How big should my graphics be?
Posted by Steve Riley on 16 April 2020 04:37 PM
Note: this article is deliberately vague! But it might help you ask the right questions.
Why can't you give a straight answer?
It's not an exact science unfortunately! There's physical (pixel) size to think about and file size. Generally with file size there's a trade off between quality and size - better quality, less image compression, bigger files. And that impacts page load and monthly bandwidths. On a desktop, it's less important as you can probably assume a decent connection. Much of your traffic these days is likely to be on mobile and people will be more concerned about speed and data (and probably paying for the latter). Google SEO is also much more biased to mobile now by the way.
So what is the right size?
Different websites will have different answers for this. For example, one of our recent sites uses the following:
Your own site will be different. Check with the support team or use a web browser plug-in to check. The geeky might be able to interrogate the code directly.
If you have a graphics package you can control all this. There are free web alternatives that do a good job. Simple images and graphics will compress well naturally. Complex blends and most photographs will compress less so. Try different compressions and see the results yourself, to try and develop judgment. If the image starts to look visibly degraded, you've gone too far and should compress less.
Photo images should be around 250k max and often probably much less - you'll get different answers depending who you ask. If you have several larger images on a single page it will affect page load time.
As a rule don't upload anything full resolution (eg from photo stock site). Even if the rest of this article is Greek to you, at least resize large images first.