As a regular user of Shopify, you are fully aware that the focus of the platform is e-commerce. Where WordPress might be focused mainly on blogs, and Joomla! places a heavy emphasis on web apps, Shopify is all about selling your goods to a retail audience that is looking for an intuitive and attractive shopping experience. This focus on e-commerce has led the developers of the platform to make some very specific decisions affecting functionality. This is clearly seen in how images are used.
Users of other content management systems have the ability to manipulate image sizes right from their administrative screens. And, of course, programming in straight HTML allows a developer to choose any image size he or she wants. Things are different in Shopify. For the purposes of efficiency and simplicity, Shopify utilizes a number of predetermined image sizes that users can choose when uploading images.
Predetermined Image Sizes
Each image size in Shopify is assigned a name (e.g., original, compact, meeting, etc.) along with the size represented in pixels. If you upload an image that does not already match one of the predetermined sizes, Shopify will automatically reduce its size to the nearest available option. Shopify’s code is designed to do so without loss of resolution. However, a poor quality image will only look worse if it is reduced.
You can set image sizes within your template or as you go. In the case of the latter, just click on the drop-down menu in the WYSIWYG interface when choosing to insert an image. The size you choose will only affect that image.
Creating Your Original Images
Using images in Shopify is a lot easier if they are created in their original format according to one of the predetermined Shopify sizes. Otherwise, they have to either be cropped or re-sized by the platform’s code. Additionally, it is a wise idea to use one of the more common image formats such as JPEG, GIF, or PNG. Sticking with one of these options guarantees all of the major browsers on the market will be able to correctly render the images you upload.
Before closing this post, one word about images and copyrights: you have a legal obligation to make sure any image you use as part of your Shopify site does not infringe on owner copyrights. Any plan to use copyrighted images requires you to get written permission from the copyright owner before publishing such images. You may have some rights, as a retailer, to use images that accurately represent specific items for sale or your stock in general. However, still be sure to check with copyright owners rather than assuming.
Shopify is an excellent platform for e-commerce that allows you to customize your store is an endless number of ways. Images are a big part of that. As long as you know how to create stunning images and how the Shopify platform makes use of them, they can go a long way toward generating strong sales.