Modern phones and cameras take fantastic, high-resolution images. However, the actual files can be quite large. These gigantic files are much too big for your website and cause numerous problems for users.
Imagine… you are standing in the grocery store, using your phone to read the school’s article, and your phone is trying to download a 7 megabyte file the webmaster used! Not only will that take a while, it also puts extra strain on the website server. And this assumes you’re patient enough to wait around for it!
A better practice is for the webmaster to “optimize” an image before adding it to the website. For the most part, that means reducing it from “huge” to being under 100 kilobytes. (A kilobyte is 1/1000 of a megabyte.)
Until recently, the process of properly editing a photo meant opening Photoshop, the industry standard for photo editing software. But there are great alternatives to accomplish basic tasks for free:
Squoosh.app – This is our new favorite, and we use it dozens of times each day! Drag your huge image into the web page, click RESIZE, then simply plug in a new width or height, such as 400 px wide. The website automatically suggests a 75% quality mode (which looks great, but you can adjust it). And all you have to do is click the blue download button. Your new file will be far smaller, and much faster to load! Your download is a COPY, and does not replace your original file.
Photopea.com – A very smart programmer said, “I want Photoshop, but I don’t want to pay for it, and I want to be able to use it on any device, and I want it to run in a simple web browser.” Photopea is GREAT for students using Chromebooks, or anybody who would like to created a layered masterpiece. And there’s no software to download or log into. (Because it is free, there is a small display advert on the right side.)
How do I reduce the size of my photos?
- OPEN or upload your original file
- CROP the image to feature specific content
- RESIZE the image to your targeted width and height
- EXPORT / Save for Web – in this process you can adjust the Quality of the image. As you reduce the quality, the file size goes down. Get your image under 100kb, then go further, as low as you can go, until just before the image starts to look bit-mapped or pixelated.
- SAVE the new image with a file name that makes sense, like “st-charles-student-food-committee-helping-others.jpg”
- UPLOAD your new “optimized” image as the Featured Image of your website news article!
This is a gorgeous animal. The photo started off at 4.1 megabytes. We used Squoosh to resize it to 500 pixels wide at 70% quality. Now it’s a mere 24 kilobytes, which is 99% smaller!
Faith in Marketing builds custom, modern web/mobile sites for organizations. Our sites are easy to use, easy to edit from any computer, and allow unlimited pages, events, and news posts. Plus, we do not use proprietary software that locks you into unnecessary contracts. Call (858) 877-FREE.