We always encourage our clients who sell products—as opposed to services—to use their websites to show off their work. Providing photos of your products on your website is very important because your prospective customers want to see what they’re purchasing. And let’s be honest, looking at pictures is much more fun than reading a lot of text.
When you need high-res
We always ask people to take photos in high resolution because if we ever want to use those images on printed materials like brochures, postcards, magazine ads, billboard, etc., they need to have to highest resolution possible. (For more information, here’s everything you need to know about image resolution.)
When using images for print they need to be a large size—aka, large pixel dimensions—and they also need to be in 300 dpi (dots per inch). Since most photos are taken with a digital camera, their resolution is defined by “dots per inch”. The higher the dpi, meaning the more dots of color there are per inch, the crisper the image will appear.
When you need low-res
The only time having high resolution images causes a problem is on the web. Have you ever tried to open a webpage that took forever to load? Or clicked on an image that was too big to be viewed in your browser window?
Uploading a large, high resolution image to your website can make the whole site run slowly, and it can be annoying to the people trying to view it.
We always suggest resizing images that will be used on the web. Make the largest dimension 600 pixels, and if it’s possible make it 72 dpi. Most computer monitors are only set up to display 72 dpi, so having anything bigger is just a waste of space.
I don’t have Photoshop, how can I resize my images?
You don’t need to be a Photoshop master to resize your own images—in fact you don’t need Photoshop at all. Many computers come with photo editing software, like Windows Live Photo Gallery, or even Paint.
You can also use free online tools, like Picasa, which is a web-based photo editing program hosted by Google.
Picasa does have an application you can download to your computer and use to manage all your photos, but you don’t have to use it. We suggest you use their Web Albums, which allows you to resize images. Watch the video below to find out how: