Monday Morning Misdemeanors is a series of weekly posts written by Graphic Designer, Derek Gyssels. In this series, Derek is going to hone in on a number of common problems that crop up in graphic designs and then give you the tools to avoid them which will give your designs a professional polish.
This weeks misdemeanor is a simple one. We have noticed on our end that some AM users are uploading extremely large graphics for use on their websites. I find it good timing that this is coming on the heels of last week's post because this issue is pretty well the exact opposite problem. Although designers need to work with the highest-quality image possible (which translates into large file sizes), images for the web need to be quite small to be practical.
The particular issue here is that some of the images being uploaded for AM are over one megabyte in size. The AM software resizes images for where ever it is being used in the site, however this doesn't make the file size any smaller. The result is a 200 pixel by 300 pixel image that takes a long time to download.
What needs to happen is if you have a large image it needs to be shrunk before uploading. This will save time on loading pages and it will save storage space on your account. The auto-resizing that AM provides is intended to help you not have to resize all your images if they are slightly off the size that the platform will display. All you need to do is check the file size of your image before you use it. You can do this in Windows by right-clicking on the file and selecting “Properties” in the menu that appears. On a Mac you can select your file and press Command + I. Your Internet-bound images should not be over 100KB.
At the end of the day it is up to you what you do. As I said above the only thing at jeopardy here is your sites performance and the file space you have associated to your account. I say that tongue-in-cheek to make a point, because both of those things are very important. If you don't have Photoshop to help you resize your images there are options.
One that some people around here have used is Pixlr which allows you to perform basic editing of images for free. But if that doesn't work you, search Google for free software that can get the job done.
As always, I welcome your questions and comments. I'll be back next week!