As you may have experienced already, placing photos in your YouCantrol website is pretty easy, whether its in a text editor or for a photo gallery. The challenge with using photos on the web is trying to get the best quality photo while maintaining the smallest file size possible. Not just for a fast load onto your screen, but to preserve precious storage space as well. I will try to convey how to achieve this in the simplest of terms without a lot of technical jargon.
Let's start by addressing a popular myth; The higher the resolution, the better the photo will look. This is false. Actually, the more you pay your photographer, the better it will look. Kidding aside, you do have to start with a good photo... in focus, nice balanced color, etc. A high resolution photo (300 ppi - pixels per inch, or sometimes referred to as dpi- dots per inch) is required for printing on a printing press. Generally, most monitors display 72 pixels per inch (ppi) which is how we view websites. So using the high resolution photo on your computer is simply wasting space and probably annoying viewers as they patiently wait for the photo to draw on screen one line at a time.
Also, most of us own a digital camera these days. Although most cameras are taking photos at 72 ppi, the photo size may be something huge like 2048px x1365px. At 72 ppi, that's roughly 28.5 inches by 19 inches! You'll need a movie screen-sized monitor to see it all at 100%. In a YouCantrol photo gallery, the large image only needs to be 640 x 480 (landscape). A smaller photo for your Facebook profile may only need to be 150 x 100 ppi. So you'll need to do some resizing before you upload the photo to your YouCantrol Image Manager.
There are hundreds of software applications available to do this. Most PC's come standard with basic image management software that enables you to re-size and crop. The most popular is Adobe PhotoShop, but to simply resize a photo, most editors will work. I found this free online version of PhotoShop that's pretty handy. And we all agree, FREE IS GOOD. It even has a button to "resize for a website". I think Yahoo! has a free photo editor too.
Make sure you are in editing mode and plug in the pixel dimension you desire. You'll want to make sure you have a "constrained proportion" button checked so you don't widen your mother-in-law's face. Apparently they don't like that. Now, save the photo with a different name than the original. If your editor gives you the option to select the QUALITY, try reducing it to 90%, 80% or 70%. As the quality percentage is lowered, the photo will look a little more blurry or grainy. Make it as low as you can but still looks acceptable to you. This will ensure a fast loading photo on your website. Then you're ready to upload to reduced photo to your YouCantrol Image manager or photo gallery.
Written by: Justin Juknelis
Posted on Tue, August 11, 2009
by Justin Juknelis filed under