The size of images we upload to our sites on WordPress.com sites isn’t so critical in terms of how quickly our sites load for visitors. That’s because WordPress does some magic behind the scenes and probably has lots of servers dotted around the globe that can dish up the images quickly.
Still, there is usually no need or reason to upload very large JPEGs files to your WordPress.com site because a file of 40KB or so will look just as good on the web as a file of several megabytes.
And if we upload huge files, we can start to eat into the disk space allowed by WordPress. I have been running Light Reading for quite a while and I have nearly 700 images on this site.
Despite that, those files take up only 64 Megabytes – just 2% of the space allowed.
So How Big Are My Files
Whatever the situation with WordPress.com sites, it is useful to know how big files are when you are uploading images to your own self-hosted site, because file size can make a big difference to how quickly the page renders to the viewer.
The general rule is that photos render best and at smallest file size when they are saved as JPEGs.
But for simple graphics or text, it is almost always better (i.e. smaller file sizes) to save as a GIF or PNG-8.
Where Am I Going With This
A couple of days ago I made a ‘Seasons Greetings’ post and I uploaded an animated GIF.
With animated images, you have no choice – you cannot save them as JPEGs or PNGs. They have to be GIFs.
The file size of the animated GIF I uploaded is about 20KB – which is nice and small and well suited to the web.
Here it is:
And where am I going with this? Well, it’s this. If you want to make an animated gif – it is better to use graphics or text rather than photos. You can use photos, but the file size will be bigger.
For example, here is a simple two-stage animated GIF using a photo – and the file size is about 340KB.
Compared to most of the files I upload which are around the 40KB size, that’s huge.
How To Make An Animated Gif
If you have Photoshop, it’s easy.
For a very clear and simple to follow explanation of how to make animated gifs in Photoshop, I recommend CreativeTechs’s article on animated gifs. It explains how to make them and how to do ‘tweens’ – which are more advanced than I have ever needed to do.