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Cichlids Australia

How do I post images on the forums.

By Cichlids_au

Using graphics
There are a number of factors to take into account when using graphics. This is to ensure that your images download quickly.

Image size
Although everyone wants to use as many pictures and animations as possible, this causes one major problem - the more graphics you include in a page, the longer it takes for the page to download. To make a image download in a minimal amount of time you will have to consider the size of the image in terms of memory and download requirements.

An average image should be around 10 - 30 Kilobytes in size. This may not mean much but, the average download speed for a person connecting to the Internet using a modem and phone line is 2 - 4 kilobits per second, depending upon the modem connect speed and phone line quality. You then have to remember that a post that consists of more than just one image. Adding more than one image will see the download times increase, possibly to the stage where a member will abandon your post because it takes too long to download. Most members will abandon a post if it takes more than 30 - 40 seconds to download.

The way to make sure that your images download quickly is to optimise them to reduce memory requirements (file size). You need to select the correct file format in which to save the image to make it as small as possible. An image that is saved in the wrong format can make downloading painfully slow and, may degrade the quality of the image.

Format types
There are two main formats used to publish images on the World Wide Web. The first type of image format is called JPEG, short for Joint Photographic Experts Group. This format is used for images that have many thousands of colours, particularly colours that blend and fade into one another. Photographs and intricate images that have many shades of colour are best suited to the JPEG format (.jpg is file extension).

If, on the other hand your image has flat colour fields, such as illustrations, it would be best saved as a GIF file. GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. This format works very well for images that do not have blended shades of colours, as there are in photographs. As an example, all the images in the set-up guides for this helpdesk are saved in the GIF format, as there is no blending of colours or, multiple shades of colours (.gif is file extension).

Optimising images
In order to optimise images you will need an image-editing program to open your images and save them in the correct format. There are numerous image-editing programs available, some of which are for free while others are available for a trial period, after which you will need to pay the full purchase price to keep using them.

Web Graphics Programs
Adobe Illustrator
Jasc Paintshop Pro
LView Pro
Ulead Photo Impact

You will need to experiment with your chosen graphics program to achieve the effect(s) you want as each program has its own particular way of optimising and converting image format types.

Uploading to your web space
Now that you have completed the resizing and adjustments of your images, it is time to upload them to your web space for the world to see. Using a file transfer protocol program, also known as an FTP program does this. Most HTML editors have FTP functions built in, however many people prefer to use stand-alone purpose designed FTP programs. I use FTP Voyager.

To load your files into your web space, you must first of all configure your particular FTP program to access your web space.

Free Personal Webspace
The server name used for your personal web space, otherwise known as the FTP host address, is given by your ISP, with OptusNet it is You will also need to enter your username and password details. These are the same ones that you normally use to connect to your ISP for browsing and email access. Finally, a port number may be required - Check this with your ISP.

Paid Web Hosting
The server name used for your Web Hosting web space is your domain name (eg. You will also need to enter your username and password details. These would have been provided in a letter sent to you confirming your Website details. Again, a is port number may be required - Check with your Web Hosting company.

The way that you configure these settings varies from one FTP program to another, you will need to consult the instructions for your particular FTP program for configuring.

Once you have configured your FTP program, you are ready to upload your images to your web space. This involves:

* Opening your FTP program and logging into your web space using the profile you have configured in the program.
* Selecting the folder/directory on your computer where you have stored the image files you wish to upload.
* Clicking the appropriate button that will start the upload process to your web space.
* Testing your web site by opening your web browser and entering the address (URL) for your web space.

You should now be able to view your images through your browser.

File Transfer Programs
Please note, some of the programs listed here are available for a trial period. After the trial period you may be required to register and pay for the program to continue using it.

File Transfer Programs (FTP) & Operating System
Interarchy (formerly Anarchie) Macintosh
Cute FTP Windows 98/ME/NT4/2000
Fetch FTPFetch FTP Macintosh
FTP Explorer Windows 98/ME/NT4/2000
WS_FTP Windows 98/ME/NT4/2000/XP
FTP Voyager Windows 98/ME/NT4/2000

Posting your images
There are three different posting screens available user posted image. We will be dealing with the first two.

The add reply button user posted image allows you to add a new reply onto that particular topic. The new topic button user posted image allows you to add a new topic to that particular forum.

When you are in the post screen you will have several formatting options available.
user posted image

For posting images we use the IMG button user posted image. If you have not been able to optimise your image you can use the http:// button user posted image. When you click one of these buttons you will be presented with a dialogue box.

The IMG dialogue box will allow you to past your image URL, this will add the code required to display the image for you directly into your post like this
user posted image.

The http:// button will allow you to post a link to your image that will cause the image to appear in a new window, once you have pasted the URL into the dialogue box and press enter, you will be presented with another dialogue box. This second box will determine what text will appear in your post, like this
My M. chipokae

When you have completed editing your post you will see these buttons user posted image at the bottom of the screen.

The Preview Post button user posted image will allow you to view your post before it is added to the forum, this will give you the opportunity to make any corrections you may need.

When you are happy with your post the Add Reply button user posted image will cause the post to the forum for all the members to see.

Editing Posts
If you find that you have made a mistake in your post after you have posted your images you can alter the original post using the edit button in this button group.
user posted image

The edit button user posted image allows you to re-enter the post to make your amendments.