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The Responsive Web Design journey: the crossroad between devices and image manipulation

I like the way Guy Pojdarny said it: "Mobile took the web by surprise". It can't be more true. Nowadays we face the burst of mobile devices accessing to our sites and applications. They are not a minority anymore. And we have to make sure we satisfy them all, as they are all potential buyers, customers, viewers, ad consumers or users of our sites and applications. In other words, addressing them properly means revenue.
So, if you were wondering whether or not you should adopt a RWD (Responsive Web Design) strategy, I'd say there is no question: you should. A whole Responsive Web Design strategy may include many different angles and aspects, and may seem overwhelming but I have good news. You can start from something simple and extremely effective: adapting the images.

There is a common rule in the vast majority of websites: the heaviest content are the images. Very likely your images account for a good 40% (if not more) of the total load weight of the page. When your users surf your website in a desktop device, this could be fine, but when they are using a mobile device, they have:

  • A smaller device, so images don't need as much quality as in a 17" screen.
  • A less powerful processor, so they render images slower
  • Probably worse bandwidth, so it takes more time to download the same amount of information.
With all of the above, it seems clear that the right (and easy) approach would be starting a RWD strategy just by manipulating the images delivered to mobile devices so they are smaller, lighter, and probably even with different aspect ratio.

Well, I have more good news. The product Image Converter is meant exactly to do that. And some other things.

Image Converter is one of the first Cloudlets that Akamai has released: this is a process executed and performed at the edge intended to, on top of increase performance, solve one individual business issue: in this case, the dynamic manipulation of images on the fly.

The easiest way to think of Image Converter is as follows, a distributed service deployed on the Akamai platform that performs specific image manipulations on real time upon request.

Miguel Blog Post Image 1.png
And when I say upon request, this is how it works. It is as simple as adding a query string to the URL to instruct the Image Converter Cloudlet which action to take and which parameters to use:

Miguel Blog Image 2.png
Well, you see? We are also thinking about what to do better when it comes to address mobile devices. We are together in this RWD journey.

If you want to learn more about Image Converter, you can click here or join the conversation in Akamai Community.