How to find the best image size for blog posts for your lifestyle blog

As a lifestyle blogger, images play a huge role in your content. You put a lot of time and care into producing high-quality images, so naturally you want that quality to shine through with the best image size for blog posts.

But you’ve also probably heard that your image file size impacts your site loading time. This not only affects how your readers experience your site, it can also have a great impact on your blog’s SEO.

That’s why it’s important to choose a blog post image size that maximizes quality while minimizing loading time. So how do you find the best image size for blog posts? We’ll cover everything you need to know about blog post image size in this post.


Why your blog post image size is important

The main consideration for your blog post image size is your site speed. The larger the image, the longer it takes your blog post to load. Which is no fun for your readers! If your site takes too long to load, it’s not a good user experience and your reader may just go elsewhere. Plus, site speed has a major impact on your blog’s SEO — and image loading times are a key factor in how your site speed is calculated.

Additionally, larger images result in larger image files, which can quickly eat through your allotted storage space on your web hosting plan. You want to optimize your blog post image size as much as you can to make the most of your server space, so you don’t have to pay for an upgrade before you really need it. Plus, as your storage space runs out, it’s harder for your server to process requests — again, slowing down your site loading time.

On the other hand, as technology continually advances, screens improve and display images in increasingly higher quality and detail. As the standard for image quality continually rises, your readers expect your content to reflect that! When your blog post image size isn’t optimized for Retina and other high-resolution screens, your images appear blurry and reflect poorly on your content.

Also, inconsistent blog post image sizes can look messy and unprofessional. This particularly applies to featured images in WordPress, where images of different sizes can throw off a whole post grid layout. But it applies to your blog post content as well — consistent sizing gives you more flexibility to layout your images in clean columns.


How to find the best image size for blog posts

So what size should a blog post image be? Spoiler alert: It depends. While some articles may try to give you standard image sizes in pixels for web, they’re really just guessing based on averages. What works for your friend’s blog won’t necessarily work for yours. That’s because every WordPress theme is designed differently and has its own ideal image size for blog posts.


Find the ideal width for your blog post image size

The number one guideline for the best image size for blog posts is to fill the width of your content column. So to determine the size for your blog images, you need to find the width of your content column in pixels, then double it to accommodate Retina and other high-resolution screens.

Screenshot showing how to find the best image size for blog posts using Google Chrome developer tools

To find the width of your content column in pixels:

  1. Open your blog post in Google Chrome.
  2. Right click on your content and select “Inspect” from the menu. This will open the developer panel. (Don’t panic, this won’t edit any code on your live site!)
  3. Click on the icon in the top left corner of the developer panel.
  4. Hover over your site until the content column is highlighted. Click and the data for your content column will display. The dimensions are in the upper right corner of the info box, and the first number is the width.

Calculate the ideal height for your blog post image size

Now that you’ve determined the ideal width for your blog photos, you need to find the ideal height to keep your image dimensions consistent. As a lifestyle blogger, you’re probably pinning your content to Pinterest. Choosing a blog post image size ****that also works well for Pinterest means you only have to resize your images once. Blog smarter, not harder!

The image aspect ratio Pinterest recommends is 2:3. Take your ideal width in pixels, divide it by 2, then multiply by 3 to get your ideal height.

Most social media platforms use vertical rather than horizontal images. If you’d like to include horizontal, or landscape oriented, images in your post, the height for these blog images is really up to you. Resize to your ideal width, and choose a height that works best for your content. Just remember to set a standard size so your image sizing is cohesive. Aspect ratios of 3:2 or 4:3 are most common.


How to resize images for WordPress

Now that you know your ideal blog post image size, how do you resize images for WordPress? The key is to resize images before you upload them to WordPress. When you upload images that are too large and not optimized for your blog, you’re using up precious server space. To maximize your web hosting plan, it’s best to upload images that are no larger than you actually need.

To do this, you can use a paid program like Adobe Lightroom, which also gives you in-depth controls to edit the look and feel of your images. Or, you can use Canva — the free plan will work if you’re a new blogger looking to save on costs.


Resize your blog images in Lightroom

To resize your blog post image in Lightroom, click on the Crop tab on the right and choose 2×3 from the Aspect Ratio dropdown menu.

Go to File > Export and update the Dimensions setting to Custom. Change “Long Side” to “Short Side” and update the value to your ideal image width.

Note: For horizontal or landscape oriented photos, use “Long Side.”

Export your photo!


Resize your blog images in Canva for free

To resize your blog post image in Canva, create a design with a custom size of the ideal width and height for your blog post images.

Under Elements, search “frame” and add the square frame. Resize it to the edges of the document.

Save this file as your template. Go to File > Make a copy to duplicate it for use in your blog posts.

Go to the Uploads tab and upload your image, then click on it to add it to your document. Drag it into the frame. Double-click to adjust what parts of the image are cropped.

Click on the Share button in the upper right corner, then click on the Download button in the menu. Change the file type to JPG and click Download.


How to reduce your image file size

Resizing your images will go a long way to reduce your image file size. But there’s one more step you can take to reduce your file image size even further and increase your site loading time.

You can install a WordPress plugin that will automatically optimize images for you, but ideally, you want to do everything you can to reduce your image file size before uploading to maximize server space with your web host.

Tinify is an online service that will allow you to optimize up to 20 images at a time for free. Simply go to tinypng.com, drop your images in the box, and it will automatically process new, optimized files for you to download below.


Common Questions

What is the best format for blog images?

For lifestyle bloggers, we recommend that you export your images in the JPG image format. JPG is generally best for photography, while PNG is better suited for graphics with text and line art. So, your blog logo should be in PNG, while your blog photos should be in JPG.

If you’ve created a graphic for a product roundup, JPG will likely be the better option, as your graphic is still primarily product photography. However, it’s worth testing in PNG to see if your text displays more clearly without sacrificing too much quality in the product photos.

My images are sized correctly but don’t fill the content column

When you insert an image in WordPress, the default sizing option is the “Large” rather than “Full Size.” The “Large” option is preset in WordPress and may not be optimized for your blog design. Try updating the Resolution or Size option to Full Size.

My images are sized correctly but still appear fuzzy

If the images within your blog post content are sized correctly but still look blurry or fuzzy, or don’t match the original quality of the image you uploaded, refer to the question above. Check the image resolution option and change it to “Full Size” if it’s set to “Large.”

If the featured images for your blog posts on the home or category pages appear blurry or fuzzy, first make sure any Retina or high-resolution options in your theme are turned on. Then, use the Inspect Element process outlined above to find the exact dimensions for your featured images, and double them for Retina or high-resolution displays.


Final tips for your blog post image size

To recap, the best blog post image size is what works best for your blog design and your content. You’ll need to identify the width of your content column and use a 2:3 aspect ratio so your images are also optimized for Pinterest.

Remember, what’s best for page speed is no images at all, which isn’t realistic for lifestyle bloggers. Your goal is to find the balance between reducing your image size as much as possible while still maintaining quality display.

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