￼Proper Image Uploading Techniques for Web Apps
Today, it’s crucial for businesses and developers to add features to their web apps that let users upload images. This is because most content-focused apps rely heavily on images. Take social media apps, for example.
Millions of users need to share their content with the world or close friends, and most of the time, this takes the form of images.
Most modern applications today don’t need just any image uploader–they need a reliable, safe, fast, and feature-rich one. Even more challenging is that such an advanced image uploader is gradually becoming the standard because of the big names in social media and other apps.
Making an image uploader from scratch is no easy task. While creating one with the most basic features is simple, creating one that’s at par (or even slightly subpar) with modern standard uploaders will take years.
You need to think about several things when creating an image and file upload solution. Thus, learning the right image upload techniques is important to make your app successful but significantly better.
Below, we’ll discuss these techniques to help you keep high client retention and happiness.
1. Provide more ways of uploading
The first technique you should consider is allowing users to upload images differently. With the advancement in technology, users want uploads to be as convenient as possible. Because of this, they have a file picker as your only method of uploading could be unappealing to them.
Currently, it’s common to have at least a file picker and a drag-and-drop method for uploading images. But if you want to compete with other modern apps, you’ll need to use these other ways to upload:
- Copy and paste – This allows users to copy an image from their file explorer, desktop, or even the internet and paste it directly into the uploader.
- Upload from other sources -With this method, users can easily upload images from their social media or cloud storage.
- Upload from device camera- This method exists for those who urgently need to upload their images. It lets users upload images directly after taking them with their device’s camera, whether a mobile phone or a computer with a webcam.
By providing more upload methods in your web app, you’ll be able to cater to a wider range of users. Furthermore, your app users would have the choice to use what’s most convenient for them. And ultimately, convenience is an excellent factor in delivering a better user experience.
2. Improve performance and the User Interface (UI)
Optimization is important for all web apps because it greatly affects how easy they are to use. An intuitive and aesthetically pleasing interface won’t matter if it takes your users ages to upload images.
Similarly, a hyper-fast image uploader with a confusing or messy interface will lead to user dissatisfaction. So, you should ensure a good service for uploading images that work well with a well-designed interface.
Multipart uploading is a solid image upload optimization technique. It involves dividing an image into smaller chunks and putting them back together once all chunks are uploaded.
This reduces bandwidth load and allows you to rollback an entire upload in case of failure. Multiple file uploading is another common technique. It lets users upload files by batch, providing a convenient way to upload dozens of images in one select and click process.
Regarding UI, there are several things you could do to make your image uploader more beautiful and intuitive. For instance, you could minimize the number of buttons on your toolbar. to avoid overwhelming the user.
This doesn’t mean that you should just remove the buttons. Instead, this means you should categorize buttons based on functionality, hide others within dropdown menus, and keep them neatly and evenly spaced.
Another good technique to enhance your UI is to design your app to be responsive. That is, the size of your app’s components must adapt to every screen width. This keeps your web app looking beautiful and consistent across different screens. And a responsive image uploader means that users would be able to view uploaded images accurately and thoroughly.
3. Safeguard your app
There are plenty of image upload risks, and ignoring them would be unwise. Letting your app be vulnerable to different types of cyber attacks could have a lasting and grave impact on your business.
For example, a malicious file that looks like a harmless file is sent to your server without any security measures. If left unchecked, it could make unwanted or devastating changes to your server’s files, rendering them unusable.
Another example is if a malicious user uploads many large files in one transaction. If you don’t limit the number of files and file size per upload, then you are vulnerable to DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. These attacks overload your server’s resources and cease it from functioning correctly if it functions at all.
So, keeping your image upload service and backend secure should always be a top priority. Here are some of the easiest and most common ways you can do this:
- Set a file size limit (both minimum and maximum)
- Set a limit on the number of files to be uploaded
- For filenames, set a limit on the length and the allowed characters. If you can, programmatically change the filename into a random string.
- Limit allowed extensions based on your requirements
- Authenticate users before uploading
- Carefully plan and implement user authorization for file access rights
- Run uploaded files against antivirus and antimalware program
You can take more security measures to protect your application’s image uploads, and they’re worth taking a look at. Be sure to implement as many as possible to let your users worry less and be safer and more productive. Speaking of worries, the following technique on our list is also about removing or reducing them and can be just as important as security.
4. Remove worries, stay reliable
One of the best ways to keep customers is to ensure your web app’s image upload works well. Having a reliable image uploader means that your users can upload an image 99.9% of the time.
This implies that you should let users upload even in poor network conditions. If your image upload service is this reliable, your users will surely enjoy using your application for a long time. After all, fewer worries for users lead to more trust and love for your app.
Thankfully, there are several techniques you can use to make your app more reliable. One solution is to implement intelligent ingestion.
This is an advanced feature that can check the quality of the network and set up multipart with the best number of chunks per upload. With this technique, you can let your users have successful uploads wherever they are and regardless of network conditions.
Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to access the files on your application is another way to make it more reliable. This technology allows your users to send content to (and access content from) a point of presence (POP) nearest to them. This will ensure that your app’s content will be delivered faster and reliably. And once you ease your users’ worries, you increase the likelihood of retaining them.
5. Innovate when necessary
It’s no secret that having the most advanced features will be advantageous for you and your app. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are two of the past decade’s most popular and rapidly growing innovations. These features usually make applications much more sophisticated and helpful.
For example, you can use machine learning and data sets to teach a program how to look at an uploaded image and develop a good caption that describes it. This is better known as image captioning. Some of the other advanced image upload features include:
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR)-allows your app to recognize text from images (useful for documents, license plates, and the like)
- Face and object recognition—for authentication, verification, or just plain identification
- Image sentiment recognition: lets your app assess the general mood or emotion of images or faces in images
- Copyright detection – checks for copyrighted content to protect your users’ (and image creators’) images
- NSFW detection-keeps your app safe from unwanted and explicit content
- And more
Do these features sound too complicated to implement? They might depend on your budget, resources, knowledge, and timeline. If you find them too much of a hindrance to your deployment and plans, it might be better to skip using them for the time being. But if you need these advanced image upload features, it’s worth choosing a third-party upload solution that already implements them.
6. Perfect the basics
Before adding the more advanced features we discussed earlier, you might want to ensure your web app’s basic image upload features are working well. So, the basic features for uploading images should be the ones that get used the most, so they should be as smooth and perfect as possible. The image upload basics include
- Editing image properties (crop, resize, rotate, horizontal/vertical flip)
- Allowing image previews before upload
- Adding borders, filters, and effects (if needed)
- Standardization of image display size (essential for social media)
If you follow this technique and get these features right, you’ll add credibility to your app. Furthermore, your users will want to see more advanced features in the future. So, don’t skip to the newest and cutting-edge features. Ensure that your most basic image upload features are in the best shape first.
7. Consider third-party upload solutions
The techniques we’ve discussed so far are essential in ensuring that your web app’s image upload solution is properly built and functioning.
Most of the time, however, you’ll have neither the time nor the resources to implement all of them. In this case, the best course of action would be to use a third-party image upload solution.
After all, they can massively cut the work and effort required and save you money in the long run. Some are free forever, while others offer a free trial for their more powerful plans.
The best part is that they were made by experts who have already perfected the basics, implemented advanced features and security, optimized performance, and built for reliability.
They have already done the most difficult parts so that you can focus on the most important features of your web app. Even though it’s not required, the safest and easiest way to provide the best image upload experience is using a third-party solution already built.
This article has looked at seven techniques to improve image uploads within your web app. Content-heavy apps are constantly changing and growing, and with that comes the need to make it easier for users to upload photos.
Hence, we should always strive to keep our image. uploaders are up to date and in their best shape. Making an image uploader that can keep up with users’ increasing demands and expectations can benefit and keep them happy. It will also make it easier for your development team to adjust to new requirements for uploading images in the future.
So, if you have an existing image uploader, or if you’re planning on implementing one for your web app, remember the techniques we talked about here. Oh, and don’t forget to test plenty.