You are currently viewing Image Optimization
Image optimization

Image Optimization

In a previous post, we talked about website optimization and discussed the tasks involved in optimizing your website and we suggested a few WordPress plugins that help optimize your WordPress site. In this post, we are going to discuss image optimization specifically.

Website Image Optimization

Website image optimization refers to the process of reducing the file size of images while maintaining or improving their visual quality. This can be done through a variety of techniques, including:

  1. Properly name files: Name images with descriptive, relevant names that include keywords can help to improve their discoverability by search engines.
  2. Resize: Reduce the dimensions of the image to match the size it will be displayed on the website. This can greatly reduce file size, particularly for large images. We have seen image files uploaded to servers that are 3200 pixels wide. This is twice the size needed for most displays. An image this size requires more time to download to the device.
  3. Compression: Using lossy or lossless compression algorithms to reduce the file size of the image without affecting its visual quality.
  4. Format conversion: Converting images to a more efficient format, such as WebP, which can provide smaller file sizes while maintaining or improving visual quality.
  5. Lazy loading: loading images only when they are needed. Load the image from the server when they are visible on the screen rather than when the page is loaded. This approach can save bandwidth and improve load time.

By optimizing images in these ways, you can reduce the loading time of your website and improve the user experience for visitors, as well as increase the chances of ranking high in search engine results.

File Names

One of the easiest things you can do when addressing image optimization is to properly name your image files using descriptive and relevant file names. Using descriptive and relevant file names can help with image SEO and make it easier for users to understand the content of the image. An example of a good file name would be “yellow-flowers-garden.jpg” instead of “IMG00001.jpg”.

Resize Files

Resizing images is an important part of optimizing them for a website. Large images can slow down page loading times, which can negatively impact user experience and search engine rankings. By reducing the dimensions and file size of images, you can improve page load times and make your website more user-friendly.

When resizing images, it’s important to consider the resolution and size of the images in relation to how they will be displayed on the website. For example, if an image will be displayed as a thumbnail, it doesn’t need to be as large as an image that will be displayed as a full-page background.

There are various tools and software that can be used to resize images, such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint.net. Additionally, some Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress have built-in image optimization and resizing features. It is also recommend to use a image optimization plugin or service to compress images to ensure the best quality,smallest size and faster loading time.

Image Compression

Image compression is another important step in optimizing images for a website. Compression reduces the file size of an image without sacrificing its quality. This helps to improve page loading times and reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred over the internet.

There are several types of image compression, including lossless and lossy compression. Lossless compression reduces the file size of an image without losing any of its quality, while lossy compression reduces the file size by discarding some of the image’s data.

There are several tools and software that can be used to compress images, such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint.net. Additionally, some Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress have built-in image optimization and compression features. There are also several online image compression tools and services that can be used to compress images, such as TinyPNG, Kraken.io, and Compressor.io. It is important to use the right type of compression for each image and find the right balance between file size and quality.

It is also recommend to use an image optimization plugin or service to compress images to ensure the best quality,smallest size and faster loading time.

Format Conversion

Format conversion is the process of converting an image from one file format to another. Different image file formats have different features and characteristics, and converting an image to a different format can help to optimize it for a website.

The most common image file formats used on the web are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a lossy compression format that is best suited for photographs and images with lots of colors. PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is a lossless compression format that is best suited for images with fewer colors, such as graphics and logos. GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is an older format that is mainly used for animated images and simple graphics with a limited number of colors.

By converting an image to the appropriate format, you can reduce its file size and improve its quality.

Tools such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint.net can be used to convert images to different file formats. Some CMS like WordPress also have built-in format conversion feature. There are also online file conversion tools and services that can be used to convert images, such as CloudConvert, Online-Convert and Convertio. It is important to keep in mind that format conversion can also cause some quality loss if done multiple times or with a low quality settings.

Lazy Loading Images

Lazy loading is a technique used to optimize the loading of images on a website. With lazy loading, images are only loaded as they are needed, rather than all at once when the page loads. This can significantly improve the page loading time and overall performance of the website, especially for websites with a lot of images.

When a user visits a website with lazy loading, only the images that are currently visible on the screen are loaded. As the user scrolls down the page, the images that come into view are then loaded. This helps to reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred over the internet and improves the user experience.

There are several ways to implement lazy loading on a website, including using JavaScript libraries, browser-level APIs, and built-in features in some Content Management Systems (CMS).

For example, some popular JavaScript libraries for lazy loading images are LazyLoad, Lozad.js, and unveil.js. Additionally, some CMS like WordPress have built-in lazy loading features or plugin options.

It is important to note that lazy loading might not be a suitable solution for all websites and situations, such as for the images that are essential for the layout, accessibility or SEO. It is recommended to test and evaluate the performance and user experience before implementing.

Imagify

Imagify For Your Website

As mentioned in this article, plugins are available for WordPress sites to handle image optimization. Imagify is one such plugin. As of this writing, Imagify is installed on more than 700,000 websites and has a 4.5 star rating with almost 1,284 reviews of which 1,023 are 5 stars.

The image below shows the general settings for the plugin.

Imagify Screenshot

Here we see the effect the Imagify image optimization had on this website.

Imagify Screenshot

What’s more is you can try the plugin free of charge. The free version includes a 20MB quota per month and no credit card is required.

To determine which plan you should choose check the size of your Media Library. Based on this, you can see what plan might suit your needs best. Still not sure? No worries, get in touch with Imagafy and we will recommend you the best plan.

With a free account, once your quota is reached, you cannot optimize new images until its renewal. With a paid account, you will be charged according to additional GB pricing of your subscription. In case you opted for an Infinite plan, you can optimize as many images as you want (fair use policy).

You can cancel your subscription to Imagify at any time. The monthly quota you’ve already paid for will remain available until the end of the billing period. Then, you won’t be billed again and your account will switch to the STARTER plan, with a 20MB quota.