I had a reader recently ask me how I managed to get my files to be small yet so clear. When you are posting a lot of photos on your site you want the file size (as in kilobytes) to be as small as possible yet still have a very high quality photo. Not only do you want small photos for your site but have you ever tried sending large files through email? I use gmail and though it has the capability to send very large files the person on the other end isn’t always able to receive them. Not to mention it takes forever for them to upload and then download if the receiver is able to get them.
To avoid using online file sharing sites or sending files that take forever to download I compress my files before sending or uploading them onto my site. I do a few things to help compress my files for website posting.
1. I use Photoshop CS2, I know not everyone uses this photo editing software but it is my choice of poison. When I’m finished editing my photos the first thing I do is resize them to be the size I want to display on my blog. There is no reason to have a photo 2000 pixels wide if you are going to basically make it no bigger then 600 pixels on your site.
2.After I’ve resized it to the correct size for my site I then use the option “Save for Web” when saving my photo. When using this option I choose jpeg as my photo format (it appears to save at the smallest size) and use the setting High. I want it as small as possible but still want a high quality. It is possible you use a software that has this option, I encourage you to look into it.
2. When I upload my photos to my blog it goes through a plugin I have installed on my WordPress blog called Smush.it. This plugin further compresses it and optimizes it for my site. It even tells me the percentage it reduces it by.
What does all of this do for me? It helps my site run as fast as it can by making my photos as small as possible so your computer doesn’t have to work as hard downloading them. With all the graphics and information on the front page of my site I need all the help I can get.
I also thought I would introduce you to another software I’ve used for years. I downloaded it when I was doing a lot of digital scrapbooking and love this for resizing many photos at one time. The software is called PIXresizer. This is a free software and I love it and have used it often over the years. I use it when I have a lot of photos to resize at one time. You make a folder with all your original photos and then make an empty folder for the new resized photos. You then tell the software which folder to grab the photos, tell it what size you want to make them (for example make them all 600 pixels wide) , and tell it to place it in your new folder. It will resize all your photos in a matter of seconds.
I’m all about saving time and optimizing your site. There are shortcuts that are worth your time and those that are not. Not resizing your photos and compressing them because you don’t have the time is not a good practice and not worth the shortcut. I urge you if you are a site owner to look into how you can compress your photos before adding them to your site. Not to mention if you are like me and enjoy Stumble Photo Blogging, you need others photos to be under 250kb in order to Stumble PhotoBlog them!