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How to Fix Image Color and Saturation Loss in WordPress

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Recently, one of our readers asked us for a way to prevent image color and saturation loss in WordPress? This is a common problem faced by many WordPress users uploading photos and images. In this article, we will show you how to fix image color and saturation loss in WordPress.

Image color and saturation loss in WordPress

Why Some Images Lose Colors and Saturation in WordPress?

Many photographers capture photographs using Adobe’s RGB color space which has more colors and offer much better results.

However most web applications like WordPress, use RGB color space. When you upload your image, WordPress creates several image sizes. These images use RGB color space which has less colors than Adobe’s RGB format.

WordPress also uses compression on the resized images which may also contribute to slight quality loss. Here is how you can increase or decrease WordPress jpeg image compression.

Images captured with Adobe sRGB color space are more vibrant and accurately display colors in high tones. When converted by WordPress, those vibrant colors are replaced with slightly muted tones.

Color and saturation loss in WordPress

Having said that, let’s see how we can prevent this image color and saturation loss in WordPress.

Fix Color and Saturation Loss for Images in WordPress

The easiest way to fix this is by converting your images to RGB color space before uploading them to WordPress. This can be easily done using Adobe Photoshop.

Method 1:

Open your image in Adobe Photoshop and then click on File » Save for Web….

Save for web in Adobe Photoshop

This will bring up the save for web dialog box, where you can check the box to convert the image in RGB and save it. You can also embed color profile with your image. Though it will not have much affect on browsers read an image.

Converting colors to RGB and saving for web in Adobe Photoshop

Method 2:

Use this method if you are not satisfied with the result of the first method.

In Adobe Photoshop, go to Edit » Color Settings. This will bring up the color settings dialog box.

Changing color management policies in Adobe Photoshop

You need to select ‘North America Web/Internet’ from the settings drop down menu. Next, under color management policies section, select the RGB to ‘Convert to Working RGB’. After that click on the OK button to save your settings.

Now you need to open the original photograph or image that you wanted to upload. If the working space profile mismatches, Photoshop will show a warning and will ask you what to do.

Mismatch Color Profile

You should select ‘Convert document’s color to working space’ and then click OK. Your photo’s color profile is now more accurately converted. You can now save the image to preserve your changes.

Repeat the process for all the images that you want to upload. Now you can safely upload these converted images without any color or saturation loss in WordPress.

Fix Color and Saturation Loss in WordPress with GIMP

Gimp is the powerful free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. You can use it to convert the color space for your WordPress uploads.

GIMP basically detects each image you try to open to see if it has a color profile embedded. In case your image is in Adobe sRGB color space, then GIMP will automatically show you a dialog box to convert it.

GIMP detecting and suggesting to covert color space

Sometimes an image may not have an embedded color profile or GIMP may fail to read it correctly. In that case you will need to manually change color space.

First you need to know what color space your photograph may be using. We are assuming that it is Adobe sRGB, but it could be different. Check your camera device to figure this out if you are unsure.

GIMP does not have Adobe sRGB profile built-in. You will need to download Adobe sRGB ICC Profile to your computer.

Select your operating system and then follow on screen instructions. You will be able to download ICC profiles in a zip file. Extract the zip file and inside it you will notice AdobeRGB1998.icc file.

Once you have downloaded the ICC profile. Simply open your image with GIMP and click on Image » Mode » Assign Color Profile…. This will bring up a dialog box like this:

Assign color profile in GIMP

Click on the drop down menu and then locate the ICC profile you downloaded earlier. Click on Assign button to apply it.

Once you have applied the color profile, GIMP can now safely convert it to RGB without losing colors. Simply click on Image » Mode » Convert Color Profile…

Converting color profile in GIMP

GIMP will now convert the color profile to RGB and you can save your image. Repeat the process for other images you want to upload to WordPress.

We hope this article helped you fix image color and saturation loss in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on 4 ways to prevent image theft in WordPress.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

26 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Gen says

    I tried this, and while there is improvement in image quality, it is still not the same quality image that I see in the program. What else can I do?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      There will be a drop in quality mainly if you are not using web safe colors but by using this method the quality drop should be minimized compared to other methods.


  3. Shanon Sinn says

    I just wanted to express my gratitude! Frustrated after making a graphic by hand illustrations/illustrator/photoshop that I could not get to right on WordPress. It has only a few colours (at first glance) but needs to be balanced, otherwise it just looks kindergarten. Thank you.

  4. Joe Webmaster says

    This is fantastic! I just noticed how faded my images are and just fixed the problem. I’ve been doing this for years and thought it was the compression. Gimp worked perfectly. Thank you !!! Can’t believe I have not come across this solution before.

  5. Hagen says

    Hi there,

    just wanted to thank you for this great tutorial!

    We just got our great, pricy pictures from our photographer and wanted to add them to our shop.

    We werde so sad to see how they looked.

    With converting to sRGB color, all pictures are displayed correctly.


  6. Richard Silverbeet says

    Good tips dude but images don’t “loose” colors, they “lose” colors. Loose is the opposite of tight.

  7. Kris Byers says

    If it’s still not working after following the above, try removing custom css to see if its a stylesheet clash, this solved it for me!!

  8. Ash says

    tried all the adjustments (even to an extreme change of saturation and contrast) and every time it strips it back to a muddy dull pic.

    this is very frustrating for an artists website!!!
    some other solution options would be appreciated if anyone knows other alternatives to this problem plz

  9. Paul says

    This is confusing, because you keep referring to RGB as a colorspace. RGB is a color model, not a color space. You can’t contrast RGB with sRGB, because sRGB is a color space that is in fact RGB.

    Are you using RGB as shorthand for Adobe RGB? All of these color spaces … sRGB, Adobe RGB, ProPhoto RGB, etc., are RGB spaces. I literally don’t know how to interpret what you’re saying.

    The real question that needs to be answered: is WordPress stripping the ICC profiles from the images? Modern browsers are starting to use the profiles for color management, but they can’t do it if WP is jacking everything up.

    This is mostly a problem for people who have graphic arts monitors … ones that show a wider color gamut than the sRGB space. Untagged images look terrible on these.

  10. Rosa Bosma says

    This is an awesome trick, not just for WordPress, but many other platforms as well! E.g., it allows you to upload a profile picture with much more vivid colours.

  11. Daisy says

    I have been struggling with the color loss a lot now and it is driving my slightly insane. I have been exporting my images as RGB, both sRGB and the web one in all possible combinations and WordPress is still stripping the color from my images. I don’t know what to do at this point.

  12. Sandra Collins says

    Thank you for this! It solved a problem I was having with a logo image where WP changed the color from purple to blue.

  13. jmdaix says

    May be an easy way to do this is to enable “Convert to sRGB” from the Photoshop “Save For Web” menu. You will keep your psd or original file with your working space and just export a good version for WordPress.

  14. Jon Brown says

    You interchanged terms several times. The color space names are sRGB and Adobe RGB. For example there is no such thing as “Adobe sRGB”.

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