So, you’re also one of us!
All of us want to have a beautiful Facebook cover photo that looks good on both: desktop and smart phones.
Size matters in this game. If you do not take care of proper pixel size for length and width, you will see only the middle part of your beautiful Facebook cover on your cell phone.
Facebook cover photo size has been so big an issue that even big companies, entrepreneurs, mentors and gurus have got either pixelated or poorly organized cover photos.
The problem is that whether you’re using Facebook for personal purposes or business purposes, you cannot ignore the importance of good design.
This blogpost is all about how you can optimize your Facebook cover photo size for 2019 and future.
1. Why Should I Care?
I know that you already know how crucial is Facebook for business and how crucial is a proper cover photo size for your business page, but in case you do not understand the link between Facebook cover photo optimization for cell phone and your business, here are some statistics for you.
- Number of smart phones being used across the world is 2 billion
- Out of them 85% have a Facebook app
- Among all Facebook users, 47% access it via smart phones
- In USA, this number of 68% of total users
Now, I don’t know if you get this or not, but I can see the writing on the wall. If you haven’t optimized your Facebook business page or group or profile for smart phone users, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.
2. What the Fuss is All About?
So, what the fuss is all about?
Why people fail to make sure that their cover photos remain the same for desktop as well as smartphones?
The problem is that a photo’s pixels for a desktop are not the same that they should be for a cell phone. Since the screen size is very small as compared to desktop, we notice a very small photo.
Since a mobile device is more vertical and less horizontal, and a desktop’s screen is more horizontal and less vertical, Facebook fails to automatically optimize the image for a relevant screen.
Cover photos have wider aspect ratio on desktop and taller on smart phones.
We got this detail. But how to have the same cover photo for both screens: equally visible at both of them?
Facebook defines the dimensions and helps us a little:
“Your Page’s cover photo:
Displays at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on your Page on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones.
Must be at least 400 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall.
Loads fastest as an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes.”
But this not much helpful. Why?
For starters, if you just go to your cover photo (via cell phone or via desktop), and you go to the options about cover photo, you would not find separate settings for desktop cover photo and cell phone cover photo.
There is nothing there that talks about Facebook cover photo dimensions and how to optimize them.
So yes, you cannot upload separate Facebook cover photo for desktop and separate cover photo for cell phone!
And yes, there no settings to separately optimize the size.
3. What is the Solution?
As you know:
That there are no clear instructions from Facebook about how to resolve this issue, and there is no way to upload a separate photo for each screen or optimize separate settings, all we can do is design a cover photo that will work magically for both of them.
The problem is not with pixels; you can have a wrong image for cell phones and at the same time it can be a pixel-perfect image.
The problem is about size. And while we have to solve the problem, what we can mostly do is either choose a desktop first design and have a Facebook cover photo size that will have sides cut off, or you can go with mobile first design.
And this brings us back to the statistics that we have discussed earlier. And those statistics prove that mobile phone is the most commonly used device for internet as well as Facebook specifically.
Wisest decision is to have a mobile ready cover photo. Remember, roughly 68% of Facebook users in USA, use it on a cellphone.
Here are three different solutions to this problem.
A. Use a Template
Solution number 1 or solution A is to use a Facebook header size template. There are many Facebook header size templates on the internet.
The templates are designed for different devices; for example, template will be big and all visible on desktop, it will show only main middle part on cell phone and relatively bigger cover photo for tabs.
The idea behind all these templates is basically the same; you get an image taller and wider than Facebook standard cover photo image.
Most of the templates suggest that such an image should be roughly 2037px x 754px. These free PNG templates let you size up or down your cover photo as per these dimensions.
Once you get the dimensions right, you see that your cover photo is fully visible on desktop Facebook, while on cellphone Facebook, its sides are trimmed, but main image or center of the image is fully there.
This way, the cover photo will still display differently on different devices (desktop, cellphone and tablet etc.), but the center or the gist of image will remain intact on each device.
All those Facebook cover photo mockups that you will download from the internet are 100% customizable in Photoshop or other similar programs. This means as soon as you export those graphics into your Photoshop, they can be edited: from image to text blocks, everything can be edited.
B. Optimizing Facebook Cover Photo on Snappa
What is it that you can do in case you do not know how to use Photoshop and similar programs?
Well, this is where plan B comes into the play. What is plan B? Plan B is to have known the cover photo safe zones and dimensions, and to use them so as to avoid missing important parts of a photo.
Either you can try your hand at this, go through all the trial and error procedure, and find out how to make the best Facebook cover photos with main area visible on all devices or you can use Snappa.
What is Snappa? It is a cloud-based graphics editing software that can do a lot of things and yes, most importantly, that helps one create pixel perfect and size perfect Facebook cover photo.
What Snappa has done is integrate Facebook cover picture’s exact dimensions and safe areas (all 4 sides or boundaries) into their system; all you have to do is go to Snappa and either pick a beautiful cover photo or create one from scratch.
But do you know Snappa’s little secret of success?
Snappa works like a magic because it relies on “safe zone” principle. The idea is that whatever message a cover photo is supposed to convey, can most probably be found in the center of the cover photo.
This is safe zone and this must prevail, whether it is a case of desktop cover photo or a cellphone’s cover photo. The safe zone is where you put your headline, your message or your CTA. It might just be the center part of the image.
When Facebook will crop your image for different devices, the “safe zone” will always manage to be there and thus your main message or CTA or image will remain visible.
This is why on your mobile device, even after getting the sides of the image vanished, you and your visitors will still see the “safe zone”; and if your CTA or whatever you want to put there is in safe zone, it will be perfectly visible.
The secret lies in using usual size of Facebook cover photo 820px x 360px and keeping the most important details in the safe zone. Double-check that no important detail is left in the “soon-to-be-cropped-area”, and your job is done.
Now you have a Facebook cover picture that will be equally visible on al devices including desktop, smartphones and tabs etc.
Remember, while posting your image as your Facebook cover image, you can always crop it and adjust it from top to bottom to decide as to which part should be in the center of your image.
C. Paint Tool
There is a simple paint tool that used to come with Windows since the day I can recall. With the passage of time, they improved it, but it is still based on same tools.
We do not have to do much with any of those tools, except the resize tool. We are going to use PowerPoint (or its equivalent in case of Mac) and resize the cover image to make it 100% fit for both Facebook on desktop and that on a smartphone.
So here is how you do this:
- Open PowerPoint
- Go to the folder where your Facebook cover photo resides, pick it and drop it on PowerPoint’s open window
- Once you have opened the image, go to PowerPoint tabs and click “Insert”, then go to “Shapes” chose a “Rectangle” and make a rectangle bigger than your photo, making sure that it is equally big on all 4 sides.
- Then go to “Format” tab and choose “Send Backward” on extreme left and click “Send Backward”. Now you have a big blue border. Change the color if you want.
- Now you have to make sure that your image in pixels should be 820 x 461, since PowerPoint shows size in centimeters, you would have to use a converter app or website to convert centimeters into pixels.
- Otherwise, save the picture (with the border that you made, by selecting all) in JPEG, go to Paint (Windows), open the image and set the pixels as per the abovementioned size.
- This way 75 pixels will be cropped on top and bottom while watching the cover photo on desktop, but you will have everything in the safe zone. And yes, your safe zone should be within 75 pixels from left, right, bottom and top.
- This will make sure that any cropping, be it on cellphone or desktop, will not leave the major part outside of the image. This way nothing will be cut off, except a border that is not necessary for your business.
- In case you can keep it pixel perfect on PowerPoint, then it is much better to save the image in PNG format, because it will look much better both on desktop and smartphone.
4. A Brief History of Facebook Cover Photo Size
5. Facebook Cover Photo Best Practices
While we all have our personal opinion about the size of desktop cover photo or mobile phone cover photo for Facebook, there are certain best practices for Facebook cover photo that we must follow.
Here are some of the best practices that we always followed:
- Whichever cover photo size you prefer (just to be on safe side) always make sure that it is more than Facebook’s minimum size which is 820 x 312 pixels for desktop, 820 x 340 for mobile, and thus the basic size should be 820 x 340 pixels or more.
- Remember the intended Facebook cover photo size while you’re going through the design phase. That is, you cannot do much about size once the basic graphic designing thing is done.
- 20% text rule is an old story now; while you should make sure that your cover photo is a good looking one, you can add just as much text as you want. Again, aesthetics should not be compromised.
- Make sure that your cover photo’s colors, designs and images in there look like the color theme and logo of your business. This helps people associate your social media handles to your website or business.
- Make sure that your profile picture, neither in case of desktop nor in case of a smartphone, hides or badly affects the CTA, other text or important images e.g. logo of your company.