Make no mistake! In the Internet world, speed matters. So, I applaud all you new website owners who are seeking info on how to optimize images for your website.
Naturally, we want a site that’s aesthetically appealing, right? We know our readers are visual and hard-wired to respond well to relevant imagery. And, who can possibly forget that “a picture is worth a thousand words”?
So, there you have it. The image dilemma!
The desire to engage readers with a visually attractive site is in constant conflict with the negative consequences of a slow performing site. The size of your graphics can wreak havoc with your website’s load speed with devastating results.
But, have no fear. You can adopt some best practices today that will keep your site loading speedily while still remaining attractive and visually satisfying.
We’ll thoroughly address the topic of image optimization in the following sections:
- Why Does Website Speed Matter?
- What is Image Optimization?
- How to Optimize Images for Your Website and Improve Performance
- My Secret Weapon – SiteContent and Cutting-Edge Technology
- How to Check Your Website Speed
- Summing Up
Feel free to follow along with me or use the links above to customize your experience and jump right to the section that interests you the most.
And, we’re off….
Why Does Website Speed Matter?
Inquisitive users everywhere are constantly querying in search of solutions to a vast array of problems. And, we want instantaneous results because that’s what we’re conditioned to expect.
Your website offers stellar solutions to a multitude of keyword queries. But, can you serve up your content fast enough to satisfy web browsers?
Survey data compiled by Akamai and Gomez.com suggests that 40% of web users tend to abandon a website that fails to load within 3 seconds. Wow! Patience may be a virtue but the harsh reality is that most of the potential visitors to your site don’t have any.
Slow loading websites quite literally repel visitors and send them scurrying to find the competition. And, naturally, Google will not reward a slow-loading website with high rankings because of the poor user experience,
On September 24, 2018, Google celebrated 20 years of search engine success. In this fascinating look forward at the next 20 years of Search, Google strongly reinforces their commitment to a focus on the user and providing the user with the “most relevant and highest quality information as quickly as possible”.
So, how is your website doing in the quest to achieve a 3-second load time? Drop me a line in the comments.
Helping your visitors get their answers faster is crucial because website speed does indeed matter! Rocket your site to success by focusing on providing a superior user experience.
What is Image Optimization?
In simple terms, image optimization is a process that involves saving bytes. The objective is to deliver graphic images on your site that have the smallest possible file size but still retain reasonable visual quality. It’s often possible to reduce file sizes by 50% or more with no discernible difference in quality.
Here are a few of the ways that we can shrink image file sizes for use on the web:
- Reduce the resolution of photographic images, High-resolution photos are often insanely huge files that don’t display any more clearly on your webpage than a much lower resolution image.
- Choose the best file format (png, jpeg, gif or perhaps a newer jpeg-xt or WebP) for the image content.
- Properly size and save images to the desired display dimensions before you upload the file rather than uploading larger sizes and re-sizing after the fact.
- Compress images to strip out unnecessary metadata and other hidden elements that can needlessly bloat your image file sizes without contributing to a better reader experience.
How to Optimize Images for Your Website and Improve Performance
As I’ll discuss further in the following section, I no longer have to take any incremental steps to optimize the many images on my WordPress website because my hosting provider has cracked that code.
Image optimization, along with a built-in library of over 1,000,000 free images, is an automatic and integral component of my writing tool. If that sounds pretty sweet, let me assure you it’s awesome! 🙂 This is a relatively recent Wealthy Affiliate update and much appreciated.
For my first two years as a site owner, reducing and compressing all of my images required rigorous attention to detail. My mission is an excellent user experience and failure to deal with huge graphic elements is not consistent with that goal.
So, if you’re not yet hosting your site through Wealthy Affiliate, you’ll want to adopt one or both of the following practices to ensure proper optimization of all of your images.
1. Use TinyPNG to Compress all PNG or JPEG Files
TinyPNG is a free Internet service that uses a technique called lossy compression to significantly reduce file sizes. The tool offers a simple drag and drop interface. Shrink all of your images first, save the files in the new smaller and compressed format, and then upload the images to your website.
By utilizing this technique, you will consume less bandwidth and your pages will load noticeably faster.
2, Install an Optimization Plug-in in WordPress
There are several good plugins for your WordPress website that can accomplish both bulk compressions of images that are already uploaded to your site and on-going optimization as you add new files. One of the best choices is EWWW Image Optimizer which is a free plug-in.
Of course, adding plug-ins to your site is also fraught with issues because too many plug-ins are yet another source of slow loading speeds. So, consider how many plug-ins you already have installed.
My Secret Weapon – SiteContent and Cutting-Edge Technology
SiteContent is an amazing writing tool that is available to members of the Wealthy Affiliate platform. There are numerous helpful features of this tool that create efficiencies for bloggers. But the aspect I want to hone in on today is the automatic compression of all images published to a website through SiteContent.
I find this to be an awesome time-saver that has greatly improved my site’s performance, my rankings in the search engines, and ultimately my conversions, If large images have brought your site to its knees, you will definitely want to consider this alternative.
Fortunately, you can give SiteContent a thorough test drive by creating a completely risk-free Starter Membership today. You won’t regret this action and that’s a promise from a long-term premium member.
How to Check Your Website Speed
I highly recommend using Google’s PageSpeed Insights on a routine basis to check your website speed. This free tool will analyze your site’s performance and provide invaluable insights along with a list of suggested optimizations.
Just key in your website URL and click analyze to receive your free report. Various factors may be slowing your site down but images tend to be the biggest culprit.
Did your site receive a green light for both Desktop and Mobile Users as mine did?
Please keep in mind that your potential website readers have other options. Don’t frustrate your users and send them elsewhere because you have a lazily loading site! My website is lightning fast and your’s can be too if you take action.
Knowing how to optimize images for your website is an essential piece of information for any blogger or webmaster. Site loading speed is certainly not the only determinant of success. Google uses roughly 200 different factors in determining your site’s position within the SERP’s.
But speed is unquestionably one critical factor that influences the search engines because it makes your readers happy. “I don’t want to rank higher in Google” was said by no website owner ever!
So, it does indeed make sense to test your speed regularly and take prompt action, including image optimization, to correct unacceptable loading times.
Over to You
I hope you’ll jump into the comments below and share your page speed results. Is your site suffering from image bloat or like my site does PageSpeed Insights indicate that all images are optimized? Please let me know if this was helpful.
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