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Thursday, February 7, 2013

OSH revisited: Outta Storage Space Soloution!

I am not a big time blogger, or a blogger for money, so I don't check my stats page frequently. I basically started blogging for friends and family to check out my projects (Hi Mom!) but since then, other people have stumbled upon  this blog for different reasons. (The Swingin' post got 22,000 hits last month. Whoa! Thanks, Pinterest!) And occasionally I look at the stats page out of curiosity of what ya'll are looking at.
The other day after revewing those stats, I thought some of those popular posts could use an update, revisit, revision, etc. SO I thought I might start a mini-series where I would revisit some of my most popular posts and revise or flesh them out where needed. Hence the title OSH (One Sassy Housewife) Revisited! Look for more OSH Revisited posts over the next month or so!

Did you know one of my top 3 most viewed posts is this one right here? This little post where I asked what to do about picture storage on my blog. According to the stats page it is most often reached from google searches... maybe other bloggers have the same problem? I don't know.
Well, there are still pics on my blog, which obviously means I found a soloution.  It's not profound, or highly technical... but I thought it was time to share with those who might run into the same problem.
The original issue was that the free photo storage that Blogger offers had all been used up. Blogger would no longer allow me to upload photos until I deleted a few. Well, I didn't want to do that because it would remove them from my blog as well.
Part of my problem was that I had been using full size images on my blog since I started... which filled up that available space quickly. So I learned how to shrink my photo size before uploading. Most photo editing software should have some kind of 'save for web' or 'shrink for web' function. I use Photoshop elements 'save for web function'. This tool just goes in and compresses and simplifies the information-- so to speak. There is often very little difference noticable difference in the photo quality and appearance.
This photo, for instance, before 'saving for web' used up 30.5M of space. After shrinking, 1.5M. Quite a bit of difference. I also reduce the size of pictures for my blog by pixel width. (I use 500 for horizontal, and 350 for vertical pics) In Elements, you can change the pixel width at the same time as saving for web. So using the same pic above, it started as 4001x2667 pixels. I just reduced the width (make sure you have locked proportions) to 500 and it auto reduced height as well. So now it is 500x333, which I find is just the right size for my blog. So after saving for web and reducing size by pixels, the photo that originally took up 30.5M of space now takes 41.95K. 
Quite a bit of space saved there!
So if I had been saving my pics that way from the start, It is unlikely I would have run out of the 1GB (I think?) of free storage space Blogger offers. ALSO... it would have made things easier for you, as pictures and pages would load faster and use less data, etc. In theory I could (should?) go back and reduce the size of all those photos, which would free up storage space. However, that would be extremely time consuming and tedious to find, shrink, and replace all those pics, then repost everything... no thank you. I needed a different soloution.
So I talked with Z about it and he suggested I find another free site to store my pics. Because blogger gives you the option of uploading pics from another URL. So I started loading my (edited and saved for web pics) to SkyDrive which offered me free online storage and access to photos. Now when I am ready to insert a picture I just open up skydrive, copy the file location, and paste it in the picture URL box on blogger. Simple.
The only glitch is you need to make sure you either load pics into the 'public' folder, of set the privacy to 'public' for your pics, otherwise blogger will not be able to access and display them.
So thats my totally non-technical explanation for my photo storage solution on blogger.
I know that was a lot of words, and I hope most of it made sense or can help someone like me-- who isn't REALLY tech or blog savvy but ran into that problem, and needs a soloution.
If you have more recommendations, or better solutions or ideas, please share in the comments section! Let me know hoe you solved or avoided this problem! And thanks for reading, friends!

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