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Digital CameraPhotos from digital cameras should always be resized to optimize their file size before uploading them to your blog.

Why?  Our digital cameras are designed to produce good quality photos for printing but aren’t optimal size for the web.

Reasons To Optimize Photo Size

Optimizing the file size of your photos before uploading to a post does three things:

  1. It means your photos upload quicker (and easier).
  2. Your pages load faster for visitors to your blog.
  3. You can upload more photo — lots of photo uploaded without resizing can quickly use up storage space before you know it!

Making an image smaller once you’ve uploaded it to a post doesn’t make the file size smaller.

If you don’t believe me — right click on both of the photos below and select Properties (for Internet Explorer) or View Image Info (for FireFox) to check their image size.

Here’s the original photo

Around 2.6 MB in size!

Original photo without resizing it

Below is the same photo resized to 450 pixels wide

Now 162 KB!

Photo of crocodile resized to 450 pixels before uploading

There’s no real difference!

But the bottom photo still looks good online and is 16% of the original size.

How To Optimize Image Size

The simplest option is to resize your photo to a width that works well with your theme using either:

1.  On A Mac use Preview and save as a JPEG with quality at or below middle (tip courtesy of Alan Levine).

2.  Picture Manager (PC) – Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office Tools

Ideal image size for common themes is 450 pixels wide.

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About Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

21 Comments

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  4. Hi Sue or whoever might read this,

    am trying to upload pictures into my blog and for the first time I can’t reduce the size of them when I insert them into the blog post. Where I could click on thumbnail, medium, large, and full size, I can’t click on any of these at the moment and the full size says 0 x 0 although it is the full size…which is far too big to put in to the text. Any idea what might be wrong with this?

    Best Wishes
    Mark Andrews

  5. Both Flickr and Picasa offer free sites to upload personal photos. I think the Flickr free site has a limit of 200 photos and Picasa offers 1 GB of free storage.

    After you’ve uploaded your photo(s), Flickr (and probably Picasa) automatically offers several “thumbnail” versions of the original size:
    e.g.
    Square (75 x 75) Thumbnail (100 x 75) Small (240 x 180) Medium 500 (500 x 375) Medium 640 (640 x 480) Large (1024 x 768)

    You could let these services “do the work for you”.

    Bill

  6. Hi, I use http://www.webresizer.com all the time, even if i use photo’s from other blogs rather than from my own camera.

    It reduces the size of digital photo pics by around 95%. its really easy to use and it’s free!

    • @sarah, Thanks Sarah for sharing Webresizer that is a really cool tool.

      I like how you have the original image along side the resized image and can compare. And have to say I enjoyed playing with all the extra features.

      Also excellent how easy it is to use!

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  9. This is a great tip for educators or anyone else setting up a blog. It is tough sometimes to make sure to use the technology effectively so that it is not distracting from the message you’re trying to post, and taking a long time for a page to load is very distracting.

  10. Is it probably a spam comment if the person is asking you to email them with a fee for posting advertisements on your blog? I got a comment from “air yeezy shoes” that wanted me to email them with my blog name and how much I would charge them. Thanks.

    • @laurenc604, Yes Lauren definitely. I recommend you delete the comment and don’t respond to them.

  11. Hi Sue, this topic is such an important one and one of the first that I teach in any of my ICT classes, before blogging even commences. It is also a great one to share with staff to get them thinking about online work and its interactive advantages, as most staff want to email and share photos with friends and families. So it is a great ‘hook’ to get them invovled in technology.
    To my great horror, in the busy last week of term 1, just before our autumn holidays, I had an ‘extra’ with grade 2/3. It was for Chinese (as that is our LOTE language). As a secondary teacher I cope okay with grades 5/6 and sometimes 4 but when I get the little kids I can be out of my depth, even though I did teach them ICT two years ago! and as to teaching Chinese – nia hou (however it is spelt) is the extent of that lanuage!
    So, I hastily checked whether the computer lab was available and to my delight it was. So, guess what I taught them – how to resize images. I used irfan view for this as they also spent a little time manipulating the images as well.

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    • @Alan, it’s embarrassing to admit that I’ve now had my MacBook 2-3 years and are still struggle using it. So hadn’t even thought of using Preview as I normally use iPhoto with my photos when traveling and my PC when I’m at home.

      I originally wrote a similar post about 1 1/2 years ago and included some of the free photo resizers but not the online photo resizers.

      The reason why I followed up with this post was I never thought I’d ever see someone use up 2 GB storage space. Unfortunately I was wrong and have also see people use up almost all their 5 GB storage space — just with photos.

      I was in two minds this time as to whether to include other options for resizing or not. Part of my reason why not is I worried that with lots of options they might go this is too hard,

      So I left them out and am hoping others will convince me of the pros and cons of including a wider selection.

  13. Thanks for this Sue, this must be one of the top ten things to figure out about blogging.

    To simplify things even further, I set my classroom digital camera to the lowest resolution (on my camera it’s 640×480) thereby eliminating the need to reduce the size after the fact. I leave the camera at that setting and make a point of using it only at school.

    • @Nathan, you have me thinking what would my “top ten things to figure out about blogging” list be for new bloggerrs? And how would that compare to others?

      Would you mind me writing a post to ask others what are their top things they feel all new bloggers need to understand – and attribute you with the idea for the post?

      Great point about the camera. Hadn’t thought of changing the setting and using just one camera specifically for class photos.

      • @Sue Waters,

        Go for it! It will be interesting to see what everyone comes up with.