Speed Up Your ActiveRain Blog: Pre-Upload Image Sizing

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with GreatFX Printing

This post aims to help anyone who uploads images to their ActiveRain blog with an effect of reducing load time through the act of reducing image size BEFORE uploading images.

When I first started blogging on AR 2 weeks ago I was surprised to see that the AR gods allow people to upload fullsize images and then resize them with HTML code.  "Big deal" you might say.

This is a big deal and here's why:

Everytime someone visits your blog, the web browser loads the full size image rather than the resized image they actually see. 

If you upload a photo that is sized 1024 x 768 but using the AR interface you resize it to 500 x 375 it may look like it is 500 x 375 on your page, but in reality the photo is still 1024 x 768.  Forcing your readers to load these massive images can cause a major slowdown.

I'm most surprised that AR does this because loading large images is a huge bandwidth hog.  The only benefit I could see to this is that you can right click the image and view image to see the full sized image (useful for listing photos) but otherwise I see no benefit.

To see this effect in action, lets compare file sizes of a typical image. For this test, I took a screenshot of my desktop and pasted in to Photoshop at 1024 x 768 and saved as a JPG 100% quality.  Next I reduced the size down to 500 x 375 and saved as JPG at 100% quality.  The results are shocking:

1024 x 768 = 446k filesize = 19 second load time on 256k cable connection

500 x 375 = 84k filesize = 4 second load time on 256k cable connection

Taking the size of your image down to 500 x 375 BEFORE uploading to your blog reduced the load time of that image a whopping 5 FOLD! 

This means that if you aren't resizing your images, your visitors are likely spending 5 TIMES LONGER to load your blog and AR is using more than 5 time the bandwidth that they could be using.

ActiveRain Admins:  Are you listening?  May I suggest implimenting a dynamic resizing script that actually resizes the images as they are uploaded, rather than just resizing with code?  I imagine this would cut your bandwidth useage by a large number and would also benefit the bloggers making their pages load faster.

ActiveRain Bloggers:  Since AR currently doesn't have a way to resize images here is a way to do it yourself:

1) Go download and install a FREE program called Paint.net - http://www.getpaint.net

DOWNLOAD LINK: http://www.dotpdn.com/files/Paint.NET.3.5.1.Install.zip

2) Before publishing (draft mode), upload your full size photos to your blog and resize them to the size you need to fit into your content using AR's sizing method.  Make note of the size that you size them to, then delete the photos from your post.

3) Open Paint.net and resize each image to the size that you noted in step 2.  Save these images to your hard drive (careful not to overwrite your originals).

4) Come back to AR and upload your newly resized photos in the position they were.

5) VIOLA!  Instant speed gains for your AR blog.

Posted by

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chris Brunner is an aspring real estate agent/investor and owner/developer of
GreatFX Business Cards
, a top destination for online printing services.

GreatFX offers thick card stock paper, photo-quality color, free glossy or matte coatings and eco-friendly soy-base inks & reyccled papers.  Stop paying too much for cards.  Sharpen your image, design business cards online today!

Copyright © 2009-2010 by Christopher J. Brunner, All Rights Reserved.

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Show All Comments
Rainer
24,865
Dana Post
Keller Williams West Sound Realty - Silverdale, WA

I REALLY need to do this - thanks so much for the step-by-step instructions!

Dec 02, 2009 03:23 AM #2
Rainmaker
342,126
Ed Newman
Alamo Infrared, LLC - Midvale, UT

I have always downsized my pics before uploading - just a habit from years doing my website. I didn't think about uploading the big monsters to AR - it makes perfect sense what you say about reducing download time. Good share

Dec 02, 2009 03:26 AM #3
Rainmaker
236,386
Debbie Summers
Charles Rutenberg Realty - New Smyrna Beach, FL

Chris - this is great advice...  I'm guilty of loading large images, but thanks to your post - it won't happen again! 

Dec 02, 2009 03:40 AM #4
Rainmaker
565,518
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Chris - interesting info. One thing to note, for posts to localism, AR has a maximum width of 450 pixels, not sure if there is a maximum height. While I am not familiar with netpaint, I will assume that it has the capability to resize one axis and maintain the aspect ratio on the other access. So, if you make your horizontal 450, the vertical will automatically adjust. I will be checking this out.

Dec 02, 2009 03:49 AM #5
Rainmaker
707,947
Betty Knowles
Southwest Missouri Realty - www.teamknowles.com - Springfield, MO
TeamKnowles REALTORS® - Springfield MO Real Estate

Chris, good information. I usually but not always re-size my pictures. I'll make it a habit from now on.

Dec 02, 2009 04:35 AM #6
Rainer
20,397
Chris Brunner
GreatFX Printing - Springfield, MO
GreatFX Printing

I think everyone on ActiveRain should know about this.

If you agree, please flag this post for feature so we can spread the word and make AR faster for everyone.

Dec 02, 2009 05:01 AM #7
Rainmaker
534,839
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Bend, OR
Curator of Happy Endings

Chris - Thanks for the great tip!  Guess we still need to be sensitive to all those folks who are still on a dial-up dinosaur :)

Dec 02, 2009 05:15 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,045,687
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Chris..I Think AR Height is 600, thanks for the tip, I usually load 600 x 480, larger will run into the margins with the AR outside blogs.

Thanks

 

Dec 02, 2009 07:15 AM #9
Rainmaker
243,596
Lina Robertson
RE/MAX Solutions and RE/MAX House of Brokers - Springfield, MO
REALTOR® Serving Springfield, Nixa and Ozark, MO

Chris - I have not been resizing my photos, and have been frustrated with how the images bleed into the outside blog margins.  Thanks for the info!

Dec 02, 2009 08:13 AM #10
Rainmaker
892,620
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

Wow!  This should really help with the speed.  Thanks for the tip.

Dec 02, 2009 01:19 PM #11
Ambassador
1,485,781
Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Very good.  I've downloaded it.  EZ to work!   I wish they had a custom rotate by degree in this program.

Dec 02, 2009 01:34 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,157,274
FN LN
Toronto, ON

Chris - I hadn't studied ActiveRain's HTML code but what you say is a very basic way to reduce ActiveRain's bandwidth costs too and it is very easy to implement.

I always reduce the size of my photos before uploading.

Dec 02, 2009 09:32 PM #13
Rainer
179,814
Nyssa Smith
Keller Williams Advantage Realty - State College, PA
REALTOR, State College Area Real Estate

Hi Chris~  First of all, welcome to ActiveRain!  Nice to meet you here.  Secondly, you really have some relevant things to say!  So thank you!  I have subscribed to your blog!  Make it a great day and thanks for the tip about the the pics.  I look forward to coming back here often to read what you have to say.  ~Nyssa

Dec 04, 2009 01:48 AM #14
Rainmaker
534,605
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

O.k. guilty as charged! :-)

Dec 05, 2009 01:56 PM #15
Rainer
104,693
Troy Pappas
Safe House Property Inspections - Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach Home Inspector

I have been using GIMP so far, so I am excited to see if this can make the process faster.l

Dec 07, 2009 02:08 PM #16
Rainmaker
95,038
C. Thompson
Loan Modification - Bethesda, MD
Loss Mitigation Cases

Hi Chris, Great post, this is great information and it makes sense, thanks for the support.

Dec 07, 2009 04:02 PM #17
Rainmaker
273,464
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Thanks for the tip Chris. I am learning the ins and outs of my new Wordpress website and I will use Paint.net on all my images. Do you know if the Wordpress image editor works the same way the ActiveRain image editor works?

Update: I downloaded that program, which was easy to use, and it shrunk my image by 60% (byte wise) and the image quality was still good. That has to help loading speed.

Dec 11, 2009 03:34 PM #18
Rainmaker
45,810
Lori Cofer
Beasley Realty - Moscow, ID
REALTOR, Moscow Idaho Real Estate

Chris,

Thanks for the great tip with respect to paint.net and resizing to speed things up...I will give it a try...

Jan 02, 2010 01:13 AM #19
Rainer
61,533
Richard Green
U.S. Cybertek, Inc. - Houston, MO

Chris -

Just a heads up... while I can't speak for ActiveRain.com I can tell you that most website services including our Missouri Multi-list (http://morealestate.net) optimize the photos you upload using code to convert them to jpeg images and compress them.  I wouldn't be suprised if they were using what is commonly called client side code (javascript for those tech savvy agents reading this comment) to compress those images.  This means your computer resources are used to compress the 'uploaded' image before it is sent to the server.  Great post.  I think I speak for every website service on the planet when I say THANK YOU for encouraging people to optimize their images for the internet.

Jan 28, 2010 03:35 AM #20
Rainer
334,174
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

never thought about resizing images unless the photo looked out...good idea.

Mar 20, 2012 11:08 PM #21
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