How to Optimize Photos for Web Use - for Free!
Dec 19, 2012
|Photo resized for web to 300px x 199px, file size is now 18.6k (very tiny and fast loading)|
Not only are pictures worth a thousand words, but they create visual interest and "life" on an otherwise not-so-interesting webpage, blog post, email blast, whatever. We're human beings, and our attention will always be drawn to a page with a pretty picture over a plainer one; we can't help it. But, another human trait is our lack of patience. If your web page, blog post, etc., takes a few extra seconds to load because of a photo (or bunch of photos) with a large file size, then you've wasted your time creating that page! If it takes more than half a second for your page to load on a user's computer, iPad, phone, any device, the overall majority of us have already given up on waiting to see what's there and are clicking the "Back" button to go somewhere else. Before you upload another huge image to a page, just adding a quick step to resize photos for web will save you from losing all that traffic!
(The original size of the above photo was 1980 x 1311 pixels, with a file size of 7.43 MB - great for printing a poster, but way too big for web browsing ...even shrunk down on your page, the huge file size is still there, and the image is still loading while readers are clicking away!)
Free Tools to Optimize Photos for Web
If you or someone in your office have any kind of image-editing software like Adobe Photoshop, editing photos for the web is easy enough to do and only takes a minute. For the rest of us, there are free tools available that will help you optimize photos for web viewing. One such tool that's simple to use is Webresizer, at http://www.webresizer.com/resizer/. Just choose an image file from your machine to upload and follow the simple steps on the page. You'll be able to preview your image throughout the process and it lets you know your new file size with every adjustment you make. When you're done, just save the revised file back to your machine so you can upload it to your webpage or blog post later.
Websizer is very quick and straightforward (and Free!) to use, even for those who would say they're "not computer people," but you can always find plenty more image editing tools just by doing a Google search for "Optimize photos for web," "Resize photos for web," etc., etc.
A Few Tips on Resizing Images
- If you're not familiar with dimensions in "Pixels," just to give you an idea most websites are around 900 - 1100 pixels wide. A decent size image in a blog post is around 250-300px wide.
- Monitor resolution is universally 72 PPI (pixels per inch), so saving an image with any higher resolution is just extra memory that will drag down page performance.
- Remember smaller is faster - make your file as small as you want it to be. Saving your image "bigger" either in file size or resolution won't make it appear any crisper or clearer - sorry!
- If you currently have images on your website that are slow loading, and have editing access to your site, it would be worth spending the time to replace them with resized images better optimized for the web. In today's impatient world, every second counts!