This image is 250x250When it comes to publishing content online, one of my mantras is “don’t forget the images“. An article with an image is more shareable, and when people see a link to an article that has an image attached, they are far more likely to notice it and click on it.

Including images with your articles is important, but just any old image will not do. You need to make sure your images are the right size, because some social sites will not be able to share them if they are too small.

We Heart It says so

Popular bookmarking site We Heart It (which is a lot like Pinterest) won’t let you share a web page if there are no images on that page wider than 240 pixels and higher than 200 pixels.

Try to share a page with, say, a thumbnail and We Heart It will probably show you a message saying it can’t find anything on the page to share. Remember, Pinterest, We Heart It and the many sites like them are all about image sharing. No matter how good your article might be, it’s the image that makes it shareable.

Facebook says so

A little known fact is that Facebook likes images to be at least 200 pixels wide. The height doesn’t matter but the width is important. Unlike We Heart It, Facebook doesn’t refuse to share a link if there is no picture on the page, but if you do have a picture that doesn’t fit Facebook’s dimension requirements, it won’t appear.

Let’s say you publish an article with two images, where your first and most important image at the top is 180 pixels wide, then you have a larger image further down the page that’s 500 pixels wide, when you try to share the page on Facebook it is likley to display the second image and not the first.