Image optimization is as important in web development as security is. Today’s websites are awash with images, perhaps too many of them. But let’s face it, how can we improve the visuals on our blogs and web portals without images. Videos are particularly bulky and take more time to load and stream on web pages, especially in areas with weak internet connectivity. On the other hand, text and color shades in CSS could get monotonous to the user’s eyes and compared to images they communicate practically nothing by the first impression.
Therefore whether we like it or not, images are a necessary evil that we can’t do without on our websites. One way to use images correctly on WordPress powered websites is to use an Image optimization plugin. Regardless of the hassles that you might go through when setting up some of these image compression plugins, the upsides of using them are worth a try. First, compressing images could mean a huge leap in page loading speeds not to mention major savings in bandwidth.
What are some of the major advantages of compressing images on your Website?
1. It Improves Page Load Speed:
Compressing images basically means that you are reducing the size of your web pages and hence improving the render speeds for that particular webpage. In My opinion, you should optimize every image on your website’s home page in order to see better speed ratings on web testing platforms like GTMetrix and Google Page Insights. I have personally tested it and verified that it does work.
2. Improves conversion rate
With faster load speeds comes higher conversions. Image compression plugins are particularly helpful for E-commerce websites which basically can’t compromise on speed if they are to make any profit. This, however, does not mean that other types of websites like blogs and web portfolios don’t need to have their images compressed. Every viable website on the internet needs to load fast. Compressing images is the way to achieve this.
3. Helps you save on bandwidth
In addition to increasing revenue, reducing the file size of your images also implies a reasonable cut in bandwidth costs. Well if you run a simple, medium traffic blog you probably wouldn’t notice the difference in bandwidth usage in as far as images are concerned. However, image-based websites like galleries and photography websites, with huge traffic are more careful with their bandwidth and storage usage. A good WordPress image optimization plugin would help such websites save a chunk of money in bandwidth related costs.
4. Might have a positive impact on SEO
In as much as this could seem overstated, it’s been proven that there is an indirect correlation between image smashing on websites and SEO. As Google revealed back in 2010, page speed is of a huge essence in search rankings. Generally most search engines particularly Google don’t like slow websites. Through a reliable WordPress image optimization plugin, you can improve page load speeds and in due course your SEO standings.
Methods of Optimizing images for websites
Now away from the perks of image compression, now let’s get back to our man issue. How do you optimize an image correctly in order to use it on your website? Well, there are two ways of doing this:
- Offline Image Optimization using tools such as Photoshop
- Online Image optimization using a WordPress plugin such as Smush and Imagify
Comparing the two methods, the second one is more reliable and time-saving. All the same, you must understand that image compression with WordPress plugins takes two faces. It can either be Lossless compression or Lossy image compression.
For the lossless method, the image is compressed without losing any quality in terms of visuals. On the other hand, lossy compression accounts for image optimization in a way that affects the quality of the image. In our next article, we will look into the best plugins for compressing images on WordPress.