Images make a tremendous difference in the success of your online store; they play an important part in providing customers with the necessary information to find the product they require and make a buying decision.
An X-Cart store uses images for store categories, products, and brands (enabled by the add-on Shop by Brand). It also allows you to upload your own images for custom use (for example, images you include in product or category descriptions or use in banners).
The performance of your X-Cart store - specifically, how fast a store page loads for store visitors - depends largely on the use of images. Large hi-res images slow down your store’s web pages which creates a less than optimal user experience. To ensure a positive experience for your customers, X-Cart enables you to optimize your images. For example, you know your customers will want to access a highly detailed product image via a product page but are unlikely to need such a “heavy” image on a page where the product is listed along with other products (a product list page). X-Cart can help you to optimize your image use in this case by generating a larger image for the detailed page of a product and smaller images of the same product for pages requiring less detail. As a result, you will have different size versions of the same product image for every type of page with product information (a detailed image for the detailed product page and two smaller images for the product list: one for list view and another one for grid view).
To adjust your image optimization preferences, manage image resizing or upload custom images, visit the Images Settings & Uploading page of your store’s Admin area (Look & Feel -> Images Settings & Uploading).
Adjust the Default Image Settings
The settings listed in the upper section of the Images Settings & Uploading page (Look & Feel -> Images Settings & Uploading) affect the display of any images used in your X-Cart store.
The settings are as follows:
Use dynamic image resizing: X-Cart can resize the original images to display them on a page. Typically you use the Generate resized images feature (see the button of the same name in the lower part of the page) to generate smaller resized versions for your images. The setting “Use dynamic image resizing” can help with situations where X-Cart cannot find a previously generated resized version of an image it needs to display. If this setting is enabled, an appropriately sized version of the image is generated on the fly. If this setting is disabled, the original (non-resized) image is used.
Image quality after resize: Set the desired image quality in %.
Apply unsharp mask filter on resize: This setting enables you to increase the sharpness of the resized images in the most highly detailed areas of the image. Note: The "Apply unsharp mask filter on resize" setting is available only if the server on which X-Cart is hosted is configured to use gdlib. If the server is configured to use ImageMagick, the setting is not available.
Cloud Zoom: Enable this setting if you want to allow your customers to view an image in its original size and quality.
Cloud Zoom Mode: Choose whether you want the zoomed image to be displayed inside the general image area or outside of it. (becomes available only if Cloud Zoom is ON)
Use lazy loading: If enabled, pre-loaded low-resolution images or single color background image placeholders are used to replace the current full resolution images on the storefront before they are fully loaded. Note: If you do not see the setting "Use lazy loading" on the page, it is not supported by the skin installed in your X-Cart store at the moment.
After the above-listed image settings comes a chart that provides information on the dimension limits (width(px) and height(px)) for different types of images. (Note that these may be different depending on the skin installed).
All the images in your store will be resized to fit these dimension limits taking into account the image settings above. For Retina displays, image dimensions twice as big as those specified in the chart will be used. In any case, you can change the default image dimension limits if required; however, please keep in mind that the original image should be at least twice as big as the size to which it will be resized (i.e., the dimensions specified in the chart).
Note that the display size of a specific image type on your store pages may not match the dimensions specified in the chart in the Images section; that is, since the image display size may be modified by the CSS of a specific design skin.
Generate Resized Images
Clicking the Generate resized images button at the bottom of the screen launches an image resizing routine to generate copies of existing images in all the sizes needed to display these images in your store’s front end.
Having a separate image file in each of the sizes provides a way to speed up your site’s performance by reducing page load times for pages containing graphics.
Upload Custom Images
Any custom images you want to use in your X-Cart store can be stored on the same server where your X-Cart software is installed.
Before you continue, make sure the module Simple CMS is installed and enabled in your store.
To upload an image:
1. Go to the Custom images part of the Default image settings page (Look & Feel -> Images).
2. Click Upload and specify the image that needs to be uploaded onto the X-Cart 5 server:
The image will be selected for upload.
3. Click the Save changes button.
The image will be uploaded. You will be able to see it in the Custom images section at once:
Use Amazon S3 for Images
X-Cart provides an add-on that can be used to move all your category and product images over to the “cloud” storage services offered by Amazon called Amazon S3 Images in the X-Cart App Store.
For the guides on the add-on installation and configuration, please see the section Amazon S3 Images.