The random pictures feature selects a random picture from a set held on the web server and puts it into the web page that the user is viewing, together with caption(s) if you have supplied them. If the user comes back to the page he will almost certainly see a different picture.
The picture below is a random picture selected from a set called 'demo'. If you refresh this page by pressing the refresh button on your browser toolbar, the picture should change.
|(used on maryhoffman.co.uk)|
This feature gives your site a fresh feel for return visitors and can show a different book cover or illustration each time they access the site. It can also be useful for online shops or companies with a range of goods to feature or actors who can show themselves playing different roles. Of course, the pictures mustn't be too big for the web page but, apart from that, there are few other restrictions.
If you don't want to get involved with the technical side of your website, you can pay us to add and delete pictures for you (in which case you don't need to read the rest of this page).
Alternatively, you make changes and add new pictures yourself using our DIY system. To see how this works,to open the feature control page and scroll down to the random picture section.
Adding a picture
In the random pictures section click demo New Picture. This opens a file selector that allows you to browse your own computer for the image you want to upload. In this case you would be uploading to the 'demo' set but you can have multiple sets of pictures in different parts of your site. The picture has to be in gif, jpg or png format. You can add captions to go above and/or below the picture, or you can leave them blank. If you had the password, you would now be able to upload the picture.
Editing the picture list
Return to the 'New Picture' section of the feature control page and click demo Edit captions/remove pictures. You can now view all the pictures in the list, change the captions and remove the pictures you no longer want. Finally you commit the changes by entering your password and clicking submit.
The bigger your picture files, the longer they take to appear on the user's screen so it makes sense to reduce your file size as much as possible. There are two basic ways to do this:
- Crop the picture to make it physically smaller
- Reduce the quality. If the source of your picture is a digital camera, you can be sure that the quality is too high for the web and some degradation will be beneficial.
Most image manipulation programs allow you to do so these things but if yours doesn't, you could try the excellent free software available from http://www.irfanview.com.
As a very rough guide to file sizes, you can guess that users won't want to wait more than about 5 seconds to see a picture. In these 5 seconds a 28.8k bit modem (about the slowest around these days) will download about 15k bytes - so try to make your files no bigger than that.