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10 Tips on Best Image Size for Your Blog

by | Blog

What is the best image size for your blog?  Are you inadvertently slowing down your blog’s load time?  What is this PPI/DPI thing?  I’ve heard the questions being asked on different forums so I thought I’d try to explain a little of what I know, especially as it pertains to my own blog.  Who knows, maybe you’re in the same boat and have some of the same questions, and these little tips might come in handy!

I’m not a graphic designer and I’m not a photographer, although I dabble in fun printables occasionally and take photos for my blog.  In terms of software, I use Adobe Lightroom and a free program called Gimp.

One Dog Woof: What is the best image size for your blog and how to display beautiful blog photos


Tip #1:

Size your images only as large as your blog content width.  For example, my blog content area is 690 pixels wide.  There is no need for me to size my photos any larger than 690 pixels, since the content area will only display up to 690 pixels.  An image of 800 pixels will automatically be shrunk when shown on screen.

crane_mobile-11This image is actually 800×533 pixels.

Tip #2:

There is no concept of “per inch” in a web layout.  So PPI (pixels per inch) and DPI (dots per inch) are not relevant when editing your photos for your blog, even though they may be available as options in your software.  The 3 images below are saved at different PPIs, but you can see there is no difference in picture quality!

crochet_flower_72ppi640×427 pixels at 72 ppi

crochet_flower_300ppi640×427 pixels at 300 ppi

crochet_flower_1000ppi640×427 pixels at 1000 ppi

Tip #3:

An image at 600 pixels wide by 400 pixels in height will have the same file size regardless of what the PPI is set to.  This image will have 240000 pixels of information, and that’s what determines the file size.  However, an image at 800×600 will have a larger file size than one at 600×400 because it contains 480000 pixels of information.  Since the larger image contains more data and the file is larger, this will slow down your page load time – See Tip #1.  The 3 images above are all 102 KB in size.

Tip #4:

PPI and DPI are not relevant to web displays, but they are important when creating printables.  Images that are meant to be downloaded and printed should be created at 300 PPI.  If you download the photos above and try to print them, you’ll see they print at different sizes, with the 1000 PPI image printing at under 1 inch wide.

Tip #5:

Save your JPEG images somewhere around the 80% quality range.  This would mean about a 20% compression.  Do some experiments with different JPEG qualities to see what works best for you. The image below was saved at 30% quality, or a 70% compression.  The file size is now 43 KB as compared to the 102 KB of the photos above, but you can see the quality difference.


Tip #6:

Do not scale your photos too small, and then try to re-enlarge them for display on your blog, as this will result in pixelation and blurriness.

crochet_flower_72ppi_scaledbyhalfThis photo is the original image from above, scaled down in Gimp by 50%.  Enlarging this image back up to 640×427 pixels gives the below result, which shows slight blurriness.


Tip #7:

Adjusting the width and height attributes in an <img> tag in HTML does not affect the image size stored on the server.  It only affects the display size seen on the website.

Tip #8:

When using the <img> tag to adjust image size, only specify either the width or height attribute, not both.  This allows you to keep the same ratio.  Specifying both width and height attributes could distort the image being displayed.

Tip #9:

WordPress stores multiple copies of your uploaded images in different sizes – a thumbnail, a medium copy and a full size copy – and they are different in file size.  If you need to display an image at a particular size, pick the smallest copy that is the same or larger than your desired display size, and use the <img> tags to adjust display size.   To display an image at 400 pixels wide, use the full size copy and shrink down to fit – do not enlarge the medium copy, as that will result in pixelation or blurriness – See Tip #5.

crochet_flower_72ppi400 pixels wide, shrunk from full size copy

crochet_flower_72ppi400 pixels wide, enlarged from medium size copy

Tip #10:

Make all edits on your original photo.  Do this prior to scaling/cropping/compressing so you’re working with all of your data.


Whew, that was a lot of information!  If you’d like to read more on this topic, I found this website to be very useful, if a little bit technical.  Or, ask questions in the comments below and I’ll try my best to answer them!


  1. Kara

    Great advice! I’m pinning this so I can refer to it 🙂

  2. nancy

    I needed this. You answered a lot of questions–I never even knew I had!

  3. ChiWei

    Thanks Nancy! I know it covered a lot, so if you have other questions, let me know!

  4. Teresa

    Great advice! I’m always second guessing myself about photo size on my blog and how to figure out the best size so I don’t significantly slow down my self-hosted server. I’m pining this for future reference!

  5. ChiWei

    I actually plan to write another post specifically on page load times because I think a lot of people wonder about it. I’m glad this is useful for you!

  6. Alexis @ Persia Lou

    Great tips! I’m glad I found your site. I’m a new follower on bloglovin. 🙂

  7. ChiWei

    Thanks Alexis!

  8. Cindy @ diy beautify

    Thanks for the great a newbie blogger, I needed these 🙂 Came to you from Happy Hour Friday. I posted a project too, would love for you to check it out! Thanks 🙂

  9. Lindsey @ DishingUpHope

    This was fabulous! I am certainly in need of these tips… Thank you!

  10. prasad np

    A very good post, that has clarified most of my doubts about the size and pixels. For my blog I do not load pictures on WP, but upload them on Flickr and then hotlink them using a URL, I find that to be really easy and size issue is also taken care by Flickr as I pick the size I need from the options.


  11. Pam

    Thanks for these tips! I always resize my pics for my blog but didn’t know the details in depth like this.

  12. ChiWei

    You’re welcome Pam!

  13. Heather

    Hey, ChiWei! I don’t remember how I found this post but I remember tweeting it and sharing it on FB and pinning it because it’s such great information to have! Then I realized the next day that we’re in the same FB group of Lauren’s. Even Blogland can feel small sometimes, I suppose!

    I have a question, at the risk of sounding like a noob. How do I find how many pixels my blog content width is?

  14. ChiWei

    Hi Heather! Lauren’s group is pretty big, but I do love the network of bloggers I’ve met and how supportive and friendly everyone is! Thanks for the shares and I’m so glad the information can help you. Regarding your blog content, you’d have to look through your wordpress dashboard or your theme’s CSS file. Some themes have it locked in and others allow for changes. Or, if you know the size of your header, you can subtract the size of your sidebar, and you can get a close estimate of your content width (minus margins and padding). Hope that helps!

  15. ChiWei

    So glad I could help, Sandra!

  16. inna

    Thank you so much for the information!
    trying to fix my blog pics ) looks a bit messy )
    do you use program for mac ?

  17. inna

    btw what do you think about vertical and horizontal pics resizing? if the blog contains vertical pics as well – what is the best option to post vertical and horizontal pics together?

  18. Nan Dee

    This was informative, but I am still confused about a few things. I use photoshop elements to crop-edit-resize photos.

    You wrote in Tip 3 “Save your JPEG images somewhere around the 80% quality range. This would mean about a 20% compression.”

    What the heck does that mean? What program are you using? In PS Elements, when you save a photo you get a scale with small at one end maximum at the other. You have to chose, but there are no options for percent, or compression.

    Also, when saving a photo in Elements, there is the choice of “baseline standardized” “Baseline Optimized” and “progressive.” I would like to know what those things mean.

    And then where do you specify what the KB size is? Actually, what the heck is that?

    I still find sizing photos extremely confusing. Thanks for your help.
    Nan Dee

  19. ChiWei

    Hi Nan, I don’t use PS Elements, so I won’t be able to help you with specifics. If you see a scale, you’ll need to see what type of scale it is, whether it’s based on quality or compression – they are inverses of each other. The higher the compression, the lower the quality. I can specify a KB (kilobyte) size maximum in Lightroom, but usually, the size of the photo is dictated by the amount of compression that is being done on the photo. Ooh, let’s step back a bit, I just realized you asked about compression is. So, a photo can be made “smaller” without losing visual quality – up to a certain point, you can’t tell whether a photo has had some data removed (compressed) to create a smaller file size. But only to a point. If you remove too much data or photo pixels, you’ll start seeing images that look grainy or blurry.

  20. ChiWei

    To be honest, I’ve had different thoughts on this and have played with the size of my photos several times. Right now, I like having my horizontal photos the entire width of my blog content. For vertical photos, sometimes I like the short edge to be the entire width of the content, but sometimes it makes the photo just too big, so then I shrink it until it feels “right”. It’s really personal preference I think, and may depend on what you have in the photo.

  21. ChiWei

    Hi Inna, I use Adobe Lightroom 5 on my Mac.

  22. Fiona @TIFFIN bite sized food adventures

    Thanks so much for this post. Simple, easy to understand and very, very welcome as I move onto my new blog site. Sure, there may be a million little videos and complicated explanations around but you just helped me so much!

  23. ChiWei

    Wow, thanks so much for your sweet comment Fiona! I’m glad I could help, and you’ve made my day 🙂

  24. Dawn Davenport

    Hi. I love your blog. What software do you use to create your images such as the 10 Tips chalkboard style graphic at the top of this blog? Thanks so much. I’m the Exec. Dir. of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education organization, and I’m always looking for ways to be more creative in my photos.

  25. ChiWei

    Hi Dawn,

    I use either Canva (, PicMonkey, Gimp or Adobe Illustrator. Canva and PicMonkey are online tools; Gimp is free software, and Adobe Illustrator is well, just plain powerful. For this chalkboard image, I think I used Gimp. Thanks for stopping by!!

  26. Charlotte @ Ciburbanity

    Hi ChiWei, I’m sorry I didn’t get to spend more (any!) time with you at the CL Fair this past weekend.. was looking forward to meeting you! 🙂 My fault for being late…. Okay. My question. So after seeing your post on the Blogtalk thread, I’ve sort of gone down the rabbit hole of looking at my site and all the rookie mistakes I made for the first year re. images. I.e. ALL of my media is enormous. LIke crazy enormous. Going forward I think I’m in good shape but I’m really struggling to figure out the media I already have. The few plugins I’ve found for bulk resizing aren’t doing the trick so there must be a nuance that I don’t know about re. my media library set up, etc. Any experience with this? THANKS!!! xx charlotte

  27. Rahul Sharma

    Great information and you have explained it well.
    Thanks for sharing this useful post.

  28. Richard Thompson @ Alphagraphics

    Great tips. Load time is a much bigger deal than most people realize. Websites with long load time get demoted in Google search ranking which makes it harder for people to find your site.
    However it is still really important to have good graphic design on your site, so you will have to find a good balance of a good looking website and good load times.

  29. Mike the Gardener

    Excellent post! Many people overlook this type of information when it comes to images on their blog. It could be the difference between an image loading fast and one taking forever. Also be sure to give your photo filename something relevant to your blog for SEO purposes.

  30. ChiWei

    Thanks Mike!

  31. Pendekar

    thanks for the tips…really appreciates your tips… have been using it for my blog… thanks again…

  32. Keren @ Just One More Spoon

    Very helpful! I’ve been using 1080 pxl image! looks like I’m going to have to downsize!

  33. Rich - RichyFeet

    Thanks for the really useful tips! I was pretty much doing it right, but good to be sure 🙂

  34. ChiWei

    You’re welcome, and yes, it’s an awesome feeling to know you’re on the right track 🙂

  35. Ariana

    Love this advice thank you x

  36. Erica

    This is great advice! I’m going to bookmark this and refer to it when I optimize my images. Thanks!

  37. Pin

    Hi, I can’t tell you enough how much you helped me. Thank you very much for sharing ~_~

  38. Sabrez Alam

    Hi Chewei,

    Thanks for the wonderful tutorial for optimizing images.

    My blog is hosted on blogger and I was looking for a way to optimize my blog images which are really big in resolution and size.

    After reading your tutorial, First of all, I am gonna measure my post width area to optimize my images.

    Thanks for posting the nice tutorial.

  39. ChiWei

    You’re welcome!

  40. Lauren

    This is super helpful for me. Thank you so much for posting this info. This is very easy to understand. Been googling this stuff all day and getting more frustrated. My pictures clearly have been too small. I always read that large picture slow down the load time. But all I know is that mine have been on small size. I want mine to be noticed but not overwhelming. Thanks again. Am sharing this.

  41. Rahul Zajari

    thanks for this useful post it is really helpful for me…

  42. Graham Parker

    I wonder if you could help.
    I would like to send some photos to a customer that has purchased some prints from me. But I would like to send them at a very low res just for use on there facebook page etc But not good enough for a say 6 x 4 printed image.. My start off file starts at 6000 x 4000 from a Nikon D7100.
    Please can you tell me the setting that I can put into photoshop.

    Many thanks


  43. ChiWei

    You usually need at least 300 dpi to print a quality photo, so a 6×4 photo would be 1800×1200. Anything smaller won’t look good printed, and is more than enough for web use. Hope that helps!

  44. Thijs

    thnx for the tips! 🙂

  45. Erica

    Thank you for writing about this! I still have some things to work out regarding my pics on my blog, but this post helped me figure a few things out right away. Blessings to you!

  46. Mahesh

    Not sure though .. but I prefer putting images 1024 x 768, compress using online optimizer programs .. and end up having image size @100 kb per image .. this is required since being travel blog readers prefer slightly high resolution images ….I have experimented 800 size too .. but finally experimenting this size …

  47. Susan

    Hi, I just found this post and want to thank you for the great info. I am working on a samsung tablet and recently my photos which display very clearly on my tablet appear very blurry when I upload them to facebook. In the past they always looked fine. What may be causing this all of a sudden and how can I fix it?

  48. Matt Selby Photography

    Great advice, for me – I found this blog post as I wanted to see what people are aiming for in terms of file size. My images are resized to 980x657px (site width) but are still around the 300kb… I’ll start saving at around 70% quality in the hope they will be smaller files and increase page speed as a result.

  49. Michael Romano

    Great info. Straight to the point… or pixel, as it were.

  50. Matt Selby Photography

    Update – Just discovered the potential in using ‘save for web’ – anything that is going on a website is best saved for web. It basically saves the image size as small as possible without degrading too much quality.

  51. Poppy&MopBlog

    Thanks for the tips, we will definitely use this on our blog.

  52. Event Support

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  53. basil Ita

    Great info. Thanks for sharing!

  54. Jeff's Travels

    Thank you so much for this helpful information. I just recently started blogging and had no idea how to optimize my photos, how to scale images, or anything other than upload the photo! This will help tremendously! Thanks so much!

  55. Vera

    Thank you so much for making this great post, it’s very helpful since I struggle with the right sizes of my photos when I try to use them in my posts. Pinning this to my Pinterest board 🙂

  56. ChiWei

    You can resize when you export it.

  57. Jen Anderson

    Well laid out and informative. Do you suggest adjusting your blog featured images to match any social media sizes?

  58. ChiWei

    I don’t, but I know some people do.

  59. Kassandra

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I have been scowering the whole internet for information like this, and you gave it to me clear and simple. God bless you!

  60. John Borcia

    Thanks for the tips. I’ll be using some of these soon.

  61. Paris Ruff

    Thanks a lot, this really is a truly awsome article! I need help with this too! I mostly use to edit my PDFs. I think it also allows you to to create fillable pdfs and esign them.

  62. Dennison

    Question. (I appreciate this was posted some time ago so details may have changed, but I’ll ask nonetheless in case somebody sees this).

    “An image at 600 pixels wide by 400 pixels in height will have the same file size regardless of what the PPI is set to. This image will have 240000 pixels of information, and that’s what determines the file size.”

    Let’s say we have an image in Adobe CC at (for example) a resolution of 800 x 600. When exporting the image you can choose to save at different levels of quality – at the same dimension of 800 x 600. The final file size does then actually change at this point. So my question is, what is it that is changing if not the dimensions? The amount of information in a pixel? Or the amount of pixels in a chunk?

  63. Saud Khan

    PPI and DPI affect the file size.

  64. Charly

    Thanks for your article and help. Just made all the pictures much smaller after reading it for my website. By the way, there are plugins which make pictures smaller. What is better. Smaller picture or plugin or smaller picture and then run the plugin? Any experience?

  65. ChiWei

    Whether to use a plugin is up to you. It depends on what the plugin does – does it create a smaller file, or load a large file and display it smaller? That will make a difference in loading time. Hope that helps!

  66. ChiWei

    Changing the quality of an export is changing the amount of data being stored. Your lesser quality 800×600 jpeg will have ripples around the text and look less sharp than a high quality 800×600 jpeg.

  67. Dennison

    Thanks, that helps me a bit. So what is actually happening then with the missing data? Is it compressing in the opposite way that vectors work? As in, is it missing out pixels between two points and replacing them with a blend? Or, if you think of it like the side of a Rubik’s cube – is it changing the amount of pixels used to represent a fine detail? I’m struggling to understand the granularity of it. How much can be stored in a single pixel? Surely it can’t be more than 1 colour?

  68. ChiWei

    Hi Dennison, I’m sorry, that’s beyond my pay grade 🙂 I’m not even sure how to look that up, but it might be in the world of graphic processing (total wild guess).

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  202. ChiWei

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