WordPress Plan Changes – and cleaning up my Storage!

So, the other day, Aywren noticed that WordPress was changing its payment plans drastically which sparked a bit of controversy among the blogging community. WordPress wanted to simplify things with “One Plan, Infinite Possibilities”. This change would only affect blogs created after March 31st and wouldn’t affect “legacy plans” at all – but still, the changes came in sneakily which many people (including me) criticized. Aywren is a lovely blogger btw and if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have noticed this change at all. After all, one could only find mentions of this on the WP forum but not in the form of an official announcement. What’s more, is that the responses were all over the place and unclear and there aren’t many people that actually use the forums or know about them. Even I only learned about it half a year ago when my site was down for whatever reason.

Today, however, I didn’t want to talk about the WordPress situation too much… I just wanted to mention it for context as today’s post is more about the storage situation on my blog and some plans for the future. Aywren noticed the change when her storage went from 3 gigabytes of storage to only 500 MB within a single night, after all. Now that that issue is somewhat resolved with WordPress listening to feedback, I took a look at my storage and noticed that I still have plenty of space but I may have to work around some of my storage habits to last for even longer.

Before we get into that, though, I highly recommend checking out Aywren Sojourner! She’s a lovely blogger and one of the first people in the blogosphere that I got to read posts by! If you want to read up on the whole WordPress plan situation, I can really recommend the following posts:

WordPress.com Plan Pricing Changes – What the Heck?” – by Aywren

WordPress.com Plan Pricing Changes – Staff Now Seeking Feedback” – by Aywren

WordPress Announces New Plans – With Welcome Changes” – by Aywren

[WordPress’ response to the feedback] – by Sarah Gooding

Introducing WordPress Pro: One Plan, Infinite Possibilities” – by Michael Pick

So, onto the storage issue: Right now, I’m on the “personal plan” which won’t change at all during these changes. That’s a good thing because at the moment the personal plan seems to be the only thing that I may need. My storage is sitting at a whopping 6 GB, at maximum, of which I’ve so far only used 941.8 MB (15%). That’s pretty great as it means that I’ve used only about a sixth of the maximum storage in three years of blogging but there are still ways to improve it. But let’s first talk about how I’ve been using media/images so far.

At first, when I started blogging, I’d upload all the images to WordPress, meaning that every single image would be hosted on my blog. This in itself has benefits and downsides but in general, it’s not too much of an issue, I think. In theory, other people could use the link to the screenshots I uploaded, though, and embed it into their site. I use up storage. They don’t. My page may load slower. Theirs won’t. That’s how it was explained to me at least quite a while ago. You can combat that though with plugins that make it so that people’s images that are linked from your site show goatsies on their websites – or something like that – resulting in them stopping to do so. I don’t know how to do that and I don’t want to do that, so… yeah. So, instead of doing that, I embed links from my Steam Screenshot Library, meaning that I save some storage for those images.

Instead, the only images that you really see that I also uploaded to WordPress itself are the header images – which are usually in the right format but not always. That’s something I need to change.

To work well as a featured/header image, the resolution needs to be at 1200×675. Most of the time, I receive larger images than that but I can resize them in my own editing programs over here. What I also tend to do is to upload jpeg images instead of png-files but I only just learned that “webp” files are also supported in WordPress and they basically do the same thing as PNG files… but at the cost of much less space. I still gotta read up on the limitations of WEBP and whether there are even better formats that are supported in WordPress but overall, I wanna go in that direction of replacing PNGs with JPGs or even WEBP files if that makes sense.

So, let’s compare a logo that I got for Expedition Zero in its original size and format to the resized versions with different formats:

  • The original logo from the press kit (6000×3200), as a PNG
    • 19.2 MB
  • The same logo but resized to 1920×1080, as a PNG
    • 2.32 MB
  • The same logo but resized to 1200×675, as a PNG
    • 1.05 MB
  • The 1200×675 version, but as a JPG
    • 300 KB
  • The 1200×675 version, but as a WEBP
    • 200 KB

At least, these are the values that I got in this case. Of course, there is no reason to upload an image as big as the original logo from the press kit and there were other formats available but I just assume that it’s meant to be rescaled and they want to provide a very high-res image to look better. Still, 19.2 MB is wild! Scaling it down to more normal sizes like 1920p or 1200p already shrinks down the size a lot but switching to JPG completely is even better as it reduces the size from 1.05 MB to 300 KB, which is great. WEBP would be even smaller actually – although webp is harder to edit in programs like Paintnet and GIMP, so I may not wanna deal with that just yet.

Edit: WordPress does support WEBP for normal images but not for header images. Hence, I’ll stick to JPG/JPEG for now, which is totally fine as well. WEBP can half that storage in theory but it’s not worth it if it looks wonky due to it being unsupported.

As far as header images go, I usually do resize them and change them to JPG but there are also times when I forget one step or just ended up being lazy… That’s something I need to get better at. I need to go the extra mile so that I can preserve some of the storage. Who knows? Maybe I’ll need it in the future or maybe I want to add audio in the future so that people can have the blog posts being read out by me instead of having to read them. In those cases, it’d be better to have the extra space available, rather than having to scrap something entirely.

Speaking of scrapping, I used to upload header images multiple times. I remember uploading five images of the Risk of Rain logo for whatever reason and using each in a different post, I believe? I think part of it was because I didn’t quite understand WordPress nearly three years ago… So, I may actually go on a hunt for double-images or images that I don’t need to use and where I could use screenshots hosted somewhere else entirely. At the moment, I’m using up 0.989 MB per file in my media library (941.8 MB used / 952 items) – a lot of which could be tuned down A LOT if I were to just switch old PNGs to JPGs of the appropriate size whilst also deleting double images that are unnecessary. It’s not super critical, just something I thought about today. Got any suggestions? Let me know!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well. If you find this post on a website other than Indiecator.org, please write an e-mail to me. Thank you!

4 thoughts on “WordPress Plan Changes – and cleaning up my Storage!

Add yours

  1. Thanks so much for the kudos! I do want to say that I’m doing the same with media on my one free blog (where I first noticed all this mess going on). I wasn’t paying much attention to space at all with lots of PNGs, and now I’m going through and replacing them with JPGs and it’s a significant space saver.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! I do like your blog a lot and you’re a great person, so figured that kudos are due! :)

      Well, JPGs are great but WEBP apparently saves even more space. I noticed one image being only 150KB, so half of the size of the JPG version… So, I’ll replace them all eventually although it will be tedious. Most of the older posts that have the media uploaded instead of just having the link-embeds aren’t really getting any views anymore anyhow, so I figured I might go with deleting those images there first and replacing them slowly – even if I mess up, nobody will know. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If you are at 15% of your 6GB Personal plan storage, it might not even be worth the trouble going back and weeding out double images (which can be a bit of a gamble if the image is being used) or taking the time to replace existing images. Just keep image sizes in mind going forward and always resize and optimize them before uploading them to your site. That way your remaining 5+GB will last for years. Your theme showcase page has a “Quick Specs” section with recommended image sizes. Also, I’d ask support directly (since you can) if your images aren’t already being served to supported browsers as WEBP images. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thanks, Jen! Yeah, after doing it for a little bit, I stopped because it’s kind of tedious. So, yeah, agree with ya wholeheartedly!

      I haven’t seen that “Quick Specs” thing you mentioned but I’ll search for it later! Thanks for the tips. :) I actually checked and while WP supports webp, I can’t use WEBP images as headers… so I’ll stick to JPG/JPEG and will need to edit that in the post!

      Liked by 1 person

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