WordPress Gallery Image Size – Avoid One Column Option

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Picture with WordPress name.WordPress gallery image size has not been discussed enough on the Internet from the SEO point of view. This is surprising because post image gallery is a tool with great features and it has been frequently used in posts.

In this post I describe my negative experience with the one-column style from the WP image gallery. 

[Bach – Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder (Matthäus-Passion)]

For example:

  • an image gallery looks good,
  • it is user friendly for handling many images at one go,
  • it allows you to arrange images and photos easily on the screen,
  • attributes of all images within a gallery can be modified at one go when you enter the gallery.

Post image gallery is used for various purposes, in particular it is very useful if you sell stuff online.

There are tons of texts on optimal SEO WordPress image size with respect to its storage size, you may read about image SEO best practices in my another page.

Yet very limited information exists about optimal actual screen image size, i.e., its size within the text. Typically what you see as a good advice is to ‘use common sense’ when you are deciding about the size of images on the screen.

Post image gallery is in fact closely related to the screen image size as discussed in the text below.


Post image gallery

I am not going to present technical aspects of the WordPress post gallery. For this I would warmly recommend you to read this nice text from WordPress itself. They have explained it nicely enough, I could not add anything more.

Instead, I shall say something about my own recent experience with the size of photos used in a page with a WordPress photo gallery, and the consequent page ranking on Google.

This was my page about Teide mountain on Tenerife island. When it was published it was initially on position 27 on Google, the number in the picture below indicates it:My text postions on Google.

Features of the WordPress photo gallery.
Features of the WordPress photo gallery.

I was using a photo gallery, with the usual 2 column style, medium size. Just as a reminder, you can see here on the right how it looks like when you are in the process of creating such an image gallery.

The page was reasonably well ranked for several months. But then I decided to change the gallery feature from 2 columns (see the picture right) to one column style.

This means that now I had many, quite large photos (of the width of the page itself) one below another. This was a one-column gallery.

So compared to the previous case, the photos were far larger and were occupying far more space on the screen. This all looked great, large photos of a great mountain, so I was happy.


However, several months later I realized that my page was nowhere to be found on Google. Meanwhile I forgot that I changed the gallery features. So I was trying to improve the text, but nothing helped.

It took me quite some time to realize what the problem was. So I reshaped my gallery back to 2-column style again.

Can you guess what happened? Yes, my page re-appeared. It is right now on the position 24 as you can see on the picture above, and it is in fact climbing up.


So what really happened with my page? 

I certainly cannot be absolutely sure, but I can guess. For search engines photos and images are an empty space. All information about such an object Google crawlers get from:

  • image file name
  • alt text attribute
  • image description.

I have done my job properly and those attributes were in place, done by following SEO rules. Nevertheless, Google crawlers have probably found that my big beautiful photos imply a ‘poor user experience’.


Now, this was my experiment. The most basic principle regarding experiments is to repeat them in order to prove something. However, I do not plan to make experiments of that kind with my posts and pages. I am sure now that you should avoid one-column full size style in WordPress gallery.

If you have had any experience regarding the WordPress gallery image size issues, it would be great to read about it. So please leave some comment in the box below. I shall be happy to answer any question which you might have.


You can contact me at my site hosting platform, and within this site here you can read how to build a website.

Remember, if you have something to sell online or you want to start some online business in general, you will need a business site. You can build one for free in several minutes. Just try it here and you will see, this is where I started and built my two sites:


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10 comments

  1. I can’t say I’ve ever used the gallery feature in my posts, but I regularly add images throughout… It’s interesting to know about the Google Crawlers requirements… I had no idea – I’ll be sure to include these in future!!
    Thank you for sharing – looks like you have some really useful info on your site here!! 🙂
    Zoe

  2. Jovo,

    What an interesting post, I did some learning so thanks very much for that!
    I had never worked with columns for my images before I was always used to placing them either to the left, center, right or NO set position that would work with the text flow.

    With Google however I have learned that the .alt tag for images does play a big role in search, I have seen many of my own images pop up in Google with the link to my post.

    Jovo thanks again for your work and valuable SEO Point of View!
    Gary

  3. Hi Jovo!
    Your site is great, you really have put the work in and it looks awesome! The information that you offered is invaluable! Knowing this it looks like I may need to go back and do some work on my pages. I could easily maybe move up quite a bit if this worked for you. And the music was awesome! It made me want to stay even longer.

  4. First of all “WoW”, I am very enjoying your post, I am listening Bach while I read your post, thank you for the music. speaking of a gallery, what do you think by using some gallery plugin at WordPress? I just know that alt text also has impact on SEO, thank you for your information

    1. Hi Gesit, thanks a lot, so Bach was a good choice for you? I do not even think about plugins for WordPress image gallery, this is totally unnecessary. The number of plugins should be kept as low as possible. Besides, it cannot help with the issue discussed here.

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