Cameo now checks more content in the template editor as you type.

Background

Cameo has checked content for some problems for quite a long time. But we now include additional image checks. Also we bring any unresolved issues to your attention when you merge or send the message.

Checks

Cameo now checks for these problems:

  • text which sets a specific font face (usually arising from a paste from Microsoft Word)
  • links which give an error when followed
  • large images (in emails, which would load slowly and use up recipients’ bandwidth allowances: see below)
  • images without alternative text (which is a problem for people with sight-impairment)
  • images loaded over http (rather than https, a privacy issue)

All of these problems make your recipients’ providers more likely to mark the emails as spam and to reduce your reputation making it harder for future mails to be delivered successfully.

Problems are outlined in pink. If you then click on one, it explains what is wrong and what to do about it. There can be more than one problem on the same image, so resolving one of them may still show the pink border.

We do a further check when you preview a message, to make sure the message fits onto a small screen. This is not practical to measure as you type.

Image sizes, WordPress and other third-party pages

HTML does not necessarily display images pixel-for-pixel. You may have set an image to display at a particular width, say 300 pixels across, but in fact the image is many thousands of pixels wide. This causes the message to load slowly on devices with limited bandwidth, such as mobiles. It can also rapidly use up recipients’ data allowances. We currently alert you if the image has more than 0.5 mega-pixels (for example, an image just a little bigger than 800 × 600 pixels).

This can be tricky to fix if the image comes from a website you do not control. You may need to take a copy of the image, resample it (to reduce it to a more manageable size, using an image processing app) and then host it yourself.

However, WordPress (and other sites using modern image display technology) may already have an image better suited to your needs, just not the one you have picked up. WordPress displays images using something called srcset, where it provides multiple URLs for different sizes of the same image (prepared when an image is uploaded to its media library). In principle, this allows the reader’s device to choose and download the one most appropriate for the size and quality of their screen and the speed of their network connection.

When you select an image from your own media library using Cameo’s built-in selector, it will choose the nearest size available for the size you indicate. You can now also search images in third-party web pages and obtain the most appropriate size in a similar way.

If, though, you use copy image address or similar, using the context menu (right click) on a webpage, to obtain an image URL, it most likely provides the largest, not the one actually displayed.