alt = 'benefits SEO'
title =' appears when a user hovers over the image'
That "benefits SEO" is exactly the reason why some people turn OFF the reading of alts in their screen readers on some sites. ALT has no more influence on "SEO" than ANY other plain text (it is equivalent to the plain text around it, just as you see when you don't load images in a Gecko browser). You are using alt because you love your users who either can't see, or don't/can't load the image. That is the only reason you are using alt, period. If you are even slightly THINKING about "SEO" or "Google" or anything smelling vaguely of dark marketing sleaze, back away from the keyboard and let someone who cares about users write that text instead. I'm serious, I run across a lot of redundant redundant redundant for SEO alt text, and it sucks. Really destroys the browsing experience.
Sure, but I don't see any anchors here. This is an image, not an anchor.
That said, title is RESTRICTED to mice. If you've got something so important to say that you bothered writing it in a title attribute, why are you leaving out keyboarders and touch screen users??? Title is poorly implemented in browsers, relying on a single device alone, which is why it should either be fixed or removed (from browsers) in my opinion. (Steve Faulkner has a wonderful rant about this somewhere at Paciello Group.) Yes, even though in non IE<9 browsers you can kinda get around this with CSS, provided you then wrap a focusable anchor around the image... but then why would you do that if the image wasn't a link? So, title still sucks monkey balls.
Though there might still be a use case of users who are used to IE's old bug where it would display the alt text as a tooltip when the image is hovered. I've heard stories of users who were already used to that missing it and it seems they relied on that for some kind of confirmation.. of something... so we may use title="" to stop the IE bug, and then be sensible and add an actual caption as well as the alt as kohoutek said.
I agree with this from experience. We were being sent images of all different sizes and needed to float a container around them, set to their width. Too many id's ensued. Later we said, screw that, imagemagick for the win. Now we have two classes for two large widths, and "thumb" for thumbnails. Way easier.
Also, there is no shame in setting heights and widths in images in the HTML. This is not presentational: it is the actual size of this file. It gets presentational when you set it to something you want that isn't true. For that case, use CSS. Setting dimensions in the HTML however are beneficial to the rendering engine as Crusty already mentioned... though if this ends up being a pain in the butt due to how your back-end code is set up, no biggie. Browsers'll just have to redraw. It's okay, we all got mad CPU right?
I thought it was hilarious. It's like
BAD SPELLERS OF THE WORLD, UNTIE!