Images for Mahara (Or: I Need More Disk Quota!)

Tags: eport_images, image, image sizes, images, quota

When someone runs out of disk quota here in ePortfolios, the culprit is almost always huge image files. Here are some guidelines and tips for managing image file sizes.

Why should I resize my images?

  • Big image files take up more of your disk quota
  • Big image files make your page load slowly -- for both you and your visitors
  • If we find you have huge images in your portfolio, we'll be reluctant to increase your quota.

But the images don't look that big in my portfolio!

Mahara automatically reduces your image display so that it fits in the column. But it's only changing the DISPLAY size, not the FILE size.

You can add a huge image file to your portfolio page and Mahara may display it at only 20% of its actual size. But every time someone views the page (including you), they'll still be downloading the huge image file. It will make your page display slowly and use up a lot of your quota.

The DISPLAY size and the FILE size need to match. If you resize the image to 20% first and then upload it, there will be no noticeable loss of image quality, your page will display faster, and you'll be able to use your quota for other important content.

Can you show me an example?

See the two images on the right. The top image is straight from my digital camera and Mahara has adjusted the display size to make it fit in the column. The image below it has been cropped (a little) and resized so that it fits in the column (no adjustment by Mahara).

  Dimensions File Size
Original 4608 x 3456 pixels 7309 KB
Resized  580 x 706 pixels 170 KB (~1/50th the size!)


Okay, how do I do this?

Use image-editing tools already installed on your device:


  • Make a copy of the original image and make your changes to the copy.
  • Crop first. Cropping is trimming off the extra side bits of an image that don't contribute to the message. (E.g. pavement, blank walls, extra people, sky, etc.)
  • Use the "Resize" tool in your app, NOT the handles at the edges and corners of the image.
  • In your app, set your image view to 100% to get a better idea of how big your image actually is.
  • If your smart phone or tablet gives you the option, always choose "Small" first and view the result. Only upload "Medium" if the first results are not satisfactory, and almost never use "Large" or "Original".

If all else fails?

Have you attempted everything on this page and still can't free up space?

Contact the IT service desk (Links and resources > Report a problem).


How big should my images be?

Dimensions: Some very general guidelines for web pages:

  • Horizontal: 1024 x 512 pixels maximum
  • Vertical: 800 x 1200 pixels maximum
  • Square: 1200 x 1200 pixels maximum

For Mahara portfolios, maximum horizontal width:

  • 1 column: 1130 pixels
  • 2 equal columns: 580 pixels
  • 2 columns, wider and narrower: 790 pixels, 375 pixels
  • 3 columns, equal: 375 pixels
  • 3 columns, wider and narrower: 580 pixels, 375 pixels

File size: somewhere around 800 KB maximum. A moderately large image for a Mahara page will be about 120-150 KB.

Original, 4608x3456, 7309 KB


Resized, 580x706 px, 170 KB