This post may seem very basic for those of you who are experienced at blogging and maintaining a website but I’ve been surfing a lot lately and I’ve come across several blogs and websites that could use a few tips on optimizing photos and graphics for the web. So for those of you who are ready to hit that back button, stick around and add your 2-cents. What are your best tips? Where do you get your photos for your blog?
Tip #1 – Optimize Your Images for the Web
Whether you’re dealing in pixels or inches, most photos and graphics are really big – way too big to be seen on a computer screen. Part of the reason is that usually they have been captured or designed to be high quality and large enough to print. Now, lots of software and programs will resize your images before displaying them but that’s not the most efficient thing to do. The best thing to do is to make a copy of your photo, resize it and then save it for the web (which compresses it) using an image editing software. (The small graphic in the upper left corner of this article started out 900 pixels X 587 pixels and was 217kb. The image you see now is 200 pixels X 130 pixels and is only 7kb.)
Tip #2 – Use Alt Tags on Your Pictures and Graphics
When you insert images and graphics into your blog articles or pages, you have the opportunity to help the search engines find your post. We all know that search engines don’t see images. That’s why it’s so important to use the name, title, Alt-tags (alternate text) and description fields to help optimize your site for the search engines (SEO). Enter carefully chosen keywords that describe your post (not necessarily the picture).
As you see in the image above, when I uploaded my graphic for this post, I used keywords where I could.
Where I Find My Images
There are lots of places to find photos and graphics for your blog/website. Some are free and some are licensed. There are others that you can use if you give credit. I’ve chosen to use a lot of graphics rather than photos in my blog. I think they’re colorful and show a lot of creativity (on someone else’s behalf not mine). The site that I’ve been using for years is Big Stock Photo (note – that link is to my affiliate program with them). I use the advanced search and change the media type to illustrations only. Although, I could probably find a free image, sometimes it’s worth it to me to quickly find an image here and just license it. Another site I use is Morgue File. What sites do you recommend for images and photos? Do you have more tips that you can add?