Okay, I want to be honest with you, I had no idea about any of the things I’m about to mention when I started blogging. My Media Library was like a hot mess the morning after a drunken stupor. It was bad. When I discovered all of my mistakes, I cried. Messy, mascara running down my face, ripping out my hair type tears. Well, not really, but you catch my drift.
All I’m sayin’ is that I wish I found out about these things sooner. It would have saved me a lot of trouble and days of freaking out about the almost 1,000 images I already had uploaded to my site.
So that’s why I’m bringing this to you. I’m hoping to prevent some of you from those stressful moments that I had.Here are my tips to really optimize the shit out of your media library and make it your bitch!
Before & after you upload an image, do this shit
Name that sucker somethin’ good! If nothing else, do this. Seriously, save yourself from the struggles NOT doing this can cause. Don’t name your image something like img445014.jpg – no, stop it, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Name it something relevant to the picture. Personally, I name mine the title of the post I’m putting it in OR what the image is (so like, six-of-crows-book-cover.jpg). That way, it’s easy for me to find and it works with SEO.
Size Matters Part 1. When you upload an image, upload the size you want to display.
Even if you upload an image that is 1000×1000 and in your sidebar it’s forced to be 200×200, your site is still doing work. When someone visits your page, the server will first load the ORIGINAL size of the image, then when CSS and HTML kick in, it reacts like this: “Hey, dude! This image is WAY too fuckin’ big for this sidebar! What are you thinkin’! Let’s fix this shit” – THEN resizes it to that 200×200 size.
See the issue? That’s just too many steps and slows things down. If you know you need a specific size, edit that image in a photo editor, then upload it.
Title Tag & ALT Text (There’s really nothing witty to title this part, so we’ll have to settle).
- Title tag: The text people will see when they hover over your image, Also, if you use Pinterest, this is what will be the default caption when someone shares it.
- ALT text: The text when the image doesn’t load.
Use something descriptive. Again, I use the title of the post or what the photo is. It’s good for the SEO, man. If you don’t give a damn about SEO, it’s just darn professional-like.
Side piece of advice: use the right format, dude! There is jpg (photos), png (vector or image with transparency) and gif (animation, moving image) – each will cause a different file size.
Size matters part 2
One of the biggest, most important pieces of advice in this section (besides naming). Seriously, this one is important.
So, basically, when you upload a photo it’ll be something like 8MB, just gigantic. Because that 8MB now needs to LOAD on your site, along with the other media you have. If you’ve never compressed your images, chances are a lot of time goes to loading those damn things. You don’t want that, it slows your site down.
The fix: compress them!
See what a big difference that made? The size went down by 91%! All I did was put that PNG image into a compression tool and it works it’s magic by reducing the colors within the image which equals fewer bytes to store the data which means you get a brand new, fancy image that will work with your site, not against it. And can you tell a difference? No, of course not! Your image will stay the same, the file size will just change 🙂
Do this, love it, it’ll be your new best friend.
(I’ll discuss tools to use later in this post)
Organize on your Desktop
This is a piece of advice I should follow more often. Practice what you preach, Molly, gosh!
I tend to save photos to my desktop then drop them all in a folder called “BLOG PHOTOS”, then months later, I’ll go in and organize them. It’s a lot of work.
Now, you don’t have to do this, but for some reason, I like to have the photos on my computer. Call it “crash paranoia”, I don’t know, I just do it.
This could come in handy for Blogger users. It seems there is no organizational tool for the media library on Blogger. Please, correct me if I’m wrong! I just uploaded a few photos to my test blog and only saw the Picasa Web Albums as the organizational tool.
Useful plugins & resources
TinyPNG – Free, up to 20 photos a day with a max of 5MB
JPEGmini Web Service – Free for albums and individual images. Each album can contain up to 1000 photos, & can be 200MB in size. Optional direct upload to Picaso and Flickr. OR a paid computer program version for $19.99
ShortPixel – If you sign up, free 100 images per month. They also offer monthly plans or one-time payment plans.
I use ShortPixel mainly for their convenient one-time payment plan. When I started blogging I had no idea I was supposed to compress images. By the time I figured it out, I had over 700 photos uploaded to my blog. There wasn’t a chance in hell I was going to compress each one individually so I paid the $20.00 one-time payment to optimize 30,000 images. Then, I installed the plugin to WordPress and it automatically did it for me. YAY time saver 🙂 Just saying, I did this MONTHS ago and I still have 23,000 images left. So, if you have a self-hosted site and need to compress a bulk set of images, I highly recommend this service.
OTHER IMAGE TOOLS:
Media File Renamer (Plugin) – If you need to rename those img445014.jpg’s, use this.
Enhanced Media Library (Plugin) – This plugin is beautiful. I can create new categories to organize my photos more effectively. For example, I have a category titled “Meme Staples” which has ALL the graphics I use regularly. Don’t ask why it’s called Meme Staples, I really should change it to Frequently Used or something, but laziness & I know it what it is, so it works 😉 You can also search images with this plugin which is just FABULOUS (it really came in handy when I was making lists with book covers), especially if you’ve named those files correctly 😀
Well, those are all the tips I have for you today. I hope this was helpful for you!
Let me know if you are going to try any of these tips, currently use any of them OR if you have any suggestions that I include for other people!
*I’m in no way affiliated with any of the products I mention or rave about. All things said are just simply my opinions!