Did you know that an image makes up almost 21% of a web page weight? This means that if we put large images on a web page, it will significantly increase the time it takes for the web page to load, and in turn, reduces the optimal user experience. Hence, using optimised images plays a vital role in reducing the loading speed and improving user retention on our website.
What exactly is image optimisation?
Image optimisation is the process of decreasing the file size of an image. This, together with the use of plugins, can reduce the load time of a web page. Also, when it comes to optimising a WordPress site, after content, images play an important role in search engine optimisation (SEO). And uploading optimised images is the easiest way to get started on SEO.
Why do we need to optimise images on web pages?
There are many benefits of optimising your images for better website performance. It helps to improve your web page speed. If a web page takes too long to load, your website visitors may become weary of waiting and may choose to exit from your website. Hence, to better retain audiences, it is better to use only optimised images on your website.
Image optimisation also helps to better rank your website on search engines. Large files take more time to load on search engines so when we use optimised images, we are able to load smaller size images that use less bandwidth. As an added bonus, optimised images take up less storage space too!
So, how do we optimise an image?
1. Compress images
To optimise any image, we need to maintain the file size and its quality. There are many ways to perform these optimisations but an effective way is to simply compress the images before uploading to a website. We can do so by using softwares like Adobe Photoshop.
2. Decrease white space around images
Some developers may use white space around images for cushioning – this is a major no. Edit your images to remove any white space around it and use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to provide cushioning.
3. Use appropriate document groups
In the event that you have symbols, shots or any designs that do not have an excessive number of hues, utilise an organization, for example, GIF, and spare the document from dealing with a high measure of hues. If you have intricate designs, use JPG record organisation to lower the quality.
Do remember to save your images in the correct measurements. If you are using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) or CSS to resize your images, consider using the right coding to reduce the image size.
Use the right format for images
Images should always be in the right format. Here are some tips to remember when choosing file types.
JPEG or JPG are the easiest format to use for images. In most e-commerce websites, JPEGs provide the best quality for the smallest file size.
Refrain from using GIFs for large product images. The file size will be very large and there is no best way to reduce it. Use GIFs for thumbnails and decorative images only.
PNGs can be a good alternative to both JPEGs and GIFs. Use the PNG format for simple decorative images.
Do not lose your audience!
Visitors to websites rarely have time to wait for a web page to load. Image optimisation is the simplest way to ensure your website functions at its best and creates a good first impression to new visitors.