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Beginner's Guide to Image and File Size
Resizing Your Images

The following information is provided for those who are relative newcomers to publishing photos online. The recommendations given are settings which are the safest to use until you gain more experience!

To allow for differences in your viewers' monitor resolution and browser window sizes, a maximum image width of 500 pixels is recommended. This will allow for the majority of viewers to see the entire image without scrolling.

The maximum recommended file size for images to be displayed on the Web is 50 Kb. This will allow for more rapid uploading of your file to your hosting account and more rapid loading of images in your viewers' web browser. In addition this lower file size will reduce usage of your available hosting account disk space and bandwidth.

Reducing the image size will, in itself, result in a reduction in the file size. A further reduction in file size can be achieved in your image editing software by decreasing the 'Quality' setting (which is normally on a scale from 0 to 100). Reducing the quality from 100 to 85 will significantly decrease the file size without any appreciable loss of image quality. Reducing the setting below 85 will begin to cause some noticeable loss of image quality. You may need to experiment with the setting to achieve an acceptable compromise between file size and image quality.

If you are using photos taken with a digital camera, you will need to do some severe 'pruning' of both image size and file size.

An image created by a modest 2 megapixel camera will produce a good quality postcard sized print - but when published on the Web it will have a size of around 16 inches x 12 inches (way too large to fit on a normal monitor) and can have a file size of around 800 Kb (very slow to upload and download and a real drain on bandwidth).

For further information, I'd recommend that you check out this article:
Preparing Photos for the Web
 
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