WordPress makes it easy to upload and place images into your website, but there are some common issues and simple guidelines that will help keep your images looking great, and your WordPress website running well.
Whenever an image is uploaded into your WordPress website media gallery, the site will generate additional sizes of this image that can be used throughout the site. Default sizes include “thumbnail,” “medium,” and “large” image sizes. These images are typically sized 150x150px, 300x300px, and 1024x1024px, respectively. You can view and edit these default crop sizes for your site by visiting the Settings > Media page in your dashboard. Your site may also utilize additional custom image sizes; for example, a large “hero” image sized 1920 x 1280 pixels may be added to your site. A hero is an image typically used at the top of your web page that’s large and extends full-width.
File dimensions (measured in pixels)
WordPress websites will only generate alternate images that are smaller than your original upload. In order for all image crops to be generated, the uploaded original image needs to be at least as wide and tall as the crop dimensions. So if you upload a 75 x 75 pixel image, no alternate sizes will be generated because the original is smaller than all of the crop sizes. A 1024×1024 image will be cropped into all the image sizes specified above except the “hero” sized image.
What are the ideal image dimensions for WordPress websites?
If you upload a small image into a location on your site that calls for a larger crop – for example, a featured “hero” image – the image will either not appear, or it will appear blurry and pixelated. For this reason, we recommend uploading images that are as large as possible, but not more than 2560 pixels wide or tall. WordPress websites will not generate additional sizes for images that are larger than 2560px wide or tall.
File sizes (measured in kilobytes)
Not only do the dimensions of your image matter, but so does the size. Large images may look nice on your website once they load, but they can slow down your page load times dramatically, especially for people with slower connection speeds. We strongly suggest first optimizing your images using photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, GIMP, or a similar online optimization tool. We recommend keeping your images under 300-400k for large images and considerably smaller for simpler images, logos, and illustrations. Make them as small as you can without noticing substantial image quality degradation.
What file types does WordPress support?
There are lots of file types out there, with more coming onto the scene every year. But generally speaking, the JPG file format is your go-to for photos, logos, and illustrations that don’t require transparency. PNGs are great for logos, and any images that require transparency, but typically result in larger file sizes. GIFs are usable for logos, simple animations and illustrations with limited colors, but they don’t scale well and animations can result in very large file sizes. SVGs are excellent for placing scalable vector logos and illustrations at small file sizes. Special vector-based illustration software like Adobe Illustrator is required to generate scalable SVG graphics. PDFs are used for downloadable documents and should not be used for images on a website.
Image file types that are NOT supported by WordPress by default include .tif, .eps, .ai, .bmp, .psd, and .pages, to name a few.
Common image issues:
My image appears blurry on the site
This is typically caused by uploading a small or poor quality original image and then making it larger than its original size. With the exception of SVGs, scaling an image above its original size will degrade its clarity.
I get an error when uploading an image into my media library
This typically happens when an image is either too large, or in a file format that is not allowed on your site. Try downsizing and/or optimizing your image.
My SVG shows up in my media library but isn’t showing up on my page when placed
This may be caused by having no dimensions added to the SVG, to fix, adding an image size in the WordPress admin screen should solve this issue.
I get an error message when I upload an SVG
Not all WordPress websites allow SVGs. Ask your web developer to enable secure SVG uploads.
Most of the images in my photo gallery/archive page are of the same shape, but a few are different.
This happens when an image doesn’t meet the minimum dimension requirements for a particular page on the site. To solve this problem, upload an image that is at least as large as is required. Check with your web developer for minimum dimensions, as every site is different.
My image has a white background and I want it to be transparent
In order to have a transparent background on an image it will need to be a PNG, SVG, or GIF file that is created properly with a transparent background. JPGs always have a background color, usually white.
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