I like to look myself up on Google, the WordPress reader, Yahoo and a few other places. I would call it vanity, if I thought it was, but it’s not, it’s work for me. Monitoring how I’m doing let’s me know if I’m getting it right or not. And letting me know if I’m getting it right or not, enables me to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
The WordPress reader is a good place to showcase your work. I recently blogged about tags and categories in relation to the reader. You need to have (tag + categories) a total of 15 or less to even appear in the reader.
The WP.com reader police do like to change things regularly. So imagine my disappointment after spending hours Photoshopping the Thai Ronald McDonald, only to see he’s been shrunk, like drastically shrunk, have a look for yourself :
Now versus my Beach Fisherman’s Sunset, there’s no contest on which image looks better, and is showcased best – see for yourself :
So WTF ? It used to be that portrait images were displayed full width as well as landscape images in the reader … So what I guess has happened is – that people who were trying to take up more reader space, had put really tall images into the reader. The WP.com reader police had noticed this and have got fed up with it, their solution – limit the height of images like with my Ronald McDonald photo.
So what’s my solution. Well it’s a bit of extra work, but if you take a look at one post back “Inspiringly Pretty Flowers”, I’ve done something a bit tricky to take up more reader space. My featured image is square (1:1 aspect ratio). Basically I cropped the original to a square for the featured image, and posted the actual photo as it is in the body of my post.
Any photo that is between square and landscape orientation will post full width on the reader. So normal landscape photos work OK. If you want to get full width for a portrait photo, you’ll need a cropped version that’s wider than a square.
Also please note that the maximum pixel width in use in the reader is 660 pixels wide. So it seems the absolute maximum pixel size if 660 x 660 pixels, unless you’re posting a gallery (which maybe taller ?)
My tip is to get a bit of extra screen space in the reader for photos that are taller than square (1:1), ie portrait photos. To do this crop the photo so it’s wider than a square and use this for the featured image and then use the unaltered photo in your post. Landscape and any photos that are wider than they are tall will take up the whole width of the reader.
As an example – I’ve also put the featured image of this post as a square (the SEO graphic), hopefully this will show up in the reader to further reiterate when I mean.