In our last blog post we talked about the importance of resizing your logo or image for your profile pics on popular social media sites. In this post, we will give you some tips on how to actually edit your images and make them web-friendly. These same tips will also work if you have pictures that you want to email to someone but the file size is too big (friends don’t send friends images that are 3MB and bigger!)
Ever notice on some websites that it takes FOREVER for an image to load? It will slowly creep in on the page? That’s because the image was not properly sized to be web-friendly.
We are all so used to taking our pictures at the highest possible resolution (like 300 dpi) because that’s what you need to do if you want to print great looking pictures. But the web is an entirely different animal. Since it’s only being seen on the screen, and not printed, the resolution can be as low as 72 dpi. The smaller the file size, the faster it will load. Which makes your viewers happier!
While software programs like Photoshop are fabulous and powerful, they aren’t for the faint of heart. There is a fairly steep learning curve with using such sophisticated software. And let’s face it; unless you have aspirations to be the next Annie Liebovitz (whose work is amazing, BTW!), you don’t need such complex software to edit your images.
In fact, there are several that are free and allow you to do exactly what you need to in order to get your images up and on the web in the format you need and want. Here are a couple that we like to use when we are in a pinch and don’t want to get all techie with Photoshop:
This is a free download that has some fairly powerful editing tools. It also serves as a great tool for organizing your photos and images if you don’t already have a system for doing so. The only downside that we see with loading Picasa is that it will automatically pull in all of your images from your computer and store them by date. Which is great if you need that but also a bit much if all you want to do is crop an image. Visit Picasa here.
We will be the first to admit that we haven’t used GIMP before but it comes up frequently as a recommended alternative to Photoshop (and it’s free). What we’ve read, however, is that the learning curve is almost as steep as using Photoshop. But it gets great reviews so it may be worth checking out! (Did we mention that it’s FREE?) Visit GIMP here.
This is one that we recently stumbled upon and is quickly becoming a favorite of ours because of its simplicity. The best part about it is that you don’t have to download anything (and again…it’s FREE)! You can edit straight from the website itself: www.pixlr.com. So you can literally edit on the fly!
Just go to the website URL and start using it. If your image is really big and you need to make it smaller, simply open the file, go to Image, Click on Image Size, and resize it.
A good size for the web is something around 300-600 pixels wide. (The images in this post are all 600 pixels wide, just to give you a frame of reference.) Keep the proportions “constrained” so that it adjusts the height in proportion to the width. (If you don’t constrain the proportions, your image will get stretched out and weird-looking.)
In addition to the size of the file, the type of the file that you use is also important. When uploading images to the web (whether it’s social media or your website), saving it as a .gif file or .png file is better than a .jpg. It also will give you a transparent background versus a white background like a .jpg does.
There you have it! Some very simple ways to resize your image or photo and save it as a web-enabled image!!