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Editing your graphics and images for your website is not rocket science; it only requires your time. If you haven’t been doing this then here’s your chance to make your website or blog perform better.
Plus, its a no brainer to modify your graphics. You only need to pick one from my list of Ten Programs Crop, Resize And Edit Your Website Graphic Images, and you will wonder why you weren’t doing this before.
Have you found a great graphic, took a cool photo with a smartphone and wanted to use it on your site? Hold on before you upload it to your homepage or your new post. That cool graphic, especially if you created it with your smartphone is megabits (MB) in size.
That’s just not web-friendly or performance friendly. It may slow your site down if you don’t make it web-friendly.
Large graphics and websites are like oil and water. It’s not necessarily the pixel size of the image but the file size along with the resolution that can be an issue. Because very high resolution images have very large file sizes. You can upload to your web server but when that visitor to your site tries to download your page with those very large (think over 1MB) images onto their very small smartphone viewing screen.
Well, I think you get the picture.
Adding large file sized graphic images to you site will load up your web hosting systems that house and serve your site to visitors. In a shared hosting environment that’s a combination you definitely want to avoid. Loading a webpage with a lot of large sized graphics may end up being similar to watching grass grow. (Remember file size may or may not relate to the actual size of the image).
It simply takes too much time. Visitors to your site simply won’t wait; they will move on.
In your best interests, it’s good to know how to crop, resize and edit those images so you still get what you want without paying for performance.
crop resize edit tools
Hopefully I’ve convinced you that you should take a few easy steps to make your site perform as well as possible.
With this list of Ten Programs Crop, Resize and Edit Your Website Graphic Images, you have a lot of options to pick from. I’ve listed several popular and powerful editors. Plus for each choice, I discuss ease of use, cost and whether they are operating system independent.
Simple edits (crop and resize) may be all you need. In that case straightforward easy is best.
1. Pixlr Editor
If you want easy, this is it. Pixlr Editor is not only easy to use its OS independent. Open a browser and type in “Pixlr Editor“. This is one of my favorite editors. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using Windows, Mac or Linux, you access it via your web browser. Simply upload an image from anywhere (i.e. your pc, URL or Library). With both the Image> Image Size and Crop Tools you can easily resize and crop to any dimensions needed for your site. It takes me under a minute to change my photos. Save in jpg or png format for web-friendly use; 3 other formats are also available. The only limitation I could find was in the size of the image you can upload. It rare to work beyond the size limits of Pixlr Editor. If you do hit those limitations in file size, you probably should be looking at a tool like Adobe, Corel or GIMP. For general purpose editing, Pixlr Editor is not going to be an issue.
Frankly, as a Mac user I don’t know where I’d be without Preview. It comes by default with Mac and unfortunately isn’t available for either Windows or Linux. Preview easily crops, resizes and changes resolution with just a couple of clicks. Many of the other programs in this list don’t modify the resolution of an image. Few free web tools have the capability to modify a 300 DPI (that’s dots per inch) graphic and reduce it to 72 DPI. Some full feature paid software programs do. Because I design my own graphics and offer custom graphics I like that feature and use it. Not everyone is going to need to change the resolution of an image. Still, Preview is like bread and butter. I couldn’t imagine going without it. Preview doesn’t have bells and whistles. It won’t stand up to the “big guns” in the photo editing field, but for simple crop and resizing images it works quickly and efficiently.
I was curious about what is offered for Windows or Linux users that would modify an image. After searching I found XnViewMP. What a pleasant surprise! This handy program written by Gougelet Pierre-Emmanuel is available for Windows, Linux and surprisingly Mac. Although I hadn’t heard of it, it has been around since 1998. I didn’t find any way of changing the resolution but it was a breeze to modify images. The interface is clean and user friendly. You can download and install easily according to your OS. It’s free for personal use and a small fee for businesses. Again, this isn’t a fancy editing program like Pixelmator, GiMP, Adobe or Corel but still you can’t beat the easy featureset of XnViewMP.
Adobe offers this free tool for simple crop and resizing of your images. Easy to use without the bells and whistles of Adobe’s flagship products. Express will give you a taste of Adobe’s software and may leave you wishing for more. However, with simple edits it will work just fine.
I’m a personal fan of Canva. I used it long before I got into the full featured paid products and when I found this I wasn’t surprised at how easy it was to use. As online tools go, the drag and an drop feature works great. However, its not my favorite because it doesn’t show dimensions and let you control them precisely like some of the other products here. However, for simple tasks you may find ease of use surpasses other wants.
When you need more you might consider these.
Paint.net has been around for some time like several of the products in this review. Written explicitly for Windows and created to replace the old discontinued Microsoft Paint with useful features and enhancements,Paint.net is a nice option for Windows users that what want a solid tool for quickly editing graphic images, Paint.net will fit your budget and your needs.
Another personal favorite of mine. Pixelmator is a competitor of Adobe’s line of products but useful only on a Mac as of this writing. It’s a powerful tool but takes some time to learn. Like other paid programs,Pixelmatorwill save in its own pxm format and supports all the standard formats needed for your site. At a modest $99 fee with the ability to run locally, the creators of Pixelmator are really focused on making a graphic design program that is truly full featured and flexible.
Adobe is a “big gun” in the graphic design market place and there’s a reason why. They have an amazing family of products and continue to improve with each upgrade. My only caution is that Adobe has gone the way of many vendor’s and moved their awesome products to the cloud, eliminating the ability to purchase and run the product on your personal computer or laptop. Yes, that makes it pretty OS independent and you still get fantastic features and support. But the con may be in the ongoing subscription price you pay. If you’re an Adobe fan that won’t matter.
Corel is another “big gun” in the field of graphics and editing tools. Corel’s PaintShop Pro can crop, resize and much more. Corel has been around a long time. As a more budget friendly alternative to Photoshop, PaintShop Pro offers an Essential workspace with a reduce toolset making it easier to learn. Once your familiar with PaintShop Pro you will focus on the Full workspace that contains the full power and features that make Corel’s PaintShop Pro useful. If you’re looking to avoid a subscription service this may be an alternative to consider.
This OS independent full featured program does so much more then crop and resize so it may be overkill for such simple tasks. However, once you’re familiar with GIMP you’ll wonder what you did before you used it. It does take some time to learn but it is free. Open any image, edit to your heart’s content and then save in the web format you need. My biggest concern with GIMP is that the program is large and takes time even on my Mac to open. But once up and running, the power of GIMP will amaze.
The bottom line. No matter what you choose, choose one and make those images web friendly. Your web site will run better.
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