Image size. It’s something that I’ve not given a lot of thought to. But as a blogger I should have given it considerable thought. Simply because smaller images load faster giving you the reader less time to become frustrated and leave. But I didn’t even think about it until recently. After I found out that all of my images were awful and figured out why, actually.
But guess what? You may be thinking that this has nothing to do with you if you aren’t a blogger yourself. And that’s where you’d be wrong. Do you send emails full of pictures to friends and family? If your pictures are humongous you may have to send each one individually. Talk about a pain. I bet they wish your pics were smaller and therefore faster loading.
Or you may try to send and sometimes people don’t get them. Could it be because their email rejected it for being too large? The worst is when I get an email full of images that gets hung up because it’s too big and I can’t receive anything for hours and hours until the email gods or whatever decides to give up and send an error message to the sender.
You may also figure that you have to have Photoshop to be able to edit your photos and make a difference, but you don’t. I found a nifty little website where you can go to optimize your images. You either give it a link to pull an image from the internet or browse and find one on your computer and hit optimize. It will show you your original and then the image compressed in increments of 10%.
Find the one that you like the best, or has the best compression rate without mucking up the image too much. To save it, right click “Save image as…” and save to somewhere you can find it. Now you have pics to post online or send to friends that won’t break the internet.
Here is an example of an image I optimized through the service. This is baby Max:
This is my original image. The size is 256K which isn’t all that bad, but I made it to post on the website and had scaled it accordingly already.
Here is the image optimized at 80%. I really can’t tell a whole lot of difference BUT the file is now 81.1K. That’s 68% smaller than my original image. This sucker is going to download A LOT faster.
Here is the image at 60%. You can tell that they are progressively getting more pixilated and losing a bit of quality. At 60% the image is now 62.5K which is great but the image is starting to look “wrong” to me.
We’re now at 40% which is 54.6K. That isn’t much of a difference size wise from the 62.5K at 60.But, at 40% the background starts to get blocky and weird.
And here we are at 20%. We’ve gotten the size down to 46.1K but it’s visually a hot mess. The decrease in size is not worth the significant loss of quality.
This is the kind of image I’d put on my free website I had from Geocities or whatever and not think twice about it. Except it wouldn’t have been a picture of a cat because I was still scared of cats then. It would have been Leonardo DiCaprio. Poor, pixilated Leo – your beauty was marred and for what?
Just for the sake of posterity now we’re going to see what happens with a text image. The top part is orange text on white background and the bottom is white text on a textured orange background.
Here is the original made by me specifically to put on the blog. The size is 131K.
At 80% and 81.1K the top text is starting to look not so solid. Do you see that? The bottom still looks gangbusters. But you’re saving 68% in size. That’s pretty decent and a good tradeoff, I’d say.
Here we are at 60% and 62.5K. The bottom is still holding strong but the spottiness of the top is getting worse to the point that I don’t think I’d find it acceptable to use.
Here we are at 40% and 54.6K. The bottom is starting to look weird now and the dotty stuff going on in the top is driving me to distraction. I might use the bottom at this size but the top is out of the running.
And here is 20% which is just totally unacceptable. At 46.1K you’re saving 82% of the size from the original but at what cost?
When optimizing you need to think about the trade off and decide whether size or quality matters most. I think that most of the time going in at 80% is going to be good enough that the image will still look great, but save you a lot of size.
So, will you be optimizing your files? If so, go to the Online Image Optimizer here.