Featured images grab people’s attention, and may even get them to look at your latest and greatest shining bit of wisdom.
You can use your latest book cover (in which case I’m jealous) or a free image from Unsplash, because in an increasingly visual world, pictures help.
The problem starts when we just throw any old image on to our site without regard for size.
For instance the featured image for this post is png-24 at 1024 x 683 pixels.
While it resizes nicely, it weighs in at 1.3meg, which is a lot of data to move. Especially on a smartphone data plan or a slow connection.
And, can you imagine how slow your website will be if you have several of these trying to load at the same time?
So, here are a two examples that show the difference in size when you dumb them down just a little bit.
This image is png-8 dithered and 300 x 200px and is 133k.
And this last image is also png-8 200 x 147px and only 25k.
I don’t use a lot of images so, the WordPress “featured image” function is fine for an article attention getter.
The only thing I do is sometimes crop the image, resize it for use on the web, then upload it with a different name than the original. In this case I used the image size in the name.
While I use Adobe Photoshop for all most all my images, I’m about to go on social security, which means no money for a monthly rental fee. Fortunately, I have a work-around for that problem.
If you need to work with images and you don’t have a lot of money, Gimp does almost everything you might need. It’s available for Linux, OSX, and Windows, and best of all, it’s free. –Even starving writers can afford it.
–Climbing down off my soapbox and fading into the background.–