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Ideal image size for a number of pictures

  1. I want to use the "Visual" theme as a kind of photolog. Is there a way to know beforehand the ideal size of the pictures if I already know how many I would like to post? Or will I have to post them with their original size only to find out after several posts that they are ALL TOO BIG? There must be some math that can be done!

    The blog I need help with is cbtrips.wordpress.com.

  2. To answer your question we must first know if you want the images to be clickable or not. If you aren't aware of the available options, see this post of mine:
    http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2009/04/26/images-the-three-link-options/

  3. Adding to what justpi has said,

    Be sure to read the details about the Visual theme:
    http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/visual/
    so you know the ideal sizes for each purpose.

    Quick Specs (all measurements in pixels)
    1. The content width is 265 on home, archive, and search pages, and 670 on single posts
    2. The content width on the full-width page template is 960
    3. The sidebar width is 260

    A most important thing to consider when you upload pictures is that you need to properly optimize each of them for the web so you don't waste your storage space and end up with very large (easy to copy and print) pictures which none the less look blurry on your site, and files which take a long time to load:
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/media/image-optimization/

  4. First of all, thanks a lot for your prompt reply.
    Let me see if I got it, justpi and 1tess:
    1) The maximum width of non-clickable images is 960 px for the Visual theme, right?
    2) What happens if I try to upload a 3000px-wide picture, for instance? (Most of mine are big, and I intend to use this blog as a kind of photolog.)
    3) Should I scale down EVERY SINGLE PICTURE to fit the specs for its intended purpose (home, full-width, sidebar)?
    4) You mentioned storage space. You mean in the WordPress server? If so, how much space has been assigned to me and how will I know how much my blog is taking?
    Thanks a lot!

  5. Prior to uploading any image into your blog, regardless if it’s a header image, a featured image, an image in a post or page, in a Post format (Gallery or Image), an image for sidebar display, or in a post slider, in an image widget or a text widget, you can optimize and re-size it in either a desktop image editing software or online image editing software to fit the space you intend to use it in.
    http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2012/03/26/cropper-or-proper-image-preparation-2/

    Preparing and resizing your images prior to uploading means you will also be witnessing a loss of image quality, you will not be wasting your space for media and you won’t experience any problems so you won’t end up troubleshooting images.

  6. edit: you will also not be

  7. Thanks, timethief, for introducing me to the space for media issue. Now I can have a pretty good idea of what I can do.

  8. Answering your questions:
    1) The maximum displayed width is 970px on a no-sidebar static page. On posts, or on default static pages, the max is 656px. (The numbers in the theme intro that Tess quoted are wrong.)
    2) See timethief's reply: if you upload 3000px wide images, you waste your storage space, you increase the loading time of your pages, and you get worse quality on the posts.
    3) Home: no. Sidebar: yes. Full-width: depends.
    4) Your free space for files you upload is 3GB (enough for many many thousands of properly sized images). You can see how much you've used and how much remains in Media > Library.

    But the exact answer to your original question depends on the question I asked (which you didn't answer): would you like the images to be clickable or not? If not, then ideally you should downsize your images to 656px beore uploading them. (If yes, the answer is more complicated.)

  9. Thanks, justpi, for your very objective reply to each item of my post.
    And, yes, I forgot to tell you whether I wanted the images to be clickable or not. Well, I would like some of them to have this feature. What would this entail? I suppose they should they be scaled down to an acceptable size anyway, right?
    And in item 3 you say that the need to scale down images to be displayed as "full width" depends. Depends on them being "clickable"?
    Thanks a lot!

  10. You're welcome.

    Yes, depends on them being "clickable" or not - that's why my initial response was this question.

    If clicking on an inserted image has no effect, then the only version a visitor sees is the one on the post. So for best quality (and no waste of storage space) you upload and insert 656px wide images. That's because you get best quality on the post when an image is displayed in its original size: images downsized by WP lose some color and sharpness; see this post of mine for an example:
    http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/image-quality/

    If clicking on an inserted image links to a different version of the image, then normally this would be a larger version, wouldn't it? Ideal size in this case depends on whether you link to an attachment page with the image on it or to the image file.

    Attachment pages on Visual are the same as static pages with no sidebar. So if you want widest possible plus best quality on attachment pages, you upload and insert 970px wide images.
    But there may be a different reason why one might want to link to attachment pages: not in order to display a larger version of the image but in order to display notes on the image. In that case I would upload 656px wide images (for best quality on the post as well as on the attachment page.)

    Linking to the image file means you see the image alone in a plain browser window. So you see the image in its original size as long as its width and height don't exceed those of your screen. The problem is that screen resolutions vary (mine is 1680x1050, but that's a lot larger than average), so one cannot give precise advice in this case. I would suggest no wider than 1100px and no higher than 700px.

  11. Wow, justpi, excellent and thorough explanation! I guess that settles it. Now I feel ready to start planning my "fotolog".
    Thanks A LOT!

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