When maintaining your own CMS site, such as a WordPress website, you need to know a few things. If you don’t know the difference between a browser and a software program on your own computer, for example, then you might not be ready to edit your own website. Web sites have been shifting from software based HTML sites to CMS sites that are “in the cloud”. That means you can now login to your website to edit it through an Internet browser instead of having software on your computer. That can save money by not having to purchase software upgrades per year. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think there is some learning and other skills needed. The first article covered learning some basic HTML when maintaining your WordPress site. Next, we will focus on knowing image editing skills.
Taking a photo is easy nowadays. Most smart phones and tablets come with a high resolution camera. Stock photos are inexpensive and available readily online. And social media is full of visuals and photos. One important note is that you need to pay attention to copyright laws in regards to photos. YOU CANNOT JUST GRAB A PHOTO FROM A WEBSITE OR FACEBOOK PAGE. Make sure you use Royalty-free photos (such as found on shutterstock.com or istockphoto.com) or your own photos.
Many photos you take through a smart phone are initially high resolution (300 to 600 dpi), which is very large for a website. Therefore, it is important that you make your photos 72dpi initially and re-size them smaller BEFORE bringing them into your WordPress website. You shouldn’t need a photo wider than 600px for your website pages.
There are two ways to edit photos: through software on your computer or through an online software or service:
1. Software such as Photoshop: Anyone involved in design is aware of Adobe Photoshop. It is the premier photo editing and image editing software. The full version is out of the price range of a typical owner who is not doing a lot of image editing. However, the company also offers a lighter version, Photoshop Elements, for around $99 (It is currently on sale for $69 through Feb. 7). Adobe, like a lot of other software companies, are also now going to cloud based subscriptions for their programs. You can also purchase the Adobe Creative Cloud service starting at $9.99/month. If you are planning to do image editing on a regular basis for Email newsletters, brochures, flyers, and your website – it might make sense to get a quality image editing software or service.
2. Online services: Some online image editing tools are also available, such as Picmonkey.com. If you need a simple resize of a photo, then the free version of Picmonkey.com should work. They also have an upgraded version starting at $2.75/month. You won’t get all of the features of Photoshop through Picmonkey, but if you are only editing a few website photos on occassion, then this might work best for you.
If you have a slideshow, then you may need to edit your photos to an exact size and therefore need the ability to crop a photo, not just resize it. For example, if you had a vertical photo and wanted it to fit into a horizontal slideshow, then you would have to crop out a lot of the top/bottom of the photo to make it fit. Otherwise, the photo will stretch and/or squish to fit the space and loot terrible. Finally, remember that you can downsize a larger photo into a smaller size, but you can’t do the reverse – make a smaller photo fit into a larger size – without losing quality.
MTECH, as Your Digital Shepherd, provides WordPress training and marketing services. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.