How To Save Images for Web in Photoshop

In this article I’ll go through each step you need to take to save images for web in Photoshop, including how to balance size vs resolution, and optimising for SEO.

Why does image size affect SEO?

If you want to add new images to your site, it’s important that they are not too large. If you are uploading anything over 1MB it will slow down your site speed, which will have a direct impact on your site’s SEO (Google prioritises fast loading sites).

Not only that, it’s a huge turn-off for site visitors. No one likes a slow loading website – and this is fact backed by Google themselves, their page speed study revealed that if a website page on a mobile takes over 3 seconds to load, the visitor will click away.

Big images are almost always the culprit of a slow site.

Don’t have Photoshop?

The easiest way to save and optimise images for websites is in Photoshop, in my opinion. This allows for the best resolution at the smallest image size, and gives you the most control and customisation.

There are a few great tools out there that you can use that will at least drop the size, such as Tiny JPEG and Tiny PNG. You won’t have as much control over the outcome but at least you won’t be uploading huge images to your site, which is a no-no.

Not every image is the same.

Some images may need more or less compression, so exporting them in batches won’t do much use. I suggest that, if all your images are different sizes and resolutions, you export them out one by one.

Here’s how to save your images for web in Photoshop easily:

Time needed: 5 minutes

Saving Images for Web in Photoshop

  1. Make sure you own the image or are licensed to use it

    Avoid any potential copyright issues from the beginning. If you don’t have the budget for buying a license, use a free stock image site like Pexels or Unsplash. What Is Royalty Free License Google Result

  2. Open the image in Photoshop

    Or, drag and drop it into PhotoshopOpen Your Image In Photoshop

  3. Edit and crop the image as needed

    Use the layer adjustment options to edit your image i.e. brighten, reduce contrast. Cropping it to a square size is always a good idea for consistency and use on social media.Make Edits In Photoshop Adjustment Layer Panel If Needed

  4. Go to File – Export – Save for Web (Legacy)

    Photoshop File Export Save For Web Legacy

  5. Select your image format

    Use JPEG for photos, PNG for graphics. GIFs are for looping videos. Select Your Image Preset Jpeg Or Png Save For Web Photoshop

  6. Take note of the current image size in the left hand corner

    You’ll want to keep an eye on this as you optimise it in the next step. Photoshop Image Size Panel

  7. In Image Size, toggle the Percent % box

    You’ll want to reduce this down, then click out of it to see the total image size.Photoshop Save For Web Cahnge The Image Percent

  8. Aim for smallest size – highest resolution

    Toggle the Image Size Percent until the image is the best resolution possible at the smallest file size possible. I find the sweet spot to be between 300-500kb. You can click ‘Preview’ to see how it will actually look on a webpage if you aren’t sure.
    Photoshop Toggle The Image Size To Get Smallest Size Best Resolution

  9. Click Save and ensure the title is SEO friendly

    This is possibly as important as the actual image size – give your image a new name that 1. reflects what is actually on the image and 2. Contains at least one of the keywords on the page it is going into. You can make your alternative text the same as the title to save time. This is important for accessibility (people using screen readers) and for SEO – Google can better understand what the image is, so it adds SEO value to your page and anyone searching for the term in Google Images can find it!
    Give The Image A Seo Friendly Name For Alternative Text

And that’s it!

Your image is now saved for web and SEO optimised, ready to be uploaded into your website.

If you have further questions about this process, or need web design assistance, please get in touch.

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Shelley has had an obsession with all things web design, branding, copy-writing and digital marketing since she started tertiary graphic design studies 8 years ago. Her ongoing professional development has focused on SEO, PPC, SEM and perfecting CMS based web platforms. She is passionate about empowering clients to get the best out of their sites beyond just the build.

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