Another critical reason for web image optimization

Optimize your images for social mediaYou can’t just upload images you take on your camera to your blog or website.

Cameras and camera phones try to cram as many pixels into each image as they possibly can. For a good reason. When you take a photo, you want it to look sharp and great for that 8″ x 10″ photo hanging on the wall.

The problem is, the web is exactly the opposite.  As a blogger, we want our images to look great but we need to make sure the file size of each image we upload is as small as possible. This will reduce our users’ load time of a given web page and it’s a best practice for good citizenry of the interweb. You don’t want to slurp up all of your reader’s mobile data!  Nor do you want to lose them because of something that is rather simple to do.

Image optimization is often associated with website speed and bandwidth, but recent interactions with a popular social media sharing tool gave me yet another reason to not be lazy and spend the time reducing my blog’s images.

Bloated images can have implications on social networks.

buffer-failed-image
Epic fail! Keep your images under 3mb in total size.

An important reason to upload optimized images is for social sharing of your content. I’ve noticed several times over the last couple of months that tweets in my Buffer queue failed because the image attached to the post was too big.

Keeping your images right-sized

Keep your images looking great and on a pixel diet by using a program such as Adobe Photoshop to save the image in the correct size and file type.  Open the image and select the “Export -> Save For Web” function to optimize your images.   Work this feature until the image looks good but is as small of a file size as possible.

Full-size images in high-resolution will take up a large portion of space on your hosting server. The more space you use, the more bandwidth your site will consume which will equal the more likely your host will charge overage fees.

I recommend optimizing your images before you even upload them to your site but there’s also a great image optimization service with a WordPress integration called imagify.io. They crunch all of your images as you upload them and will even go back and bulk optimize! If Photoshop isn’t in the cards at the moment.

Scott a co-founder of Content Academy and a 10-year working pro of the integrated marketing and communications field, specializing in digital and social media strategy. He is the managing director of Front & Social, a Chicago-based digital marketing & PR consultancy.

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