Blog Images and PNG Compression

Andy Warren, 2013-07-25

I’m not terribly good at putting at least one image in every post. The images I do use are either screen captures from Snagit or photos from my phone.  I rarely do much in the way of editing them, a luxury of running a low key blog. As far as process, I typically just insert the image into Livewriter and let it do its magic. That works pretty well for me.

Below is a capture of some of the filenames of images on my blog. The filenames are blah. Does it matter? I hardly ever re-use an image and if I did, that would probably cue me to give it a more useful name. It just looks untidy to me, but I’m also debating for the kinds of posts I’m doing if it’s worth renaming them before I use them.


The other part I was curious about was the file size. Especially for mobile users it’s nice to keep image files small so the pages load a bit faster. I took the image above and ran through PNGGauntlet and did see a small reduction, one worth doing if it was high volume, but debatable for what I’m doing.


I’m trying to decide what I think on this. I think an image per post (or more) is worth trying to do and I’ll have to work at that. I think using small images is worth doing, but based on the file sizes and reductions I’m seeing I don’t know that it’s worth trying for the smallest images (but ideally I’ll find a way to make it happen without having to think about it). I think it’s nice to have meaningful filenames (and maybe a win for SEO), but I’m not enthused about remembering/having to do it every time. I like the way I do it now, I just wish I could get better/ideal results for the same effort – so I should look for tools or changes to the tools I use that might enable that. I’m also conscious that it might add a whole minute or two to the posting process if I just do it manually, not a lot of time even if I’m posting every day.

I draw an uneven comparison to woodworking and carpentry. It’s often perfectly ok to use ‘secondary’ wood for the parts that the user will never see, and it’s downright necessary to use nails and screws in construction rather than trying to dovetail and dado the studs for a wall in a house. It’s uneven because in both of those cases it would require extra effort and/or cost, where with software it should be possible to do it better for just about the same level of effort.

It’s not a wasted exercise for me, or hopefully for you reading this. I’ve spent a few minutes looking and thinking and what I have right now is functional, just not perfect. I’ll spend a few more minutes seeing if there is an add-in for Writer that will help or a better screen capture app as far as compression or something else, and then I’ll move on. I’d appreciate any ideas you have or experience with tools that might make my image process work better.





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