How To Save Media Storage On Your Book Blog

Are you running out of storage space in the media library for your book blog? Don’t despair. There is a simple fix that will free up space and avoid any need to delete those older images.

About Your Media Storage Space
Blogging tips on how to save on space in the photo library

Before we get into the solution, here’s some basic insights about your media library.

Every WordPress site includes a media library where you can upload images and files. The storage capacity of that library will depend on which type of account you have with WordPress.

If you have the free version for example then you were  allocated 3 GB of space when you first created your blog.  If you’ve upgraded to the “Personal” plan (the one that removes WordPress advertising) then you get double that amount. Upgrading further to the “Premium” plan and your storage quota goes up to 13GB.

Let’s put that into context.

Each gigabyte (GB) of storage capacity is equal to 1,000,000 of kilobytes (Kb). For most ‘full page’ images, you want the image to be 100Kb-150Kb at most. If the image is only part of a page (e.g. half the width of a blog post), then 30-50Kb is usually fine. So, using some simple maths( it has to be simple or I can’t cope) that means every GB of storage space will give you between 6,500 and 10,000 full page pictures or at least 20,000 half page size images.

Put simply, with at least 3GB to play with, that’s upwards of 19,000 images you can store without running out of storage space.

If you’ve been blogging for years several years and you regularly post content with multiple images (Six Degrees of Separation or Top Ten Tuesday type posts) you’re still unlikely to be using up all that space.

If you are, then it’s time to rethink how you add images to your media library. You might be making basic errors in the way you use your library.

The Wrong Way To Use Your Media Library

Error number 1: Image Files Too Large

How big are the file sizes of the images you are uploading? Chances are the are much bigger than they need to be.

Web and blog pages don’t need the same high resolution/high quality images you find in print publications. High resolution/high quality images are big files so if that’s the type of image file you are regularly uploading. don’t be surprised to see your storage quota shrink quickly.

Here’s the solution:

Before you upload an image, check on the file size. Aim to get it down to 100Kb for images you want to go across the whole page; 30kb for smaller images. I’ve seen many blogs using huge images of book covers – 400Kb each post.

Pay particular attention to this if you use a device like IPad or IPhone to take your own images. Those photos can easily be 1MB in size.

Error Number 2 : Upload Then Edit

Within WordPress there are tools that enable you to alter the dimensions of your image once you’ve added it to the page. Doing this every time you write a post, will give you a headache in the long run.

Why?

Because the image will look smaller to you and to people reading that post. But all you’re doing is changing the visual dimensions – the size of the file won’t have changed. So it’s still taking up the same amount of space in your media library.

Say you added a 400Kb image file to the media library. It measured 904 x 1393 pixels (px) but it looked too big on the page so you scaled it down to say 619 x 954 px. Visually this is an improvement, but it’s done nothing for efficiently using your library storage space – that file is still 400Kb. At least four times the optimum size.

Big Image Files = Slow Blog Site

There’s another issue with large size image files. They make your blog site slow to respond.

The bigger your image file, the longer it takes to appear on your page. Your viewers have to wait longer for the whole image to appear. If they have slow internet connection or bandwidth issues that can be enough of a frustration to make them click off and you lose a reader. One survey in 2018 found that 40% of participants said they would abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

So do yourself – and your viewers – a really big favour. Make it a habit to edit your image before you upload it to the media library.

Compress Files To Save Even More Storage

There’s another step you can take that will squeeze even more juice from your media storage: file compression.

After you’ve done your image editing and reduced the size of your image, you can get the file size down further by using a compression tool before you add that image to your library. It’s quick, easy and usually free.

There are a number of these tools available. If you have a WordPress plan, there are special plug-ins you can use. But there are also image optimization tools widely available online. Some are paid plans, some restrict the number of images you can add but there are also a couple that are unrestricted. Some will work only with JPEG files, others with JPEG, PNG and PDF. I’ve tested some of these and the three best options I’ve found so far are:

Image Compressor: This will shrink JPEG and PNG images to the minimum possible size while keeping the required level of quality. You can do the compression in batches of up to 20 images and you get to control the finished quality.

Kraken.io is another bulk image optimizer. With Kraken.io, you can compress JPEG, PNG and animated GIF files in batches rather than one by one. You download the compressed photos one at a time or in a .zip format. You can also export the files to Dropbox. There is a paid “Pro” version but the basic free version should be enough for most book bloggers.

ImageRecycle.com: this is a paid plan but is a good option if you have hundreds of images in the media library that you want to compress. It has a one-off plan that enables you to compress 10,000 images for $10.

There is another free tool called JPEG Optimiser but I’ve tried it several times and can’t get it to work.

How Much Space Can You Save?

It will depend on the size of your original image but here’s an example of what happened when I used compression for the images on a recent Sample Sunday post,

This was the featured image used across the width of the screen.

example of an image within a WordPress book blog where file compresion has been used to save image storage space

The original image measured 800 x 400 pixels and used 106Kb of space. When I applied the compression tool, it went down 9% to a file size of 96Kb.

I tried the compression tool on a different image, this time one that is only part of the width of the page.

Reduce the size of images of book covers to make your book blog load faster.

The original measured 300 by 375 pixels and took up just 35Kb of space. When I compressed it, it shrunk by 16% to 29Kb.

It took seconds to do this but saved me 18Kb in total. Not a vast saving but every little counts if you are a blogger who likes to offer content with a high visual appeal. If you went through your image library and just did the compression on the largest files, your savings could certainly mount up.

Over To You

I never paid much attention to image sizes when I first started blogging but I now make it part of my publishing process to edit the file to the required size and only then upload it to WordPress. My little experiment with compression has had interesting results so I’ll be adding that to my routine.

Is this something you have tried yourself? I’m curious to hear about your experience.

Thanks to MarinaSofia at FindingTimeToWrite whose comment about the resource intensity of her FridayFinds posts gave me the idea for this post. If you have a book blogging challenge or a WordPress frustration. do let me know. I can’t claim to solve every problem but I’ll have a go. You can find all my blogging tips here

BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

29 thoughts on “How To Save Media Storage On Your Book Blog

  • June 25, 2021 at 3:40 am
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    This is a good post to bookmark! I think I’ll need to do a media library clear-out at some stage. Way back in the very early days, as a baby blogger, I didn’t realise you could re-use images you had already uploaded for other posts (it seems SO obvious in retrospect, but it just didn’t click at the time!). Naturally, I ended up with a whole bunch of duplicates that are just sitting there taking up space.

    Reply
    • June 25, 2021 at 5:59 pm
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      Oh dear, I can see how easily that would happen though. I do wish WordPress would come out with a tool to help us better manage the library – being able to find duplicates for example or very large file sizes. Would be more helpful than some of the stuff they are working on

      Reply
  • June 23, 2021 at 12:16 pm
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    This is an issue I have sometimes wondered about, but after 5 years WP tells me I’ve only used about 10% (from memory) of my image allowance. My problem I guess is that I create my work blog on my phone, using a couple of unedited photos for each post, and I’ve noticed how slowly they load. I’ll have to pay more attention to what I’m doing, though it suits me to be quick and dirty more or less in real time.

    Reply
    • June 23, 2021 at 3:08 pm
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      If you want to use photos taken on the road then yes, the images will be big – not much you can do about that at the time. Maybe when you return home or at a place where you can use a laptop, you could re-size the image and then upload that new version.

      Reply
  • June 22, 2021 at 2:07 pm
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    Very useful – thank you! Is there a way to reduce the size of gifs that you know of? I don’t use them all the time but I suspect they take up quite a lot of storage space.

    Reply
    • June 22, 2021 at 2:13 pm
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      Actually, scrap that. I decided not to be so lazy and look for myself, and indeed there is – gifcompressor.com which is clearly a sister version of Image Compressor, since they look and work in exactly the same way. Great stuff – that will make a big difference to my storage space over time. Thanks again!

      Reply
      • June 22, 2021 at 6:02 pm
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        Great, glad to know you found a solution.
        One of the tools I mentioned – Kraken.io – will do jpeg and gif compression.

        Reply
  • June 22, 2021 at 10:50 am
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    thought I’d entered a comment – Thank you so much for this. I learned something – that when you resize in WP, it doesn’t resize the file. I’m using jpeg optimiser or using the resize tool on my mac now before uploading.

    I’m also very conscious that the larger the data – the more electricity it uses for storage, uploading and viewing – and am very keen to make my blog more energy efficient – resizing images is a much greener way to go – and I’d love this green message to be more widely seen and acknowledged and acted upon.

    Reply
    • June 22, 2021 at 6:01 pm
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      You did leave a comment – not sure why it didn’t show up more quickly. But rest assured it is there!

      How would you feel about doing a guest post on my blog to talk about the sustainability message and what book bloggers could do to reduce energy usage? I bet its something very few of us have thought about…..

      Reply
      • June 23, 2021 at 3:38 pm
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        I’ll have a think about that, yes in principle. I’ll get back to you! Reading a book about how the internet works last summer gave me a dawning realisation about how much data we waste and data = electricity. 😀

        Reply
  • June 22, 2021 at 10:02 am
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    So glad you posted this – thank you! I’m using the jpegoptimiser now – it’s so easy. Although I have unlimited storage on my own blog and Shiny, I am aware that storage uses electricity and I need to green my blog a bit. I never realised that resizing images inside WP didn’t reduce the storage size – so I’ve slapped my own wrist and am going to redo some of the bigger original sized images.

    While I don’t want to minimise traffic to my blog or stop likes etc, I am interested in making it generally more energy efficient, and this will help a lot.

    Reply
    • June 22, 2021 at 5:59 pm
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      I’ve never thought about the sustainability profile of a website/blog site but now you’ve set the brain cells fluttering and wondering what steps can be taken. Any suggestions?

      Reply
  • June 21, 2021 at 11:31 pm
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    I think I’ve been doing the right thing for a long time without realising there was an advantage to it.
    Because I’d realised from holidays here in Australia that there were places with terrible internet speeds, (don’t get me started), I knew that big images on my own blog were enough to stop it (the whole blog) loading altogether. Phone images are about 1MB, camera images much more and I’d been using them, though mainly on my travel blog.
    So I routinely reduce image sizes to load quickly. I just use the resize tool Paint that comes free with Windows.

    Reply
    • June 22, 2021 at 5:57 pm
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      Doing a resize isn’t difficult but it can make a big difference.
      I can sympathise with that Internet speed issue having run into it so many times and not always in remote places. Even hotels in city centres don’t seem to have invested well yet they charge a ridiculous amount for daily usage.

      By the way, I’d be interested to know what your system tells you is the file size of the image on your review of The Kindness of Birds. I have a browser extension which gives me the image properties of any website and according to this your image is 145Kb. I’m wondering how accurate this tool actually is

      Reply
      • June 23, 2021 at 2:13 pm
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        Yes, that’s what it is if I copy it too. But according to WP it’s 857 KB. So who knows?!

        Reply
        • June 23, 2021 at 3:06 pm
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          there appears to be a difference between the file info I find when I use the browser extension to give me the properties of an image and when i look at the same image within WordPress library. The big image I used on this post is 96Kb according to the wordpress library info but the browser tells me its 75Kb. Oh well, I’mnot going to lose sleep over 20kb. As long as its below 100Kb it will be good enough

  • June 21, 2021 at 7:45 pm
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    You’re building up a very useful set of blogging resources, Karen. Thank you.

    Reply
    • June 21, 2021 at 9:41 pm
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      I’m learning so much by doing these articles – still so much yet to discover though

      Reply
    • June 21, 2021 at 9:41 pm
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      I’d be curious what file size your book cover collage photos are.

      Reply
      • June 21, 2021 at 9:50 pm
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        Honestly, I have no idea! Your post was very convicting! I make sure all my images are jpeg (not png)….but that’s about it. I need to investigate! 😱

        Reply
        • June 22, 2021 at 5:49 pm
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          I have a browser extension which enables me to examine image properties on any website. According to this, your main image for the ThrowbackThursday post on Backman was 162.06 KB so its definitely a candidate for compression 🙂

        • June 22, 2021 at 7:23 pm
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          I figured! 😂 Thanks for the info!

      • June 22, 2021 at 10:00 pm
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        Thank you so much for all of these ideas. Much better than deleting all my old posts to make room for more! Actually, for all the old images it’s too late, right, once they’re uploaded in the media library? Unless i delete and re-upload…

        Reply
        • June 22, 2021 at 10:17 pm
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          Unfortunately the images already in your library would need to be replaced by a smaller version. A tedious job especially since there is no way of sorting the library according to file size

        • June 23, 2021 at 8:07 am
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          I feared so… Grrrr… But at least I can watch out in the future, so thank you for the tips!

        • June 23, 2021 at 2:52 pm
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          It’s something you could do when very bored one day…

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