Today, we are going to focus on images. Take a moment to examine your website, and check if the images are stock photographs from various providers. Whether you paid for these stock photos or not, these images will be a huge part of your website. They can be added to blog posts, product pages, or simply add color to the background.
However, it doesn’t end there because you have optimize these images. Why? Because the images, altogether, add weight to your growing website. Thus, slowing it down in the process. Remember, page speed is an important ranking factor. You can’t just ignore it! Be sure to apply the 5 Steps to Increase Website Speed.
Plus, images are useless without alt text. If you just add them to your page without optimizing, search engines can’t detect them!
So, you now realize the importance of image optimization is in a given website. In this series of blog posts, I will share with you a number of image optimization you to apply on your site now.
1. Choose what image format works best.
“What? There are many image formats?” Yes, it’s like ordering different burgers at McDonald’s. So, before you start adding them, you better be sure you know the different file types and choose what is best. Here are the common types:
- PNG means the Portable Network Graphic (PNG) format. The image is compression with lossless compression. What does this mean? Images are better because it doesn’t loose its quality. However, the downside is that the file size is larger, meaning it may take time to load.
- JPEG is the shorter term for Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG). It’s the opposite of PNG, utilizing a lossy compression for images. Upon losing quality, you get to have a lighter set of images that will speed up your site.
There are still other formats to choose from, but PNG and JPEG are commonly among different websites. Personally, I prefer PNG for the quality. As long as you don’t add too many PNG files in one page, I don’t think it will affect page speed that much. At the end of the day, it boils down to your preference.
2. Don’t forget to compress it.
It’s not only important to choose what image format to use, but you also need to compress your chosen images. If you don’t compress, your website inflate like a huge hot air balloon.
Basing from HTTPArchive.org’s report, images take up nearly 1/4 space. An average of 21% to be exact will be added to the weight of a page.
So, in order not to occupy the much needed space for website, it is recommended to compress your images. Do not upload the original files; instead, use tools — such as TinyJPG and Smush — before inserting the images to a page. Of course, there’s always desktop applications like Photoshop, but TinyJPG and WP Smush are online tools you can conveniently add to your WordPress site!
According to Increasingly’s Case Study, image compression has improved page speed by 2 seconds. A faster page speed is something attractive to users for sure!
If you don’t know your current page speed, just go to PageSpeed Insights and input your website link.