Preparing your images for upload

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We recommend uploading big, high quality images. Sirv is designed to automatically optimize and scale your images, so you should not scale down or compress images before uploading to Sirv or you will lose quality forever.

Think of Sirv as your main repository of images - your Digital Asset Management (DAM) service where all your master images are stored. Your assets will be accessible to your team members and shared - where appropriate - with your trusted partners and suppliers.

Upload your biggest image

Try to upload big images to your Sirv account. Preferably 4000px width or even higher. If you don't have such large images, then upload the biggest you have - preferably at least 2500px width. Modern screen resolutions are getting ever bigger - some screens exceed 5000px width, so by uploading hi-res images, you'll ensure that your image library is future-proofed and they'll look sharp and impressive on all screens.

Use an appropriate image format

JPEG, PNG, GIF are the most common image formats used on the web, though you can also upload many other formats to Sirv:

  • JPEG - best format for photos
  • PNG - best format for logos, illustrations, icons
  • GIF - most popular format for animations
  • SVG - good alternative for logos, illustrations, icons
  • PDF, PSD, EPS, AI, RAW, BMP and other image formats are also supported by Sirv

In all cases, Sirv will serve your images in the most optimal format, which is often WebP, so you'll benefit from excellent optimization.

Keep the highest quality

When preparing your images before upload, keep the quality at a high setting. Compression settings change from program to program but generally we recommend a quality of at least 92%. A little compression is OK to reduce the file size and if you choose 92% quality instead of 100%, file size can reduce by as much as 50% with minimal impact on quality.

However, even a little compression will permanently remove detail from an image, so don't go below 92%. Sirv will automatically optimize your images before they are served. By default, Sirv applies 80% quality and the "optimal" format, which is extremely effective at achieving a low file size yet retaining good quality. You can easily adjust the default compression settings in your account.

Compressing images before uploading to Sirv will not reduce the file size served by Sirv. Compressing an image twice won't make the size smaller - it only makes the quality worse. Furthermore, reducing the quality of your master image is permanent, that's why the best practice is to keep a large and very high quality master image.

Sirv always keeps the master image untouched and from it creates all the smaller and optimized versions. That is part of the magic of Sirv.

Look out for these mistakes

Try to avoid these common mistakes when preparing your images before upload:

  • Photographs saved as PNG, not JPEG - for a detailed image like a photo, PNG file size is typically 5-10 times higher than JPEG. This will use much more storage than necessary and processing time will be slower.
  • JPEGs heavily compressed - never apply more than slight JPEG compression - your image will lose detail and gain unwanted artefacts around edges and in detailed areas. Such detail is lost forever.
  • Images scaled down too small - images below 1000px width are particularly small. Consider that typical mobile screens exceed 720px width, laptops exceed 1920px and monitors can be 5120px width. For images to look sharp on all screens and be zoomable, we recommend at least 4000px width if possible.

Compression tools

With the above guidance in mind, if your master images are huge and you're seeking to compress them slightly before upload, there are many compression tools. One good and free application you can consider is Caesium (for Mac & Windows).

Ask an expert

If you have questions about preparing images before you upload them to Sirv, contact a Sirv expert from your Sirv account. If you don't have a Sirv account yet, create an account now or contact us from our general enquiries form.

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