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Managing images for a WordPress site 



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Images enhance the user’s experience and help get a message across, all the merrier. But while it’s tempting to start throwing images everywhere, avoid rolling like a mad imagery scientist. With images, less is more. And a sound strategy for managing images on a WordPress site is key.

You have to remember that your WordPress site won’t load too well if you’ve just uploaded a 4MB hero image to your home page. That isn’t the best policy. So, what is the best practice for managing images for WordPress? Glad you asked!

Let’s take a little journey into the world of web images and WordPress, shall we?

First things first… getting the images

Before you start worrying about managing images for a WordPress site, you first must have images. Barring a photographer, a couple great sources are iStock Photo and Getty Images, to name just a few.

These online repositories were specifically created for folks that need one or more images for their brand or site.

With both repositories, there is a monthly or yearly fee for obtaining the image or images. And if you want to use some of the images for commercial use, the fees can get a little steep. But they both have millions of images to choose from.

Finally, if you’re on a budget, like the rest of us, there are royalty-free sites like Pixabay. On Pixabay, there are tons of images to choose from that are typically free to use, with no need for photo credits. (Although credits are a nice gesture and appreciated by the contributor.)

Where you don’t want to grab images from is Google.

Most of these images are copyrighted intellectual property. If you really need to use one of the images, you will need to try and contact the original creator of the image and then obtain the right to use said image.

This can be not only a long and painful process but could result in great expense. Using a copyrighted image, without permission, could land you in hot water with a cease-and-desist order. No one has time for that.

Image sizes

How big is too big? That is the question of the ages. Ideally, you want to take the original image and resize it externally, with an appropriate application to get the large image cut down to the actual size that is to be used on your website.

Most WordPress themes have set sizes for things like hero shots (the main image on a page) and other features. So, you should try to size your main image to the proper dimensions before uploading it. Never just upload a huge, unedited pic to your site and then rely on coding to resize it for you.

A resized image, online, is still the large file size that was uploaded. It’s just coded to look smaller.

So, you can have a 2,000 x 2,000-pixel image appear to be only 200 x 200 pixels on the screen. But it’s still the file size of the 2,000 x 2,000-pixel image! Now you have a massive load time on your website’s pages.

For the pages of a site, you alo should resize your images to the appropriate size, as well, which is usually much smaller than the hero shot. Then it is acceptable to allow the site’s coding to resize the thumbnails for you, because these main body images are typically pretty small, anyway.

Image editing

You have an image that you need to work with. Now what? Well, you will need to go in and resize and possibly clean up the image in question before you upload it to the WordPress site. Fortunately, there are many applications out there that can be used for this very task.

My personal go to is Adobe Photoshop.

With Photoshop, you can edit and resize images to your heart’s content. It also has an amazing compression engine that can compress images into a multitude of web formats and makes them ready for upload.

That sounds fine and dandy, but what if I’m on a tight budget? Anything out there for free?

Again… glad you asked. There are free image editing websites out there. While not as powerful as Photoshop, they still have pretty amazing editing capabilities and even function in much the same way as Adobe’s star product.

One website I’ve used before is Pixlr. This is a totally free website that affords you with a host of notable features for editing photos.

Once you’ve edited your image(s), you can save them to your local machine and then upload them to the WordPress site.

Another online image editing site is befunky. With befunky, you can edit images, too, but its editing capabilities are much simpler than Pixlr and far more reduced than Photoshop. However, in a pinch, it’s still fun to work with.

Preferred compression and file formats

Once you have your image sized and edited, you will need to save it with the best compression and file format. The compression is, in part, what determines the file size. The format is the file type. Optimally, you want as small a file size as possible, and there are several file types to choose from.

For hero shots, you want to keep the file size down to under a MB — but that’s up for debate. For the main body images, you want to keep them down to only a few KB. This will ensure a fast load time for your pages. The file types commonly accepted online are:

  • PNG — Portable Network Graphics
  • JPEG — Joint Photographic Experts Group
  • WebP — Pronounced “Weppy,” a raster image format

For images that need a transparent background, PNG is great. But with transparency comes a slightly larger file size. JPG or JPEG files are good for compressed images, but you get some quality loss when you really need to compress them a great deal.

WebP is a newer file type, developed to get a small file size but also to keep much of the original image quality. However, not all hosting plans come equipped to handle this file type yet — at least not without certain PHP extensions, like ImageMagick installed.

Displaying images on your site

Now that you have images resized and uploaded, you’ll want to be able to make these images load as fast as possible. Even though you’ve crunched the image down, a little more smooshing is still a good idea. There are several plugins on the market that can help you with managing images for the WordPress site:

  • Smush — This is the most popular, award-winning (and not to mention free) WordPress image compression plugin. It uses the latest image data compression algorithms, known as lossless compression, that removes unused data and compresses images without losing any quality. I have personally used this one, with great success.
  • EWWW Image Optimizer — This is among the best WordPress image compression plugins. It helps to reduce your website’s bandwidth by optimizing images. A primary feature of this plugin is that it has no speed limits and unlimited file-size support (up to 150 MB).
  • ShortPixel Image Optimizer — ShortPixel is another excellent WordPress image optimizer with a great interface. It’s fast, easy on the eyes, and has some fantastic features.
  • Optimus — If bandwidth is your primary concern, this is the best plugin for you because it reduces the image size up to 70%, depending upon the file format, of course.
  • Imagify — This is a premium WordPress plugin meant to optimize your images to speed up website load times. It’s designed to handle everything for you, automagically. It is set up to run when you upload each new image. This way, you can optimize everything in one go.

Ok. You’ve edited your images, crunched and saved them, and then uploaded and smooshed them further. Now what? Now you have to display your images. By default, your theme will display images throughout the site in a certain way. But if you have the need for an image gallery, then you might want to consider these plugins:

  • Modula — This plugin allows you to create pretty and responsive grid style galleries with very little configuration. It’s compatible with Block Editor, Beaver Builder. and Elementor.
  • NextGEN Gallery — NextGEN has been around the block for quite some time. Thus, it is typically the go-to plugin for most people. It is highly customizable and has great functionality. It’s a favorite for photographers and folks who work with images as a career.
  • Envira Gallery — This one comes in a lite version and a premium (paid) version. The features are more basic than those found in Modula and NextGEN. But it does have the ability for deep linking and pagination, for larger galleries.
  • Photo Gallery by 10web — 10web’s image plugin is cool because it also allows for ecommerce functionality, social sharing, and has various slideshow effects.
  • FooGallery — Also a simple gallery, it still has some nice hover effects, lightbox, pagination, and retina support. It too comes in a pro (paid) version.

Image protection

You have worked so hard to make a site look pretty with imagery. Now, how do you keep your hard work from being swiped by someone who visits your site? After all, it is pretty easy to just right click on an image and save it to your desktop.

So, what’s to stop that from happening?

Well, there are several ways to approach image protection. It just depends on your goal. One thing you can do is to disable the right click on your site altogether. The above-mentioned plugin Envira comes with image protection.

You can also get a plugin called WP Content Copy Protection. It will disable right-clicking on your entire website. However, you can also set it to protect selected pages, posts, and categories, too.

Watermarking is another age-old tactic used to protect your images.

The plus side to this method of protection is that when someone does swipe your image, they then have your logo and/or trademark on it that they would then have to attempt to remove via Photoshop. Typically, most people will avoid grabbing an image with a watermark on it altogether.

The downside to this method of protection is now all your images have watermarks on them and, based on how you watermarked them, this can be unsightly.

Another way to steal the images from your website is by loading them from the original source. The image will load from your server, or hosting plan, and will then be displayed on third-party websites without your permission, of course.

You can disable the hotlinking of images from your WordPress site with a little bit of coding in the .htaccess file. Just add this code to the .htaccess file in your WordPress site’s root directory:

#Disable image hotlinking with forbidden custom image option

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)? [NC]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)? [NC]

RewriteRule .(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

*Be sure to replace with your site’s domain name!

Finally, you can also add copyright notices on your site, but most people ignore those anyway. I wouldn’t really bother worrying too much about this method.

Closing thoughts on managing images for WordPress

You should now have a generous mitten full of imagery tidbits at your fingertips that will hopefully be able to steer you in the right direction while making a WordPress site shine with pretty images — and still maintain fast load times.

These suggestions are subject to change and/or debate. But what kind of a world would we live in if we couldn’t change or debate?

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Revolutionizing Marketing: The Power of AI in the Digital Age



Embracing AI-Powered Marketing: Transforming Brands in the Digital Marketplace

In the crowded digital marketplace, standing out is challenging. Enter AI-powered marketing, a revolutionary upgrade transforming brands into digital powerhouses.

Hyper-Personalized Campaigns: Beyond Basic Personalization

Gone are the days of generic marketing. Today’s gold standard is AI-driven hyper-personalization. This approach uses customer data analysis to create deeply resonant, individualized marketing campaigns. With AI’s ability to segment audiences based on intricate criteria, including purchasing history and browsing behavior, your messages can hit the mark every time.

Enhanced Customer Journey Mapping

AI’s capabilities extend to mapping the entire customer journey. By predicting needs and preferences at each stage, AI aids in crafting narratives that guide customers from discovery to purchase, integrating your brand into their personal stories.

SEO Wizardry: Mastering Search Engine Dynamics

With ever-changing algorithms, SEO is a complex puzzle. AI serves as a sophisticated navigator, deciphering these changes through machine learning. It aids in keyword optimization, understanding search intent, and aligning content with search trends.

Predictive SEO

AI tools offer predictive SEO, anticipating search engine and user behavior changes. This proactive stance ensures your brand’s prominent visibility in search results, capturing the right audience at the right time.

Social Media Mastery: Crafting a Digital Narrative

AI transforms social media strategies from uncertain to precise. By analyzing vast social data, AI provides insights into resonating content.

Content Optimization

AI analyzes performance data to recommend effective content types. This data-driven approach refines your social media content strategy.

Engagement Analysis

AI examines user interaction nuances, understanding engagement patterns. It helps tailor interactions for maximum impact, including adjusting posting schedules and messaging for increased relevance.

Conclusion: Navigating the AI-Driven Marketing Landscape

AI-powered marketing is essential for thriving in the digital age, offering precision and personalization beyond traditional methods. For small businesses, it’s a chance to leverage AI for impactful, data-driven strategies.

As we embrace the AI revolution, the future of marketing is not just bright but intelligently radiant. With AI as your digital ally, your brand is equipped for a successful journey, making every marketing effort and customer interaction count.

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AI: Your Small Business Ally in a Digital Age



In the ever-evolving landscape of modern commerce, small business owners find themselves at a crossroads of opportunity and obsolescence. Enter Artificial Intelligence (AI) – once the exclusive domain of tech behemoths, it now stands as the great equalizer, offering small businesses a competitive edge previously unthinkable. The emergence of AI as a wingman for small businesses is not just a fleeting trend but a fundamental shift in how entrepreneurs can leverage technology to revolutionize their operations.

The 24/7 Customer Service Hero: Chatbots

In the digital storefront, customer service is the heartbeat of business survival and success. Chatbots emerge as the indefatigable heroes of this domain. Envision a customer service agent that never clocks out an entity that requires no sleep or sustenance yet delivers consistently and instantaneously. These AI-driven chat interfaces embody the essence of your brand’s voice, capable of handling a barrage of customer queries with a speed that outpaces the swiftest of typists. They are the embodiment of efficiency – ensuring that customer satisfaction is not just met but exceeded around the clock.

Unearthing Market Treasures: Data Dive

AI’s prowess in pattern recognition has catapulted data analytics into a realm once considered the stuff of science fiction. Small business owners armed with AI tools can sift through vast swathes of data to extract actionable insights. These algorithms act as modern-day oracles, predicting market trends, discerning customer behaviors, and offering sales forecasts with remarkable accuracy. Equipped with: this knowledge, small businesses, can navigate the market with the foresight and precision of an experienced captain steering through foggy seas.

Personalization at Scale: Customize Like a Boss

The age-old business mantra of the customer is king is given new potency with AI’s personalization capabilities. Tailoring the customer experience is no longer a luxury but a necessity. AI enables small businesses to offer bespoke experiences to consumers, making them feel like the sole focus of their attention. It’s personalization executed with such finesse that customers are left marveling at the thoughtfulness and individual attention, fostering loyalty and establishing deep-rooted brand connections.

Offloading the Mundane: Task Slayers

Repetitive tasks are the bane of creativity and innovation. AI steps in as the ultimate task slayer, automating routine chores that once consumed disproportionate amounts of time. From scheduling appointments to managing inventory, AI liberates entrepreneurs from the drudgery of administrative duties, freeing them to refocus on the creative and strategic endeavors that propel business growth.

Mastering Social Media: Social Savants

Social media – the pulsing vein of modern marketing – demands astuteness and agility. AI emerges as the savant of social media, capable of demystifying platform algorithms to optimize content delivery. It knows the optimal times to post, the types of content that resonate with audiences, and the strategies that convert passive scrollers into engaged customers. By automating your social media presence, AI transforms your brand into an online sensation, cultivating a digital community of brand ambassadors.

The Verdict: Embracing AI

For a small business owner, AI is not about an overnight overhaul but strategic integration. The goal is to start small, allowing AI to shoulder incremental aspects of your business, learning and scaling as you witness tangible benefits. The transition to AI-enablement does not necessitate a background in technology; it requires a willingness to embrace change and a vision for the future.

In summary, as the digital revolution marches forward, AI stands ready to partner with small businesses, providing them with tools once deemed the province of giants. This partnership promises to elevate the small business landscape, ushering in an era of democratized technology where every entrepreneur can harness the power of AI to write their own David vs. Goliath success story. AI, the once-distant dream, is now the most loyal wingman a small business can enlist in its quest for growth and innovation.

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Apple’s October Scary Fast Event: Everything revealed about the new MacBook Pro, iMac and M3 chips



It’s time for another Apple event, with a spooky twist. The company announced a surprise “Scary Fast” event last week, prompting the rumor mill to speculate that Apple would be revealing new chips to power a new lineup of Macs.

As our resident Apple expert Brian Heater wrote, a new 24-inch iMac and a MacBook Pro refresh would be the most likely new announcements to expect from the October event, and as it turns out, he was spot-on. Apple’s new M3 chip lineup was the focal point of the event, powering each of the devices Apple showcased in their half-hour prerecorded event that had some fog, some bats and ominous choir music…but no big surprises for those following the rumor mill.

Since the event kicked off off at the uncharacteristically late time of 8pm ET / 5pm PT, so you might have missed out out on the reveals while putting the finishing touches on your Halloween decorating, or watching Monday Night Football. No judgement, we’re here to recap everything the October Apple event showcased in one spot.

New M3 chips

Credit: Apple

The “scary fast” part of the Apple event, as expected, are the new M3 chips. Apple has announce a M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max, which will be included in Apple’s new 24-inch iMac, MacBook Pros.

This time around, Apple has placed an emphasis on graphical horsepower, with hardware-accelerated ray tracing, mesh shading and Dynamic Caching, which Apple claims “dramatically increases the average utilization of the GPU” by allotting exact amount of local memory to given tasks. These new chips were frequently benchmarked against their M1 predecessor, with Apple claiming the M3 renders at 2.5x the speed of the M1 and its CPU is 30% faster than the M1.

Check out the full rundown of the three M3 chips right here.

New MacBook Pro models

Apple MacBook Pro 2023 Update in Space Black Color

Credit: Apple

Yes, the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros come with upgraded internals, but the first thing you might notice is the new color: Space Black. Beneath that color, you’ll find that new line of M3 chips. The 14-inch MacBook Pro can contain any of the trio, while the 16-inch model will only come with the M3 Pro or M3 Max chips.

As we’ve noted, the M3 chips packed into both models are putting an emphasis on getting the most out of the new GPU, though Apple also boasts that both form factors’ battery can last 22 hours on a single charge.

Both are available for preorder tonight, with the 14-inch MacBook Pro starting at $1,599 and going to $1,999 with the M3 Pro. The baseline 16-inch MacBook Pro goes for $2,499 and the pricing for the M3 Max chip upgrade for both models has yet to be disclosed.

And that space black color is exciting news for any Mac fan still pining for the 2006 MacBook, whose dark tone hadn’t been replicated in the MacBook iterations that followed, even those Midnight MacBook Airs.

Check out the full rundown on the new MacBook Pros here.

New M3 iMac

2023 M3 iMac Spec Rundown

Credit: Apple

Apple’s iMac line is getting a colorful refresh, with an added M3 chip to add horsepower to the palette change. Apple is sticking with the 24-inch form factor, and upgrading the screen with a 4.5K retina display, 1080p FaceTime camera and a six-speaker system supporting Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio. The new iMac will be available for preorder with green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue and silver options starting tonight.

The $1,299 baseline comes with a 8-core GPU and 8-core CPU, with a $1,499 version upgrading you to a 256 SSD.

For more info about what else is new in the M3 iMac, head here.

An sneaky iPhone showcase

You may not have noticed it, but at the very end of the event, Apple dropped a quick note on the stream: “This event was shot on iPhone and edited on Mac.” It’s a bit of a victory lap, but as our other Apple expert Darrell Etherington notes, it’s a pretty impressive flex for Apple to shoot its half-hour hardware showcase entirely on a phone.

Recap the full Scary Fast event

If you want to just dive right in and experience the October event all over again or for the first time, you can catch the entire archive via the YouTube embed below right on Apple’s website.

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