Web page load speeds are one of the most important factors in whether someone will stick around your website or not. Most users tend to leave a website that hasn’t loaded within 3 seconds. One of the biggest causes for extended loading times on a page is image file sizes. Some people upload an image onto their website without realizing the consequences it can carry. Because image optimization is so important, I’ve put together three helpful tips to teach you how to optimize images on your WordPress website. For these tips we will be utilizing three different platforms, on your PC with software, on the web with an image compression website, and within your actual website using plugins.
1. Changing physical size of image with Photoshop
The first tip is reliant on having some sort of image modification software. In this particular case I usually use Photoshop to make changes needed for image adjustments. One particular issue I notice on some websites, is that they upload ultra high quality images with 5000 x 5000 pixel dimensions and upwards to 5MB in size per image. Photoshop makes it very easy to load these photos in, scale down keeping the same aspect ratio, and then allowing you to save the exact same image scaled down to a much more reasonable size.
2. Compressing images online with Tiny JPG
The second tip is completely free to use and one of my absolute favorite places on the web. Tiny JPG allows for extremely quick image compression by simply uploading the photo directly to their site. Once you add your photo, they handle the rest. Your newly optimized image is delivered to you via a clickable download link. There are some size restrictions in place (Only allowed to upload 20 images at one time, maximum file size of 5MB) but they are typically pretty easy to skirt around. This is a great method to handle a handful of image that need to be optimized for your website. The interface is extremely user friendly and they seem to have tried to make it as easy as possible to get the job done. An additional option Tiny JPG offers is a premium add-on for Photoshop that will allow you to integrate Tiny JPG directly within Photoshop as well. This may be a great time saver for designers working on multiple projects or with a lot of different images on a website.
3. Compressing images on your site with a plugin
Finally, the third helpful tip to optimize images on your WordPress site is simply by allowing a plugin to do the heavy lifting for you! I typically use EWWW Image Optimizer for most of my sites. It is nice to include it just in case you find yourself unsure of the status of any particular images on your site or if you have multiple people whom work on a site at once and want to be sure everything is optimized. The biggest advantage is the ability to use their ‘Bulk Optimize’ feature which will scan your entire website and allow you to optimize all the photos in one sitting. Other noteworthy plugins include Optimus and Imagify.
While not the most technically difficult task to master, knowing how to optimize images for your WordPress website can be a key quality to reducing page load times. Users will enjoy quicker access to content and Google will typically reward your site when it notices quick load times on your content. Overall, it is something that I typically stress upon anyone working on their own WordPress websites to implement. If you have an further questions with regards to how to optimize images on your WordPress website please feel free to leave a comment below to let me know!