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Squidoo Image Sizes, Format and URLs: Under the Hood

Ever wondered what image sizes work best on Squidoo?

In the following cases, there’s a maximum width (but not height); Squidoo shrinks the graphic to fit but keeps the height proportional if you give it something larger. Best to let Photoshop or an image resizer to do it; Squidoo’s built in shrinker isn’t as smart.

  • The width of the Squidoo column (e.g. Text with BIG Picture module) is 590 pixels wide.
  • The lens logo graphic and the graphics that can be uploaded to the Text module are a maximum of 250 pixels wide; Squidoo shrinks them to fit.
  • Lensmaster photo on your profile page: 120 pixels wide.
  • The Polaroid Module is 400 pixels wide.
In the following cases, Squidoo needs the graphic to be absolutely square. It does this by scaling the graphic to the specified width, then cropping or adding whitespace to the top and bottom to make a perfect square.
  • Lensmaster photo in bio box on lens: 70×70 square
  • “Related Lenses” in the sidebar (Discovery Tool): 70×70 square
  • Featured Lenses module: 60×60 square
  • Front page of Squidoo: 200×200 square

Instead of using keywords for the lens logo graphic, Squidoo replaces the filename with a long string of numbers. If you replace the graphic, it keeps the same string of numbers, so external tools like SquidTool’s Featured Lenses tool will still work.

Want to see how your lens graphic looks at different sizes (e.g. the featured lenses module, related lens sidebar, etc)?

1. Go to your lens and right-click the lens graphic to get its url.

Example (this is a lens logo, so it’s 250 pixels wide):

Greekgeek's 3D Computer Art

In the published version, it’s something like:

In the Lens workshop, it’s different (so that you don’t replace the published version by accident before you’re ready):

Want to see how it looks at different sizes? Then change the -1 (in the URL of the published version) or the 250 (in the URL from the workshop) to the desired width.

For example:




That shows you the graphic scaled to different sizes. But remember, for the Squidoo front page, the “Related lenses” sidebar graphic, and the Featured Lenses module, the graphic will be cropped square.

Squidoo has done something with CSS classes to make it crop exactly in the middle, and you know what? I still can’t replicate what they’re doing to make the square crop. So just know that it’s the exact middle of the graphic.

Need to figure out the image size of a graphic you’ve found somewhere else? See How to Tell an Image’s Size, both pixel dimensions and file size/memory.

As for formats, Squidoo allows the following:

  • gif: no animation allowed, and no transparency (it makes a black background). gifs have a maximum of 256 colors; if you save a photo as a gif it gets a bit posterized. gifs use very little memory and are fast-loading.
  • jpg: this is usually the best format for Squidoo. It uses less memory by compressing the photo somewhat (cheating to save space). If you look closely, you may find jpgs have lost some detail, like YouTube videos but not quite as bad because the data isn’t compressed (simplified to save memory) quite as much.
  • png: this format is a memory hog, but preserves the colors and pixels accurately. Larger-sized pngs may not upload on Squidoo (I think the max may be 1MB, not sure). The only problem is that, as with transparent gifs, where one color is designated to be transparent and let the background page color show through, Squidoo fills in the “transparent color” with black. The way to avoid this is to uncheck transparency when saving a png, or save it as a jpg and put up with the slight loss of resolution.

You should know that picture quality always degrades slightly if you upload an image into Squidoo’s text or introduction module. Photo quality is better if you save a high-quality jpg or png and upload it to your own website or a service like Flickr. (I love being able to upload images to my own site; I can give each photo its own filename AND folder name, which means a lot of keywords I can use to optimize the lens where those images are displayed.)


  1. David says:

    Just what I was looking for! Straight forward “these are the sizes” without having to spend 30 minutes trying to find the numbers.
    Thanks a lot.

  2. David says:

    Thanks for the information. I’m still trying to get the squidoo thing together, the profile photo is like a miniature postage stamp! Bit by bit or pixel by pixel.

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