of the following three formats:  GIF, JPEG or PNG.

The PNG format (pronounced “PING”) was designed to replace the GIF format.  It supports transparency in most browsers and as browsers continue to evolve it will become the superior image format.question mark

Typically try to use the PNG format instead of GIF.

The GIF format is limited to 256 colors.  It was developed back in the day when a PC could only display 256 colors.    A PNG is 20% smaller than the same GIF image.  One benefit that the GIF format has over PNG is the fact it has animation support.Â

Use the GIF or PNG format if your image is a line drawing, simple cartoon or text.

Go here for the W3C quality assurance tips about Gif vs. PNG.

The JPEG format supports full 240 bit color (16 million colors).    Any photographs displayed on your webpage should be saved as a JPG.  One major downfall of the JPEG is that it does not support transparency.   Â

Use the JPEG format if you are displaying a picture or something without sharp edges.