Image optimization is an important thing because website loading speed depends on particularly images and others media. And speed loading influence the search engine.
In order to attract more visitors and increase website loading speed to WordPress site, the content of the site must be Loading fast. Graphic and text matching can make your article more attractive, but high-quality images mean usually larger file sizes, which will cause web pages to load slower.
Therefore, we should optimize the picture as much as possible to ensure the impact on the loading speed of the webpage while ensuring the needs of graphic layout.
In this article, I will explain how images affect the speed and performance of your WordPress site. We will then provide you with 4 optimization methods to reduce page load time.
Table of Contents
How images affect website speed and performance
According to the HTTP Archive, images make up nearly a quarter of the total size of a web page. Your server will struggle to load media files, especially large files.
For page load time, every second matters. Websites that take too long to render can result in a poor user experience (UX), which can lead to higher bounce rates.
Besides your visitors, search engines like Google and Bing don’t like slow websites. Optimized images are easier to crawl and index. The faster a site, the more likely it is to rank higher in search engine results.
Decreasing the quality and size of the image will take up less site bandwidth and disk space. Your pages will become lighter, the server will communicate with the user’s browser faster, and eventually your content will load faster.
You can compare image compression with a packed suitcase. First, you might throw your clothes into a suitcase without folding it, and then it’s so full that you can hardly close it. Then, you fold your clothes neatly and put them in the suitcase. You will find that the same amount of clothes takes up a lot less space when folded.
Image compression is a “packaging” method. Proper image optimization is to find the right balance between quality and size.
4 Ways to Optimize Images to Improve Website Speed
You don’t need to choose between good media and shorter load times. If you use the right tools and methods, you can achieve the best of both worlds. There are 4 ways you can optimize your images to speed up your WordPress site. I believ it will improve your wordpress website loading speed.
1. Reduce the file size of the picture before uploading it to your site
One way to optimize an image is to reduce its file size before uploading it to the WordPress media library. In short, this involves resizing and adjusting quality through compression.
There are two types of image compression:
- Lossy compression is when an image loses some data to reduce file size. Although not enough to cause any noticeable changes to visitors, it can reduce the load on the server.
- Lossless compression, all image data is complete and retrievable. Image quality is not affected and the image is only rendered when uncompressed.
Which type you should use depends on your file format, which we will discuss later.
It automatically applies the ideal compression method to minimize the file size of the image without compromising quality.
Too large size can also add unnecessary burden to your site and servers. Therefore, you can also reduce the file size by adjusting the height and width of the image. You can define these metrics before uploading HTML or using a photo editing platform.
Let’s say your image has an original size of 5,472 x 3,648 pixels (px). The file size (or weight) is 3MB. However, your website only needs a banner image of 1,920 x 1,280 pixels.
Resizing an image to these sizes and reducing its quality slightly by ten percent will reduce the total file size from 3 MB (3,000 KB) to 613 KB (KB).
Here, I encourage you to use Imsanity: Limit the size of uploaded pictures . For websites that allow users to upload pictures, it is very important to limit the size of pictures!
2. Select the appropriate file format
As mentioned earlier, compression type and file format are important factors for optimization. Choosing the right image type can reduce its weight and increase the speed of your site.
There are four main file formats for images on the web:
- PNG -This format requires lossless compression. Usually, PNG images are of high quality, but the file size is naturally large.
- JPEG -JPEG images tend to be lower quality than PNG files, but naturally they are also smaller. Lossy compression is the most commonly used method to further reduce its size.
- GIF -This format uses only lossless compression. It is reserved for smaller files with animated images and is commonly used for social media and blog posts.
- WebP -A relatively new file format that can use lossy or lossless compression. WebP images are 26% smaller than PNG and 34% smaller than JPEG. However, not all major Internet browsers (most notably Safari) support this format.
WebP images have advantages in providing the smallest file size and highest quality. However, because Safari is the second most popular browser after Google Chrome (especially for mobile devices), it is not the best choice for reliable delivery of visual content.
GIFs should be used with caution. Although they are often a great source of humor or teaching information, animations tend to slow down your website.
When choosing between PNG and JPEG images, the general consensus is that the former is best for screenshots and graphics, while the latter can produce better photos.
3. Use lazy loading plugins, such as WP Smush
As we already mentioned, there are some online tools available for compressing media files. However, in addition to adjusting the format and size, you can take advantage of lazy loading to further optimize the image.
If you use lazy loading images, photos or graphics at the bottom of the page will not load rendering while the visitor is still at the top. When the user scrolls down the page, the bottom image will load gradually.
The goal of this technology is to minimize the number of images that a visitor’s browser must load at the same time. It helps with bandwidth usage and increases site speed.
To enable this feature, I recommend using image optimization and lazy loading plugins, such as WP Smush.
With over a million active installations and a five-star WordPress rating, this free plugin is a powerful solution for a variety of image optimization tasks, including lazy loading:
In addition to lazy loading, WP Smush also uses lossless compression and image resizing to automatically optimize media files when uploading them to WordPress. You can use it for all file formats including PNG, JPEG, and GIF. This eliminates the need to remember to perform this process in advance.
Once the plugin is installed and activated, it will immediately start scanning your site for images that need to be optimized. You can set it through Smush> Dashboard> Settings in the website background .
4. Use CDN services to speed up image loading
The full name of the CDN is Content Delivery Network, which is a content delivery network. CDN is an intelligent virtual network built on the existing network. Relying on edge servers deployed in various places, the load balancing, content distribution, and scheduling function modules of the central platform enable users to obtain the required content nearby and reduce network congestion. Improve user access response speed and hit rate. The key technologies of CDN are content storage and distribution technology.
There also have a important thing. You should delete all unused image and media.
High-quality images are an important part of our website. Unfortunately, they can also drag down our website’s performance, which can hurt user experience and SEO.
In this article, I introduced 4 ways to optimize images to increase the speed of your website:
- Before uploading images to your site, reduce their file size
- Choose the appropriate file format
- Use lazy loading plugins, such as WP Smush
- Use CDN service to speed up image loading
Of course, image optimization is only one aspect of improving website loading speed.
Also there are others methods to increase wordpress website loading speed. You can find more plugins to improve wordpress loading speed.