Make the Most of Free Tripawds Blogs, Part 2:

Optimize your Images for the Web

If you have signed up for a free Tripawds Blog account, you have been given 25MB of server space for uploading photos, PDF files, etc. This space can be consumed quickly with large image files.

Jerry sticks tongue out at Grand TetonsTo make the most of your free server space, pay attention to the size of files you upload and understand that anything over 150± kb is often overkill for image display in your blog. We have found that an image size of 400×300 (@ 72 dpi) works well with most blog themes.

Another option is to keep your photos hosted on an online photo sharing site like Flick’r or SnapFish. You’ll still be able to place the images here on your blog, but the actual digital file is kept on those sites instead of in your Tripawds Blog media library. This can save you from exceeding your upload space allotment.

For additional tips, read our post about how to use online photo sharing sites to make the most of your free blog.

Of course, the easiest way to avoid quickly filling your file quota is to upgrade your blog with a Tripawds Supporter subscription. This can be done at any time via the Supporter tab in your blog dashboard.

But, for all Tripawds Bloggers – either with free accounts or Supporter subscriptions – who just want to manage images with their own easy to use Media Library, we have some some tips to keep your file sizes down to a minimum.

How to Optimize Photo Sizes for the Web

Never upload an image directly from your camera to the web. Original digital photos are too big to publish online, and will use up your file size allotment quickly.

To shrink your photo file sizes down, many photo editing software applications have a push-button option that will optimize files for “web” or “e-mail” use. Windows XP and Windows Vista both have this functionality built-in. But to re-size images manually and determine their file size, follow these simple steps:

  • Launch your photo imaging software of choice.
  • Open your photo and do a “File/Save As” renaming the image so you don’t overwrite your original.
  • Crop your image to focus on the subject as desired.
  • Look for a menu option typically called “Image Size,” “Resize” or “Resample.”
  • Change your Resolution size to 72 DPI (Dots Per Inch).
  • Change your dimensions to a maximum of 640 pixels wide.
  • Click the box to “Constrain Proportions” or “Keep aspect ratio” when changing the image size. This keeps the image from getting distorted when you resize it. When this option is enabled, you just need to enter either the height or width; the other value should adjust automatically.
  • Preview the image at 100% and re-size or crop further as desired.
  • File sizes from 30 kb to a maximum of 150± kb per image will suffice and use the least space. The smaller the better when putting several files on the same page.
  • Save as a JPEG file, with medium compression if given the option.

Keep in mind that these steps apply to any image file you upload to your blog. You cannot crop or re-size images after uploading. A little arithmetic can help put things into perspective. If you upload 1 MB images – 1,000 kb – you may only be able to upload 25 photos. On the other hand, you might be able to upload 500 images at 50 kb each.

We hope this information helps you make the most of your free Tripawds Blogs account. But remember, if you don’t want to take the extra step to optimize your file sizes, just upgrade your account with Tripawds Supporter subscription, and you can have a full gigabyte of upload space! Simply visit the Supporter tab in your blog dashboard. Upgrading via your dashboard will automatically remove the banner ads from your blog too! Supporters also get plugins for embedding blog videos and much more. We’ll talk about all that soon.

Make the Most of Free Tripawds Blogs – Part 1

Use an Online Photo Sharing Site

Meeting a parapawlegic dachsund at Fort Funston in San FranciscoAll free Tripawds Blogs include 25MB of server space for uploading your three legged dog photos. Tripawds Suppporter Blogs get a full gigabyte of space among other benefits. But if you aren’t quite ready to upgrade to Supporter status yet, here is one way to make the most of your upload space quota:

First, if you don’t already have somewhere else to upload your photos, join an online photo sharing site like Flickr or SnapFish. You’ll still be able to place the images here on your blog, but the actual digital file is kept on those sites instead of within your Tripawds Blog account – saving you tons of space here. If you do this, you may never have to upgrade to Supporter Status to get more server space. Though you might consider it for the other benefits.

To place your hosted images in your blog post, do the following:

  1. Write a draft of your Tripawds Blog post.
  2. Go to your photo sharing site (where you have presumably already uploaded photos) and find the image you want to place in your blog.
  3. Place your cursor in the middle of the photo, right click and choose “Copy Image Location” to grab the image URL.
  4. Return to your Tripawds Blog post, and put your cursor where you want your image to appear then click the “Add an Image” button next to “Add media:” (Choose the first icon, a grey box with a white border.)
  5. When the pop-up “Add media files” box opens, choose the “From URL” option.
  6. Place your cursor in the “Image URL” field, and paste the image location you copied.*
  7. Give your image a descriptive Title.
  8. Add an optional caption if you want it to appear under the photo in your blog post
  9. You may also optionally set how you want your photo aligned: to the left or right of your text, centered between paragraphs, or none at all.
  10. Click the “Insert into Post” button, and re-size the image as desired by dragging it by the corner handles.

*NOTE: A small green check mark will appear next to your Image URL if it is validated as a bona fide image file location. If a red “x” appears, check to ensure the Image URL is valid, and that it is not hosted by an account that requires logging in to view it.

A note about the “Link Image To” field … Click the “Link to image” button only if you want the original larger version of your photo to load in the browser window when clicked. If you do want the original image to load when clicked, just place your cursor in the “Link Image To” field and click the “Link to Image” button. Alternatively, you can link the image to any web page by using any valid URL in this field.

Tired dog after playing with Zeus the MastiffIf you don’t like the way your photo is aligned, or want to edit its title or other advanced features, simply click within the photo, place your cursor over the top left corner, and click on the “Edit Image” icon that magically appears. A new window will appear that gives you the chance to resize and re-align the image or edit other attributes.

If all of this seems like a hassle, be sure to always minimize the size of your photo files before uploading them to your account – 25MB can fill up quickly if you’re not careful!

Or, you could just consider upgrading to be a Tripawds Supporter and not worry about any of this! Please stay tuned for more tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Free Tripawds Blogs!