A picture is worth a thousand words – unless it drags down your site speed

I’ve been spring cleaning a client’s WordPress website – editing some pages, checking links and cleaning up code. The media gallery have been the biggest challenge. We had tons of duplicate photos, some really large media files and a couple of bitmap files – no wonder the site has been slow! So I’ve been deleting duplicate photos and resizing huge images that have really slowed down the loading time of the pages. Since several people administer the site I decided to propose a few procedures we can agree on on how to manage the photos on the site.

Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Do not upload any photos in bitmap (.bmp) format. They are huge and will slow down the site. Please convert the image to a .jpg format first.
  2. Resize any .jpg images more than 800 pixels wide and 1000 in height. Again, big images slow down the site.
  3. If you’re going to reuse an image that’s already on the site, do not upload the image again. Use the one that’s already in the gallery. If you delete an image off a page or post you’re working on, you don’t have to re-upload it. It’s still in the gallery.
  4. I’ve been playing with naming conventions for photos so we can easily find images in the gallery. Currently there’s 135 or so, down from over 250. I’d really like your input on how to name photos moving forward. Right now, it’s a pain to find anything. Please change the name of the image before uploading to the site. Here’s my suggestions on what to name images:
  • If the photo is of a person – title the photo with their full name
  • If the photo is a company logo – title the photo as “company name logo.”
  • Animal – If a companion animal – use their name. Wild animals – short description, i.e., zebra on savanna.
  • Anything else – very short description, i.e., old wagon, mountain meadow, watering can.

We’ll see if this system works for this client. How have you solved this problem?