What is an optimized photo? It’s a photo that is the appropriate pixel size (width and height), an appropriate file size (the smaller, the better), and one that’s titled and tagged properly for your blog.
Most blog content areas are only about 700 pixels wide, so there is no need to upload anything 900 pixels or wider. Except your featured image, which Google wants to be at least 1,200 pixels.
Why are optimized photos vital for your blog or website?
Photos that are uploaded as-is will weigh your site down, causing your site to be super-slow, which makes your visitors want to flip over their desk… or just leave your site.
Interestingly, bloggers are usually a million times more concerned about the quality of the image than actual visitors are. And don’t forget you blog for actual visitors.
I love to send my clients to go visit Jessica Gavin’s site. She’s killing it for site speed, and generally everything in blogging, and she uploads her images at teeny-tiny file sizes. Her visitors don’t care in the least, in fact, they love it without knowing it because it makes her site load so quickly.
So here we go. First, we’ll size the images properly.
Here’s how to re-size your photo on a PC without Photoshop.
1. Make it an appropriate width and height for your blog.
Do you know how wide your blog is? (Most are between 500 and 900 pixels.) When I size images for my blogs + websites, I go a little bit wider than the width of my current setup, because you never know when you’ll re-design your site and your new blog will be wider than your old one, and all your old photos will look stupid (I’ve done it!). My suggestion: if you don’t know how wide your blog is, just go with 800 pixels.
Open the image in Microsoft Paint.
Click on the “Resize” button in the top menu, select “Pixels” and then type in 800 (or smaller) in the width field. Save your image as a .jpg.
If you have Photoshop, just use the “Export As” option, and re-size there. If you’re on a Mac, open your image with Preview, and select “Adjust Size” under “Tools.” Then save your new smaller image.
2. Make it an appropriate file size for your blog.
Now in your browser, go to Tiny JPG, drag and drop your image. When it’s finished, click the link that says “Download.”
You now have a much smaller image to upload to your blog or website.
With this example, the file size of the photo started at 722.7 kb, now it’s 168.5 kb.
See, the image still looks great, and it loads fast:
If you have Photoshop, you can adjust the file size in “Export As” by reducing the quality percentage. With images, you can often go down to 70% without noticing, but again, check out Jessica Gavin’s blog and see how much visitors care if the quality is at 70% or 30%.