Images In Blog Posts: The Technical Side

We’ve talked about the legalities and etiquette of images in your blog posts.  Today, let’s chat about some of the technical things you should know when blogging images.

Size matters

High resolution images are a no-no.  Not only will it kill the speed of your site to host high resolution images, but it’s also bad blogging etiquette.  For best results, size images to no more than 500kb (and less is preferable).

Because most people are viewing your site on a widescreen monitor, portrait/vertical photos should be sized to about half of the width of landscape/horizontal photos.  This will help to keep the file sizes smaller, as well as keep each image within the viewable area of everyone’s screen.  For aesthetic reasons, this is why many blogs choose to “pair up” verticals in their posts.

Use WordPress’s built-in Media resizing functionality to help you out with resizing.  Under Settings -> Media you can supply a thumbnail size, a medium size (I use this for vertical images) and a large size (horizontal).  As you upload photos, WordPress will automatically create copies of the image resized to each of your specified dimensions.

What’s in a name?

A lot actually.  Search engines can’t “see” images, they simply recognize the caption (aka alt text), title, and image name and read those to index the image.  Name your images something descriptive and WordPress will automatically fill in the alt text and title with your image name.

When deciding on a file name, put yourself in the shoes of the searcher. “Juli and Jon Wedding” likely won’t produce any search hits. But “Yellow Sunflower Bouquet” might.

A helpful hint

If you find a photo on a blog and want to use it for your own blog (with the appropriate credits and permissions of course), it’s likely that the photo size won’t be exactly what you need for your blog. WordPress and Blogger both have ways of “hiding” the original photo source of a full-size photo. These little shortcuts may help you find a larger photo to meet your needs:

WordPress puts the sizing at the end of the photo name. Removing the sizing produces the full-size photo.

http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Retro-Dessert-Table-249×375.jpg

becomes

http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Retro-Dessert-Table.jpg

Blogger on the other hand, embeds the sizing within the URL. As with WordPress, removing one little section produces the full-size photo.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__udAgyKza48/SpxravhrAmI/AAAAAAAABVo/VcllvgzGBfs/s400/snapdragon-flowers.jpg

becomes

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__udAgyKza48/SpxravhrAmI/AAAAAAAABVo/VcllvgzGBfs/snapdragon-flowers.jpg

My favorite image plugin

And last but not least, if you have an image-heavy WordPress blog, here is a plugin that you will love me for (seriously). It’s called Faster Image Insert.

WordPress by default allows for the uploading of multiple images at once, but the insertion of only one image into a post at a time. This plugin fixes all of that and allows you to insert multiple images into your post with one click. If it’s compatible with your version of WordPress and the other image plugins you may have installed, I definitely recommend giving it a whirl on your test site and seeing if it’s a fit for you!

What other image tips and tricks do you have to share?

9 responses to Images In Blog Posts: The Technical Side
  1. RT @amiatEAD: On Edit and Post: Images In Blog Posts: The Technical Side http://bit.ly/9QX899

  2. RT @amiatEAD On Edit and Post: Images In Blog Posts: The Technical Side http://bit.ly/9QX899

  3. Kara Hudson writes... {June 17, 2010 at 8:40 pm}

    “If you find a photo on a blog and want to use it for your own blog” – DON’T.

    Ask permission first and if you don’t get permission, don’t use it. Images on the web are not available for anyone’s use at will. They are copyrighted materials. Using them w/out permission is theft of intellectual property.

    • Ami writes... {June 17, 2010 at 8:46 pm}

      hello kara! of course, if you read the complete sentence, you will see that i explicitly said “If you find a photo on a blog and want to use it for your own blog (with the appropriate credits and permissions of course)”.

      all images are copyrighted materials, but several blogs make their images available via creative commons licensing and through their blog policies.

      thanks for stopping by edit and post!

  4. Images in Blog Posts : The Technical Side. Helpful info from Edit&Post @amiatead http://bit.ly/bqxZJO #togs #blogs

  5. @swissmiss This might help. Check out the last point in the post. http://su.pr/29Qz47

  6. Sometimes you can click on the image to get the original size. From there, I right-click to download and then “resize” in wp.

    Of note, the local photogs I work with do not like bloggers to resize without preserving the original aspect ratio, and they hate it when their images are cropped.

    P.S. Thanks for the awesome tips Ami!

  7. Thanks for this plugin suggestion! You were right, i needed it. Prior to this, I’d just insert photos on the backend through HTML, but this is great!
    .-= Catie Ronquillo´s last blog post: Why Choose a First Look: A Bride’s Perspective =-.

  8. Thanks for the plug-in tip! This will save lots of time!!! :)
    .-= Jamie Wyckoff | Julia’s Poppies Design´s last blog post: Sweet Peony Fill-in-the-Blank Invites =-.

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