These last few months have been an education in blogging with photos, starting with learning about the fair use of others’ images, sourcing free photos, and now taking my own photos and posting them on Living In Place and The Middle Ages.
Wordpress makes uploading media easy, and I thought I was doing a fine job until Codewryter, my web-designer, taught me a few tricks.
1. Keep images under 100kb, so that your webpage loads quickly.
Big files take a long time to load, and we all know our own impatience when we have to wait more than two blinks of an eye for anything online. Our readers have tremendous curiosity and dozens of interesting posts to choose from; having to wait for our page to load could cause a reader to click away.
2. Resize large photos.
There are lots of big programs for sale to help photographers manipulate images, but they’re costly and complicated for a shutterbug like me. I’ve been using http://www.picmonkey.com to resize my files from Megabytes to Kilobytes. It’s a free program that allows you to edit your photos, including cropping, resizing, enhancing, and otherwise making your image look better. And it’s easy to use.
3. Identify your photos for ownership, for SEO and for the visually impaired.
Wordpress offers several fields to fill in whenever you add a photo to a post. For years, I just left the ones that didn’t auto-fill blank, but now I know better. Now, I always add at least a title and a description, and sometimes a caption as well. Not only do these make it easy for your readers to identify your images, they also help with Search Engine Optimization, which is how your readers find your work in the first place.
I’m sure there are more tricks, other programs, and new skills to learn about blogging with photos. What tricks, programs and skills can you share?
Deborah Lee Luskin writes to advance issues through narrative, telling stories to create change. She’s an award-winning novelist, a seasoned educator, a commentator on Vermont Public Radio, and a pen-for-hire.