We have talked before about where to get amazing images to use for your blog, newsletter, and social media updates – my favorites are MorgueFile and Pixabay – but once you have those images downloaded, then what? How to you resize images quickly and easily so you can upload them and have them fit?
You can, of course, do a search for “resize images online for free,” and you will get a bunch of results. But let me cut through the clutter and point you to my two favorite programs.
The two sites that I recommend are www.PicMonkey.com and www.iPiccy.com. Both offer free and paid options, but if all you are going to do is resize your images, you don’t need to pay for a membership.
For example, I downloaded the image above from Pixabay. It is 2.4MB in size, and 4951 pixels wide — way too big for what we want to use it for.
But on either of those websites, all you have to do is upload your image and choose the resize option.
From there you get a little box that allows you to enter the size you want for either the width or the height. Make sure you mark the “constrain proportions” option so your image doesn’t get smooshed. Or stretched.
After you have done that, you can just download your image and it is ready to use.
And, of course, in either program, you can also crop the picture, add text, and cool effects. Play. Have fun. Create something wonderful!
Optimum Sizes for Images
Here are the sizes I recommend for some different ways to use your images.
Blog Image Sizes:
Yours may differ, of course, but for most sites I work with, an image like the ones above where the text flows down the side of it work best at about 300 pixels wide.
If you want an image that goes all the way across the column, then 580 pixels is usually a good size to use.
If your page does not have a sidebar, then the image width will depend on the actual width of your page. Some standard widths are 600px, 960px and 1200px. A full with image on a page without a sidebar on this site, for example would be around 800 pixels wide.
Sometimes you just have to experiment.
Newsletter Image Sizes:
The standard width of most newsletters is 600px. If your newsletter has a single column, then a full width image should be 580px. If you are going to put text next to it, then the same 300px width that you use on your blog will work just fine.
If you also have a sidebar, keep in mind that will reduce the area available for your image and plan accordingly.
Another thing to remember about using images in your newsletter is that even though you can use a large image and modify it to fit where you want it, not all email programs will display your newsletter the same way. Some will pick up the original size of your image and throw everything else off. That can be ugly. So plan to use an image that is already the right size.
Two other issues you may have with images and newsletters are
- The size of your image is too large and you can’t upload it
- You run out of storage in your account
My recommendation to my clients is for images they will use in their newsletter only once, upload them to their blog and link to them from the newsletter. For images (like the header and dividers and profile pictures) that they will use often – go ahead and upload those to the newsletter account.
Facebook has its own recommended sizes.
- Cover Image – 851px X 315px
- Profile Image – 160px X 160px
- Timeline Image – maximum width = 403px; maximum height = 504px. This means that if your image is larger than that, Facebook will scale it down so it fits.
- Full-Width Images – this applies only to Pages, not to personal timelines. You can “Highlight” an image and make it span two columns. Maximum width = 843px; maximum height = 504px.
You can use either of those free programs to resize images to exactly the size you need for your application.