SPEED TEST YOUR SITE.

Head over here and input your website into WebPageTest.org

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Most people, including us, apparently, are guilty of the same common fault – not compressing our images sufficiently. I have met many bloggers who pulled images directly from their camera and placed them in their blog posts, which can mean 3-5 megabit files in a post. Your goal should be 100k, though as internet speeds increase there is some creep up in this number.

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There is a ton of information you can process here, and most of it is not going to be useful to you and can be ignored. Going into the PERFORMANCE REVIEW tab will let you know the images that are the biggest offenders on the particular page that you loaded.

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USING LIGHTROOM TO COMPRESS IMAGES

If you don’t have Lightroom yet, go get it here. You should get it for a free trial period and afterwards (as of this writing) you can get Lightroom and Photoshop together for a monthly price of $10. It’s worth it, I promise.

Once you have imported the image you wish to place and have edited it to a point that you are happy with, you go to FILE-EXPORT…

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In the Export window there will be many options for naming the file and placing it in certain folders, but the most important thing for this lesson is FILE SETTINGS and IMAGE SIZING. Start by changing the QUALITY to 80. Once the image is exported, you may discover it is still too large, and will need to lower it more. The goal is to keep images below 200k if possible. If you can keep your images at around 100k, that is even better, but you might discover that the image compresses too much, making the quality of the image very low. Play around and use your best judgement, because you want images that look great, and the sweet spot in the QUALITY bar can be different, depending on the image you are compressing.

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You can see that you will also need to define the width and resolution of your photo. Find out the width of your blog (if you have a sidebar it’s typically between 650 and 800, a full width blog can go about 1200. Once you know the width, make sure the IMAGE SIZING is checked, and the left field has the image width (leave the right field at zero or you may end up with an oddly proportioned image) The Resolution should ALWAYS be 72 if it is meant for the web. If you are creating works for print, it can go up to 300 and higher.