Many times our clients have a need to perform simple edits to their photos, prior to uploading them to their website. While many in and around the tech industry rely on Adobe Photoshop, many of our clients do not have this expensive professional-grade software available, and honestly most don’t need something so powerful.
Enter the web, and the open and robust world of online, and install-able image editing software.
Here are our recommendations for simple, to moderately complex image editing tasks.
Online Image Editors
1. Fotor – They have an online version, and a version you download (Win) and install, both are free.
2. Canva – Sent to me by community outreach specialist Sylvester after finding our article online. Canva offers dead simple online editing of images, and I found it to be an excellent experience, with just the right amount of tools.
3. WordPress – Great strides have been made by the WordPress team to improve and expand the built-in photo editing capabilities. WordPress can handle basic re-sizing and even cropping, but preparing the image beforehand is always recommended.
Offline or Installable Image Editors
1. Gimp – A free and popular Photoshop clone. Beware, like Photoshop this is not for beginners.
2. Paint.NET – An evolution of MS Paint however it would be doing this project a huge disservice to describe it as simply a better MS Paint.
3. There’s also the option to use either the default photo managers on your computer (Windows/Mac). Simply preview or view the image on your computer, and check the available options as they vary from version to version.
4. Photo managers such as Picasa from Google also offer built in editing tools. They offer added benefits of organizing and sorting your photo collection.
Besides cropping, altering colors or specific detailed edits, the best general advice for uploading images to your website is to reduce the size (width and height as well as file size) to the minimum required – or at least something reasonable. Images directly from your smartphone, or digital camera are typically 3-4x the size that is required for the web.
If the image is displayed on your website at 400 x 300 pixels, and enlarges to 800 x 600, then the maximum size you should upload would be 800 x 600. When it comes to file size, make sure to choose JPG (when saving or exporting), with a quality level of 80-90 to keep the file size small.
We can assist our clients who regularly manage website images on the best dimensions to use, just ask!