Sitebuilder Picture Widget Optimising Without Permission

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  • Updated 8 years ago
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SiteBuilder is optimising my Picture Widget images without my permission, and is doing an awful job of it. This has never happened before and I do not need Sitebuilder to do this. I optimise my own images in Photoshop. Now Sitebuilder is turning a 15kb file into a 5Kb file, and it looks crap!
How do I override this new feature???
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Paul Caspall

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  • frustrated and annoyed

Posted 8 years ago

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Paul Caspall

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I believe it has something to do with what the image properties for the affected image (Cross-Splash-Pic2) are telling me: 302px × 241px (scaled to 300px × 239px).
Note: THE IMAGE IS EXACTLY 300 X 240, like all the others on this page: http://www.aconitejewel.com/necklaces....
So where it's getting this idea from I'd like to know. I've done this hundreds of times, so it's pretty unlikely that it's me. I'm afraid to test any other Picture Widget images in case it does the same thing to them!

Has the Picture Widget been modified recently??
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jeremy, Employee

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Hi there Paul,

Yola recently released a feature that automatically optimizes any image you add using the picture widget.

For more information on how this works, see this article: Image Optimization

The original high res image is still available in your file manager. However, the image that is added to your page is compressed to ensure that your pages load quickly. Images with large file sizes are one of the primary reasons for poor performance of your website - so this is a very important feature for our users. However, if you are not used to it, it can be a bit of a surprise and I am sorry you were taken off guard.

The article above gives you other options for resizing your image if you do not want to use the new automatic image resize tool.

As this is a new feature, we will be looking for ways to improve it, so please send us any feedback you have so that we can pass it on to our product team.
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Paul Caspall

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Jeremy

First off, thank you for your reply. The problem has been fixed by using a Text Widget instead, and by deleting an original blank text widget buffer above the original image (for vertical alignment with text alongside).

However, please forward this to the Product Team...

"This is a retrograde, counter-productive feature that not only steals control from the user, but compromises existing structures that the same users have previously spent time and effort setting up in their sites. Because of this 'new feature' I will now have to use Text Widgets instead of Picture Widgets for all images (so you have removed an option I previously enjoyed). Furthermore, any poor fool who allows the Picture Widget Optimiser to crunch down his images, will end up with crappy blurry images for the sake of a few Kb! In what universe is it a good idea to turn sharp 12Kb images to blurry 4Kb images??!!! Here's a suggestion: any images already under 20Kb in size - LEAVE THEM ALONE!!! What appalling % level is this 'optimiser' set on?? Or does it only know how to BLUR EVERYTHING for the sake of a few Kb?! My site already loaded extremely quickly, because the images had already been PROPERLY optimised - by me. Word to the Wise: IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT!"
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Vinny Lingham

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Hi Paul

Thanks for your feedback, it is very much appreciated. We launched the image optimizer in order to improve the images that many of users upload to their sites - that average the 1-2mb size range - as you can imagine, this is very large. You are an advanced user that knows how to compress the images and as a result, it's had an adverse affect on you.

I have personally looked into this issue and I can assure you that we have already been working on an upgrade to this feature and will have something out within a matter of days (hopefully this week, but definitely next week) to improve the way it functions.

Please be patient and understand that when working with a userbase of over 3m users here at Yola, it is impossible to plan for every possible outcome, but I can say that user feedback is very valuable and helps us improve our technology.

Many thanks,

Vinny Lingham
CEO, Yola
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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Hi Paul

Thank you for your comments. I have forwarded them to the Product team and I assure you that they will receive due consideration.

I would like to respond to you as best I can. I certainly agree with the wisdom of "it it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Our problem was that it was broken - badly broken! You are an advanced and savvy user, so it wasn't broken for you. But thousands upon thousands of other customers were adding massive images to their pages (up to 5MB in some cases)! They would then resize the image in the page and expect it to be compressed automatically - a fairly natural assumption. They then did not understand why their site was performing so badly.

So we still believe that we need to give people an easy way to optimize their images and that is what we have tried to do with this feature. However, we certainly haven't gotten it right yet. Based on your feedback, and our own exploration with the way the feature is currently functioning, here is what I think needs to happen as soon as possible:

1) There needs to be a button that allows users to turn image optimization off.
2) The automatic resize function should only kick in if the image is larger than a certain size (say 75KB). An already compressed image should definitely not be compressed further!

Does that sound like a good middle ground to you? If you have any additional suggestions on how we can help people optimize their images without causing problems for people who didn't have a problem before, please let us know.

I assure you that your feedback will receive prompt attention and will help us improve the site builder for everyone.
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Paul Caspall

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Hi Monique

Thanks for the reply. I agree with your thoughts. A button to turn the optimiser off (or ON) is a good idea, and a minimum file size for it to kick in is essential - what that figure is I don't know. 75Kb like you say for example? Not sure, but that seems reasonable enough as a starting point (at least for testing).

The only other thing that concerns me is the quality of the actual optimisation. I can only go by what it did for my images today - and it was crap. So quite possibly the actual optimisation levels/program/script may need tweaking as well. OTOH the results I experienced may have been purely because the original file was sub-20Kb in the first place.

How about educating Yola users with a newsletter re file optimising? As a rule, most beginners don't read tutorials on websites - like me when I first started, they need spoon feeding (and I'm still a toddler really when it comes to a lot of this stuff, 'savvy' or not!).

:)

Thanks, you returned my smile.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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Glad your smile is back! I think we should first look at making sure that already compressed images are not compressed further and then see what the quality looks like. The quality of optimized images should be good, and we will definitely look into ways of improving this. As for educating people - I agree with you and we have tried various communication channels for this. However, first prize is to have a tool that "just works" - we aren't quite there yet on this issue, but we are working on it. Thanks for bearing with us and using the workaround in the meantime.
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Paul Caspall

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Hi Vinny

No worries. I understand the process.

Thanks again.

Cheers
Paul
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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Just thought I would get back to you and tell you to read the latest on this feature here: http://tinyurl.com/y9rd4kb