WebArtzWeb Design and Programming Services

Information for AOL Users

Several people have contacted us to complain of blurry graphics on their web sites. In all cases, these people have been users of AOL and the graphics generally looked fine to us (OK, sometimes they were low quality demo or comp images but these never make it into a final site). The reason for most of the complaints is actually a "feature" of AOL. In an attempt to speed up the download of web pages, AOL recompresses graphics between reading them from the web server and sending them to your browser. They seem to think that you would rather see bad graphics quickly than graphics the way the web site designer intended them to look since the upshot of this recompression is that graphics loose a great deal of their original quality. Images end up looking blurry, streaked or blocky.

Thankfully, this behaviour can be disabled and we would encourage you to try this before contacting us about graphics quality. These instructions apply to AOL 4.0 for the PC but the process is likely to be similar for other versions and platforms

  1. Open the "My AOL" preferences screen from the toolbar.

  2. Select the WWW icon.

  3. Click the "web graphics" tab.

  4. Uncheck the "compressed graphics" checkbox

  5. Press "Apply" for the change to take effect.

You can find AOL's own explanation of the problem here.

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