In the online world, whether it’s on our business website, blog, social media profiles, or email, we use images all the time to enhance the way we communicate.
As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Sometimes even 1000 words can’t sum up what you want to say, and it’s impossible to describe something without using a diagram or image. Other times, we may just want to add an image to make a web page look more visually appealing.
Now… we’ve all been to a website page in the past with nothing but a big block of text – pretty boring right!
However, especially nowadays with the high-resolution images that can be taken on our digital cameras and smartphones, the image sizes can be absolutely huge, often 5MB or more. This means that we can view these images on a big PC monitor (or even on a TV screen) without too much loss of detail, but this level of detail is not always required, and can often be a problem. For example:
- if you are sending an image as an email attachment, uploading the images can be painfully slow. It also counts towards your email mailbox quota, and also fills up the email box of the person you are sending it to.
- If you are attaching it to your website, once again it can be painfully slow to upload, plus it counts towards the space taken up on your hosting, affects website backup performance and size, and can dramatically slow down your website page loading speed.
I mean, if you are uploading an image to your website, does it really need to be 4000 x 3000 pixels and 8 megabytes in file size?
Sometimes, if you have a photography website where you really need your images to look really good, you need the extra image quality. But you still have to be careful not to use really large images on your web page, as it can really slow the website loading speed, which can affect your SEO and Google rankings. There are other things you can do… for instance you can have a smaller image on the web page, and then link through to the full resolution image. This will mean that your page will still load fast.
Page load speed is a ranking factor used by search engines, so it is important to do what you can to improve the page load speed of your website. I have talked about how to analyse the page loading speed of your website… click here for more information.
So How Can I Resize Images?
There are many different ways to resize images on your website, including:
- using plugins on your WordPress website. A popular choice is WP Smush (however the free version has s few restrictions)
- free and paid tools (eg. Photoshop, Irfanview, etc).
In this post, I run through how to resize an image quickly and easily using a tool called Irfanview.
Irfanview is easy to use, has some great functionality, and best of all it is free, so is a popular choice.
To access Irfanview:
- Download from here
- Once Irfanview has been downloaded and installed, open an image using Irfanview.
Ways To Reduce Image Size
There are 2 main ways that you can reduce the size of your images:
- Reduce the dimensions (pixels)
- Reduce the quality
To reduce the image dimensions (pixels):
- Once you have the image open in Irfanview, from the top menu bar, click “Image”
- Select “Resize/Resample”
- From the dialog box, if you want to retain the existing aspect ratio, be sure that the “Preserve aspect ratio (proportional)” check box is selected
- Fill in the desired value for the width (if the above checkbox is selected, the height will automatically be calculated)
- Save the image.
To reduce the quality:
- Once you have the image open in Irfanview, from the top menu bar, click “File”
- Select “Save as…”
- Change the desired quality of the image by dragging the cursor in the “Save quality” section. I typically use 75-80% quality. This reduces the image size, without too much of a noticeable degradation in the image viewing quality
- And then save the image.
Note: A smaller dimension and lower quality image will result in a much smaller size image. This can really help in website page loading speed and also with backup performance. Make sure that you check out the video below where I show you how to reduce the file size of an image from almost 4MB to 11kB (this is a reduction in file size of almost 358 times!).
So please give this a try when you want to resize an image, and if you have any comments, feedback, or preferred tools, please add them in the comments section below.