To kick off the month we’ve been looking at image use on blogs. So far; you can catch up with kick off 2009 with more useful blog images and 10 places to find free blog images that you won’t get sued for using.
I’m a little bit of a visual snob (I like pretty). However, beauty is subjective, and in the end, I don’t need pretty to stay at a blog. I come for the writing first. That said, when I hit a blog, and the images are all screwy, it makes me want to run and never return. Some blog image mistakes overshadow the content, and that’s when image mistakes become a full blown blog problem.
Common image alignment mistakes I’ve seen bloggers make far too often:
No one wants to see this:
text lined up next to a left aligned image with no space to set the image off.
This is super annoying. My eye goes right to the image, and won’t move. I miss any important text because all I can think is why the flip can’t they align the darn image.
EVEN if you get a decent border set up, I’d think long and hard before placing an image to the left. Of course, image placement depends on your personal blog design, but I think that most folks are used to reading left to right. In this case the image forces you to have to stop and think about the reading.
Also, since I left aligned the image, look at how the end text looks. It looks terrible. You’ve got text hanging down below the image, and then the line right after the image looks like it’s floating from nowhere. Yikes.
Over-sizing the image width is another alignment issues; because I don’t want to screw up this blog, I’m going to post a cropped example. I sized an image to 800 width (way too big for this blog), posted it, and it cut right into the job board.
Oh man. If you’re lucky, this mistake just looks really bad. If you’re unlucky, this image mistake will mess with your theme. I’ve seen over sized images screw up sidebars in a major way, even forcing posts below to vanish into thin air. Make sure you know your blog’s page width, than edit your images to fit.
Another mistake I see all the time are images that have a decent border (see the space between the words and the poppies?) BUT the image is too big to share the space with text.
In this case, if you want to use a large, bold image, center align it, and place the text under or above the image.
- Placing bullets in blog posts is good.
- However, it always looks funky to me when people place bullets next to images.
- Plus if you don’t border your image, the bullets can cut or almost cut into the image.
- As you can see here.
How to avoid alignment mistakes:
- Proof read: Proof reading for spelling and all that is smart, but if you use images, always proof to make sure they look right. I suggest you check after you actually hit publish too. WordPress 6 has this annoying issue of not aligning correctly, even when you set it up right. Sometimes I’ll hit center, hit publish, and when I go look at the post, the image is floating off to the left. BTW, I have not noticed this issue in WordPress 2.7.
- Practice: If you use WordPress, just messing around with all the different image functions in a pretend post can pay off. Place some text in a pretend post, then add a bunch of images, and change things up. See what happens when you change the image size, the border qualities, the vertical space, and more.
- Know your blog’s layout: If you know your layout it makes things much easier. I’m actually a little lazy; for my personal blogs, I just keep the page width about the same size at all of them to keep it simple.
Get some help:
If you practice enough, honestly, you don’t really need a guide, but in case you want help stat, here are some links.
If you use another blog platform, there’s sure to be a user guide out there. Just do a basic search; i.e. “Images on Tripod.”
If you’ve got an alignment question related to WordPress, ask here in the comments and I can probably help you out. While lately, all I use is WP, I’ve used many other platforms, so if you’ve got an image question about another platform, go ahead and ask, I may be able to help.
Do image alignment problems on blogs turn you off to the entire blog?