Save Pictures for Your Blog – Remember high-resolution doesn’t mean squat when it comes to images on the web. Size matters, not resolution. That’s size in pixels, not dots per inch. Think about what dpi is saying to you — dots…per…inch. Placing dots per inch is what a PRINTER does on paper. You are not printing the images.
High-resolution dpi will not make your blog pictures look any richer, clearer, or sharper on monitors. Picture quality will look the same whether it is saved with the instruction of 72 dpi or 300 dpi.
The only effect high-resolution will have on your blog is photos will take freaking forever to load — your readers will wait for images to load for absolutely no reason. Can you tell which picture was saved at 72 dpi and which one was saved at 300 dpi? Move your cursor over pictures to see which one is which.
Pixels matter — not dpi. Maximum pixel width (image size) should be 590 – 600. Anything greater means readers with smaller monitors will have to horizontal scroll to see the whole picture. Horizontal scroll kills any mood or train of thought you manage to establish.Horizontal scroll is bad and should be avoided.
If it is a picture of a person, a dog, a room, a house, or whatever save it as a JPEG. JPEG is a compression method for continuous tone images. JPEG is a compression method, not a file “format”. JPEG is a lossy compression method. This method compresses images up to 24 bits in depth quickly and the lossy part means that the method discards unimportant data from the image file while still maintaining high quality. The parts it discards is complicated but know that it focuses on retaining light to dark contrast aspects, or grayscale, more so than color. That’s why I always say if you are skilled at managing gray in any imaging program, you can pretty much rule the world. (I’m exaggerating slightly)
PNG is for line drawings or images with a lot of sharp, clean edges. PNG is not for images like a picture where colors blend and merge and flow into each other. Do not save your pictures PNG.
File size is another thing we should talk about. There is no reason for any image’s file size to be more than 300 kb for a blog post. None. Ideally, you should try to keep it under 100 kb.
Pictures saved as PNG and image file sizes pushing 1,000 kb or more are out there in blogosphere — and it’s frightening. But don’t panic. Here is what you can do:
If using Photoshop, save your original JPEG or PNG and then “Save For Web and Devices”. This is how you can reduce the size of your file and easily set the image size in pixels. Give the reduced-size file a different name so you don’t confuse it with the original. You can also select the color mode “sRGB” in this window. “sRGB” is the best choice to render the colors of your images on the web which is why the box is checked by default.
Click on the image below for a full-sized view of the “Save for Web and Devices window in Photoshop Creative Suite 4 a.k.a. CS 4:
“Save for Web and Devices” removes all the stuff the file does not need to work and look good on the web — like data information that makes a thumbnail image. Always “preview” to be sure significant quality is not stripped or lost in the name of speedier loading.
If Photoshop is not part of your blogging reality, take the time to check out the “Save” options available to you in the image editing program you are comfortable using.
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