Not optimizing the images used on your blog is probably the biggest mistake we see bloggers make all the time!
First, let’s dig into the technical aspect. When you look at an image on your computer, it is made up of tiny pixels unvisible to the eye unless you zoom in heavily. Let’s quickly illustrate.
The below photo is crystal clear (lens-blur of course set aside) at 1200×800 pixels:
Here is the same image, but we have zoomed in 1200% to show the pixels.
So clearly, the more pixels, the clearer – right? Well, yes and no.
Your theme automatically limits the image size
So using our examples above – while the first image in reality is 1200×800, the content-width area of our site is only 770px wide, which limits the image to only show 770×510 pixels, instead of the full 1200×800.
Why is this important?
It’s important in the sense, that the larger image you upload, the more diskspace will be used on the server. Since most servers have limited diskspace like 3gb, 10gb, 20gb etc. you would not want to waste that space for no reason.
If you take a photo directly out of your mobile it will probably be around 4000×3000 pixels in dimensions and the filesize 4-5 MB. Now since your blog won’t display all those pixels anyways, you are basically just wasting diskspace.
Let’s make an example.
This image below is taking directly from my Samsung Galaxy S7. It is 5,4MB in size and the dimensions are 4032×3024:
The same image resized to 1200×800 and is now only taking up 0,45MB:
Can you see a difference? Most likely not, but the resized image is only taking up 8% of the original filesize! If you are using a DSLR camera, the original filesizes may be even larger depending on the resolution of the camera.
To put it into perspective, if you’re blogging on the Free WordPress.com Plan, you have 3GB (3000mb) of available diskspace. If your average picture is 5MB, then you would be able to upload 600 fullsize photos. If you were to resize all your photos to 1200×800, which is a good size, because very few designs would allow larger images than that, then you would be able to upload 6000 photos instead! That is 10x as many, with no loss in quality as you can clearly see.
We recently talked about website storage in our BlueHost Review where we compared 50GB vs 10GB space and whether or not 10GB would be enough – if only uploading resized photos, those 10GB should keep up towards 20,000 photos! Even if you would have an extremely picture-heavy blog and include 12 photos in each post, you would still be able to write 1,666 blogposts before running out of space!
Remember to delete media files you are not using!
The second thing you want to keep in mind, is not wasting space on images that you are not using. Many times when writing a blog-post, we upload a bunch of pictures we decide not to use anyways. Always go back and delete these right away so they don’t become a pain later.
It not only helps you organize your media-folder much better, but it also saves your valuable diskspace. Just right now for this post, I had used a different Featured Image for the post which I wasn’t 100% happy with. I changed the background-color, uploaded the new version and then permanently deleted the old one used. The whole process doesn’t take more than 10 seconds to do and you will thank yourself for doing it immediately, before it gets too late and you have no overview of which images are used or not.
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