Many do not realize that photos have a physical size and also a size based on the number of pixels and storage space they require. Images used online should be reduced to low resolutions (low res). The easy way to do this is using a free program called GIMP. (Download GIMP free here – click “show other downloads” to find the Mac and Windows versions.)
How to Scale Images
- Point at the image and save it to your hard drive using “save image as”. Rename it to be descriptive of what is in the photo while you are saving it.
- Open the image in GIMP.
- Click Image, scale image.
- Change the width to what will fit in the blog you’re using. The image above is scaled to 520. If your blogging area is narrower, try 480. DO NOT unlink the width and height or you will distort the image.
- Set the X and Y resolutions to 72 pixels/in (72 dpi).
- Click Scale.
How to Reduce Image File Size
- Click File, Save As, and either rename the file or write over the original (only if you’re certain you did it correctly and no longer need the original, larger image).
- If you save the image as a .jpg it is easy to make it smaller. Most image types can be resaved as .jpg including .png and .gif.
- Click Show preview in image window (see image) and the pop-up will tell you the file size of the image. Move the image quality by either sliding the bar or reducing the number. Point at the image to move it out from under the pop-up so you can see it as you reduce the size. Do not click save yet.
- Make it as small as possible without distorting the image. Text only images can be made very small as shown in this example. The second image in this post is only 8.7 kb now. You can see this by right clicking on the image and clicking view image info. (The exact wording may vary depending on browser and operating system.)
- Once you are happy with the file size and clarity of the image then click Save.
Best Image Sizes for Blogs
Whether you prefer a large, rectangular image across the top of a post or a smaller more square image with text wrapped around it is a personal preference. A more square image will automatically display best on the home page. If you use larger, rectangular images in your blog posts you may have to make a separate thumbnail image to appear on the home page. Otherwise, only the center of the image will appear and any text may be truncated (cut off).
The larger images are better for pinterest. (Tall images work best on pinterest, but are not generally best for the top of a blog post.) When you have a post you feel may do well, take the time to create an image with compelling wording to use on sites like Pinterest and to appear on Facebook and Google Plus.
Images in blog posts should be under 60 kb whenever possible. If you use more than one image in a post make them as small as you can without making them hard to read. Some infographics or detailed images may have to be more than 60 kb.
For more details on using images in posts, see:
- Common Blogging Mistakes: Editorial Guidelines for Bloggers
- 43+ Free Blog Images Sources: Where to Get Royalty Free Photos
If you need assistance learning to use GIMP, contact me on Skype (username growmap; Skype phone number 214-444-6247).