How to upload images on wordpress.com without using up all of your storage space

My intention with this blog was not only to create a space where I could express myself in writing. I also needed a place where I could share my work using pictures.

So here I am, new to blogging – hence the free wordpress account (at least for the moment) – with only 3GB of storage space to my disposal. This amount might seem enough for all those bloggers posting mostly texts. But as a blogger posting mostly visual media you might soon come to its limits. Unless you are willing to upgrade to a Premium or Business plan, you might have to give thought to the format and the size you will upload your pictures on your blog.

Before I dig into some math and size-calculation, first I want to give you a brief insight into the “digital metric system”: (I do not care – please spare me with the details!)

The small but fine difference

There is a slight difference between “Decimal Units” and “Binary Units“:

Decimal Data Binary Data
Representation 10x kilo, mega, giga, tera
Prefix kilo, mega, giga, tera 2x

Having this in mind, let me do the math for you:

Representation of
3 Gigabyte [GB] 3 Gibibyte [GiB]
3 * 103 = 3,000 Megabyte [MB] 3 * 210 = 3,072Megabyte [MB]
3 * 106 = 3,000,000 Kilobyte [KB] 3 * 220 = 3,145,728 Kilobyte [KB]
3 * 109 = 3,000,000,000 Byte [B] 3 * 230 = 3,221,225,472 Byte [B]

So here you go – this is how much space is available for you to fill with images!

As you can see there is a slight difference between Gigabytes and Gibibytes 1. There has even been a class action suit concerning this issue!

Either way, having those values in hand, together with the size of your images, you can now easily calculate how many images you can upload on your free blog.

Okay I'll do the math fo you.😊
Imagine all your images are each 2MB big:
3,000 / 2 = 1,500 → you can upload 1,500 images

Let's say your images are each 128KB big:
3,000,000 / 128 = 23,437.5 → you can upload 23,437 images

But let’s leave all calculations aside and get back to our actual topic:

How do I edit my images to make them suitable for upload on my free blog?2

Tip#1

Always use JPEGs, unless you have a really good reason not to!

Sure, you might have the choice between other image formats -like  BMP, GIF, SVG, PNG-8, PNG24.

Tip#2

First of all, the image size is affected by the total number of its pixels – NOT by the amout of pixels or dots per inch (PPI/ DPI)!

This means in particular:
The file size of an image at 600 pixels wide by 400 pixels in height is 240,000 pixels of information. And it will be the same file size whether you increase its PPI/DPI or not!

So simply put, the file size is determined by the amount of pixels this image contains. The larger an image is, the more informaton it contains, the larger the file size becomes. Which in return will slow down your page’s rendering time! That easy.

Tip#3 – and maybe most important one

If you edit your images with a software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, …) make sure to use compression! That means, try to save your images somewhere around the 80% quality range. You might be able to go even lower than this. In exchange you will end up with a file size far below its initial size.

So, to sum up:

  1. use jpeg
  2. don’t waste your time analyzing the dots per inch
  3. compress your image

In case you need more information on this topic…

… here are some more websites:

 


1 Here is a webpage, where you can draw some more information from, if you need to.
2 Information gathered from Chi Wei on 1dogwoof.com. Thank you for that! Also got some awesome information on stackoverflow.com in this comment.

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