Here We Go: Images

April 18
24 Comments

A few weeks ago, I posted about LINKING which often refers to images or sources. Today I’ll be talking about images in more of a technical sense. So often I will visit a blog and the images really set a negative tone for the entire site. The great thing about this problem is that it’s usually an easy fix by only addressing a few issues.

1. Take photos in natural light.

Find a window or a room with natural lighting and stick to taking your photos consistently in that spot. I tend to take all my photos right near our large, front window. Make sure you turn your flash OFF. You can see the differences below:

2. Allow your photos to take on full width.

Make sure your photos represent the full width of your blog’s body content! You can re-size them in your photo editor or even scale within WordPress. It really creates continuity for your readers when scrolling through your blog. All of my photos are consistently 700 pixels wide.

3. Save for web!

Even if you’re sizing your photos for the width of your blog, they will still be larger (we’re talking GB/KB…not pixel width) than necessary. If you own Photoshop, you can save for web and devices. Here is a tutorial. If you do not have Photoshop, you can install WP Smush.it which will do bring your photograph to the smallest possible. I don’t use this plugin so I can’t testify to quality but it’s worth giving a shot! Doing this for all your photos will allow your blog to load faster!

Some other small tips include:

  • Be intentional with your image file names. It will increase visibility when people search keywords relating to the name. For example: saving a photo as “blog-photo-tips.jpg” will probably bring about more traffic than an image saved as “image.jpg.”
  • Use original photos! It’s much more interesting for your readers.
  • Save them all on your computer or someplace like Dropbox in case anything on your blog is lost.
  • Create collages or grids of photographs to give variety to your posts.

So there are a few tips on images. Let me know if you have any questions or advice to share below in the comment section!

  1. Naomi Anselmo

    April 18

    Oh! I never realized that the name I give my actual image files could drive more or less traffic! …Should I feel like a dumdum? :s

    Well, now I know. I usually save all my images by date so I can find them easily and can organize them in monthly folders which I put in Dropbox at the end of the month. But I think I’ll start giving them more descriptive names, and then just renaming them by date after I’ve put them on the blog.

    Thanks for the tips, Allie!

    • Allison

      April 18

      Don’t feel dumb! Even I know about it and I still forget to name my files well.

  2. Jess

    April 18

    I still use alt linking in my images, just in case Google decides to change its mind about SEO. Though SEO is really not my strong suit, so I keep doing it mostly out of habit. ;)

    Super helpful tips! One of my projects for this weekend is optimizing my images, so I’m definitely bookmarking this for later.

    • Allison

      April 18

      Yes…we are basically all here to keep please Google. Ha!

  3. Adam Lehman

    April 18

    After running some load-time analytics on blogs, it’s critical to keep your file sizes small. ESPECIALLY if you’re relying heavily on images.

    I use the WP-Smushit plugin on nearly all sites I work with.

  4. Elizabeth

    April 18

    I never even considered saving for web even though I do it at work every day! DUH! Great tips! :)

  5. Rusty

    April 18

    Well, that’s lots for me to take on! Got any tips for making collages or grids with photos? I never seem to have much success, but I love the look of them!

    • Allison

      April 18

      Hi Rusty- do you mostly work in Photoshop? I’m debating on whether I should blog some tutorials and post some .PSD files for download with grids/etc. Let me know if you’d be interested!

      • Rusty

        April 20

        That would be a most-appreciated post!! I do have photoshop but tend to lame out and use online tools for simplicity’s sake. PS offers so much I feel completely overwhelmed!

        • Allison

          April 20

          Great! I’ll plan in posting it soon!

  6. benji

    April 18

    Good info. If I ever get serious about blogging, this will come in handy.

    • Allison

      April 18

      You should definitely start a blog.

  7. Kit

    April 18

    Can’t believe I didn’t think logically about saving pictures with specific names. I’m usually rushing so much to get them uploaded, I don’t bother renaming them. Handy tip!

    • Allison

      April 18

      I totally get the “rushed” thing. Sometimes I just need to get it posted!

  8. Erik Ford

    April 18

    All great tips. It’s incredibly important to optimize your images for web viewing. Remember, in this day and age, a vast majority of your visitors are probably browsing on a mobile device and may not be in a Wi-Fi area. I can’t tell you how many times I have come across blogs with images save at 300dpi. That is a big no-no!

    Also, when using a CMS, make sure you enter meta information as well for alt and title tags. This provides additional information to the search engine spiders when indexing your site.

    • Allison

      April 18

      GREAT points Erik! Thanks for commenting!

  9. candace m.

    April 18

    If you have Photoshop, I highly recommend MCP’s Facebook Fix for resizing/sharpening for web. I customized the action to resize images to the width of my blog and then combined the resize/sharpening actions into one action.

    So, once I’m finished editing an image–I only have to click my frankensteined action once and I’m ready to upload.

  10. juliet

    April 20

    What type of file do you save as when you go to “save for web and devices,” JPEG, GIF, PNG??? Thanks!

  11. Paige

    June 5

    you dont know how major the “make sure your photos represent the full width of your blog’s body content!”..I was driving the struggle bus through that town.

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