Automatic Image Optimization

Overview

When uploading images through the media manager, the system automatically attempts to created a large, medium and thumbnail size, optimized for best results.

What are "best results"?

Images taken directly from a camera, phone or quality source typically have very large file sizes ranging from a few MB to hundreds. Unfortunately, most are too large to upload directly to the internet. Not only would they be inefficient to upload, but can cause storage issues (running out of space, viewing within tools, etc) and slow websites to a crawl. Imagine if every image on a home page were 5 MB in file size. It would look slow on your desktop and be excruciating to view on a phone.

This is where image optimization comes in. The "best results" for an optimized image is where the photo looks crisp and full color while having a file size that is small enough to be efficiently downloaded on all devices and computers.

Automatic Optimization

When an image is not too large to upload, yet still too large and inefficient to use on a website, the system will create the optimized versions as described above. This process is triggered automatically when you upload and save the image in the image manager.

Limitations

To optimize effectively, images cannot be too small or too large.

The most optimal sized images that should be uploaded are 1000+ pixels wide (height can vary for landscape) with a file size less than 2MB.

The minimum dimension we recommend is 800 pixels wide, to ensure a full width image on an article page. Any images smaller than 800 pixels wide will not trigger the optimizer.

The Manual Approach

So what do you do if the images for this week's articles are over 2MB in size?

Don't dispair. Most photo manipulation software allows easy resizing of images and saving with a compression (60 to 70% compression for JPG files typically works well). Many have single click optimization processes and batch processing capabilities. Your favorite photo application will likely have the ability to open, shrink and save every image in a folder to below 2MB file sizes with little configuration.

For example, taking a 10MB landscape-oriented image, resizing it to be 3000px wide and saving it with 70% compression will typically create a file size that is below 1MB. Of course, the complexity of the image will impact the ultimate size of the saved file (large spaces of the same color compress more easily than a busy, multi-color background), but the average image usually won't exceed 2MB.

Once the image(s) are below 2MB in file size, you can upload them to the media manager and the automated process will do the rest.

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