Adding Images to WordPress the Wrong Way

Be Careful Adding Images to Your Blog That Are Too Big!

mark-twain-loc

Courtesy Library of Congress 200×247 pixels-23KB file size.

I recently had a client contact me about an error message he was getting when trying to upload an image and a PDF to his site. He’s an author about to publish a book on the life and times of Mark Twain and how he has been influenced by Mr. Samuel Clemons. Read along to find out what the problem was and why what he was trying to do could hurt him in more ways than one.

The image he was trying to upload was a picture of his book cover, both front and back. We were not able to fully duplicate his issue and the error message he got that mentioned a problem with memory, which shouldn’t be an issue due to way our servers are set up. After talking this over with a server administrator, who said he saw no issues with our server, here is what I said…

“The problem with the Twain Book Cover image that you were trying to upload is that it is WAY too big! 3408×2556 pixels is 3.4 times the width of your site. That file’s purpose was clearly for printing the book cover, not showing it online.

It’s also 2.15 megabytes, which will take a while to render on uploads and would certainly take forever to download. That may cause a bad user experience and Google penalties. (See Get More Feedback form Google below)

The file is also high-resolution at 300 dpi, which is about 4x the resolution of web browsers. The standard most use is images set to 72 dpi (max web resolution) and 96 dpi, which gives you a bit more resolution if someone prints the page.

We usually strive for images of 10-15KB for “headshots.” (7KB is often possible) Content images can often be 50KB or less and the biggest images we use all have to be less than 100KB. The image you were trying to upload was 22 times our acceptable maximum. Continue reading

Listbuilding: Sending Unsolicited Emails

An actual photo of me reading an email.

An actual photo of me reading an actual email from an actual mailbag.

From the Mailbag

I was asked the following question and thought I would share the answer with you…

“Judy” asked me what her options were with respect to sending emails to a group she belonged to and sponsored. I gave her two pretty good options to build a list of prospects.

Hi Kurt!
How are you?
I would like to pick your brain about a dilemma I am having.
Please respond if you can offer advice.
I have been a member and my business Hair by Judy has also been a sponsor of a local women’s social club.
This is my second year of being both member and sponsor.
Last year and the beginning of this year I have been able to email our 500+ members with our informative newsletter with value to them.
Just recently I have been informed that I can no longer email to us members and post only on our yahoo group page.
My question to you is, since I am a member and sponsor, does the no email unless subscribed apply to me?
Of course I do not want a $16,000. fine for each email complaint.
Is it against the rules to email as a member asking if they’d like to subscribe to our newsletters and receive them in their mailbox of choice?
I would love your feedback and direction. Thank you for your time. “Judy”
Continue reading

Pagespeed Insights: How to Use a Website Speed Test

Google Ranks Sites Based on How Fast They Load

How to Use a Website Speed TestLearn how and why you should use a website speed test to find out how fast it loads.  You don’t want to be penalized for a slow page load time on your site. Google and other search engines are emphasizing how quickly pages load, especially on mobile devices, as part of the 200+ elements of their ranking algorithms.

To further prove the point, there is also keen interest in the new Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. (Click the link to find out more)

Many things can affect how quickly a website loads, but one of the biggest drags on page load time are large images, or more specifically, HEAVY images.

Site visitors evaluate a web page in 5-8 seconds by scanning it before they decide to actually read the content. Images can help visitors get a sense of what the site is about, whether graphics or pictures.

Case Study: Images and Page Load Time

We audit all websites that we work with at the beginning to set a benchmark and to look for opportunities to improve website performance.

One client had unusually slow page load time on a fairly small site without much text and virtually no video. Some hosting companies offering cheap hosting can be the cause of slow site load speeds because of high server load when they host thousands of sites on one server.

We ran website speed tests on some of the other sites on the server and they were loading faster than the client, so it had to be something else.

When we looked at the Media library for the site, we noticed that the pictures were all a million bytes or more and many of them were 2.2 megabytes per picture. Those take a LOT longer to load than image files of 100,000 bytes or less and increase the page load time considerably.

The client was uploading pictures to his site without reducing the DPI (Dots Per Inch) before uploading. These heavy files were taking a long time to load! Continue reading