Managing Images in WordPress

I frequently find that people have uploaded images from their phones and cameras directly into the image library and then added them to a page. What they have forgotten to do is optimise the image for the browser screen.

If I look at my camera, it takes image which are 5700px wide x 3800 px high and 10MB in size.

My monitor screen is a little higher definition than HD, so these images are too large for my browser, and if viewed on a phone which may be 700 pixels wide or less they are huge by comparison.

For most users these days, they view websites on mobile devices and may not be doing this over WiFi, so if they are downloading your web page from a 4G or 3G network, it is costing them money.

As a general guide your images need to be no bigger than 150kB in memory size, and no larger than the largest screen you are likely to come across. Today that is around 1200px for the web content space for most sites.  Many of the sites I have built, the content area is no wider than 1080px.  Continue reading Managing Images in WordPress


Even I get caught out sometimes

Just to show I share the same human traits as everyone else, even though I am fairly IT literate,  I thought I would share the following with you because it demonstrates that being cautious is often not enough.

IOS 11.0.3

My iPhone had been nagging me for some time about upgrading. I usually keep things up to date, and finally had some time and decided to go ahead with the update.  I have a MAC and backed up the iPhone into iTunes before proceeding, because I have been caught out before!

I have the usual range of weird stuff on my iPhone that gets played around with once or twice and then forgotten. But there are a handful of Apps I use all of the time, one of which is a password manager called FireBox.

I have had this for around eight years and it has always served me well. It was pretty basic, simple to use and not particularly glossy or elaborate. I keep or should say now; kept…. most of my critical passwords in there. For some years now I have not used the same password in multiple places unless it is for a simple login which represents no security threat if compromised.

I carried out the upgrade, and was presented with a message that some of the apps needed upgrading and to check in the Apps store, or contact the author. Wow, contact the author, that seemed like an odd request. Well it said contact the author, because the app was no longer supported by the new operating system.

There were only around 4 not supported, but one of them was FireBox. At this point panic starts to set in, but I did carry out a backup before I started, so I am covered…..

I start to research how to roll back the operating system. I find a way of doing it, download the old iOS, and before starting plugged my iPhone back into the computer. Here is where my problems started. On plugging my iPhone back into my computer, it backed it up again, and overwrote my previous backup. Only it is a different operating system now, and we have already established that FireBox is unsupported.

Bottom line, by the time I got the old operating system back on the iPhone I had nothing to restore other than a much older backup.

And the lesson of this sad tale

Don’t assume anything. I should have manually backed it up and stored the backup somewhere else.  The whole process cost me 2.5 days so far going around and restoring passwords from various places. My family tell me I worry too much about things, well this is one example where paying a little more attention would have been hugely beneficial.



How not to take a photograph

Images on websites can carry subtle messages, and can be used to help push the key messages to viewers. I recently received some images for inclusion in a site that were taken by an enthusiastic supporter of a charity. While there were quite a few images, the ones I felt I could use were only a very small proportion.

The main reason is that a poorly formed image can actually send the wrong message to visitors on your site. Unless the image is impactful and /or appropriate, I will generally not use it.

I have listed some tips and common pitfalls where your volunteers take images for you, or you try to use them on your website.


A blurred image, particularly that part of the image that should be very sharp will not look very professional on a website. Blurred images often occur because of camera shake rather than focusing on the wrong thing. Indoor images can suffer in this way because the shutter speed is very slow (less than 1/50th of a second). You can get around this by using a flash or by using a higher ISO setting. Panasonic compact cameras offer a feature called intelligent ISO that looks after this for you. Continue reading How not to take a photograph


Mobile Phone Bills

Have you issued mobile phones in your charity?

How much do you pay each month?

If you got here looking for free stuff, this is not free, but carries the potential for being a very low cost solution. 

GiffGaff is a well established mobile service provider, it is a largely self help business model created by 02. There is a large community of users/contributors offering support. So one assumes that the business model for GiffGaff is quite efficient if you outsource a lot of the support overhead to the community of users that use the service.

If you make a mobile call from a GiffGaff phone to another GiffGaff phone then the call is free. On this basis if you keep in touch with mobile volunteers then you could significantly reduce the cost of phones by having a mobile in the office to call those in the field.  Continue reading Mobile Phone Bills