How To Optimize Images For WordPress
What Is Image Optimization?
Image Optimization for WordPress includes all the processes required to save and deliver images in the smallest file size possible without compromising the quality of the image.
Benefits Of Optimizing Your Image For WordPress
Faster Loading Speed
Slow website loading can lead to a poor user experience. Generally, this can increase the bounce rate and reduce the time you spend on the site as you can’t expect users to stay and wait for the image to load.
Improve Your SEO Ranking
Google announced in 2010 that speed is a factor in website ranking. The faster your website, the better it will rank on the result page. This will not change, especially considering Google’s current emphasis on the mobile experience. Smaller pages load much faster on mobile devices.
Better User Experience And Reduced Bounce Rate
Adding images can attract visitors and increase the value of your post. Adding optimized images speeds up site loading and users spend more time on your website.
Less Server Space
Generally, you will not reach the current web host’s disk space limit. However, when a website takes up less space on the server, it becomes more flexible. You can reduce the weight on your website and create a simplified and more powerful website. In addition, if you pay based on storage, you can reduce server costs.
Optimizing Your Image For WordPress
The most important thing you want to achieve with image optimization is reducing its size and, at the same time, maintaining the quality. There is more than a single way to optimize your image. You can either choose to do it manually or automatically.
Choose A Suitable Image Format
How do you know which format is best for the images on your website and which one has the highest resistance to editing and compression? The answer is that there is no better overall format, but there are suggested formats according to the content of each image.
PNG: Mainly used for graphics, logos, illustrations, symbols, design sketches, or text, because it is easy to edit in editors and still retains its high quality after compression. This is because PNGs are lossless; they do not lose any basic data during compression.
Jpeg: They are widely used in photographs and ordinary images. Because their overall files are small, they can provide reliable image quality, and they can be resized or compressed without losing quality.
GIF: GIF utilizes only 256 colors and lossless compression, making it a suitable option for animated images.
Resizing Your Image
Prior to optimizing your images, you may need to make corresponding changes. No need to upload a lot of images to your website, especially when you need to resize them in any way.
Before uploading, please make sure the image size is correct. In this way, you will be working with smaller images from the beginning.
It is best to pay attention to the image size required by the theme and adjust the image size according to it. Then, run it in the optimizer and upload your image.
During Image compression, you need to strike a balance between compression quality and image size.
With minimal compression, you’ll get a larger file, however, images with the best quality. At high compression levels, the image size will be small at the expense of the image quality. Your goal should be to find an ideal intermediary between the file size and the level of compression used.
If you find it hard, find the balance manually, below are some plugins that can help you out.
Imagify Image Optimizer: Imagify offers functionalities such as compression image resizing, image restore, and many more.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer: This is a free plugin and enables you to compress 100 images in a month and handles different image formats.
WP Smush: This plugin optimizes the images while uploading them to your website and optimizes your existing media library. This will reduce the image size without affecting the quality.
Optimizing Your Image Manually
Photoshop features its own image compression tool that can be used to optimize images for the web. In addition, you can save it, open the image and click the Save for the option under “File.”
This is a free and open-source image editor you can use instead of Adobe Photoshop. GIMP can be used to optimize images for WordPress. The disadvantage is that it is not as easy to use as the other image editor listed.
You must first open the image in GIMP, then select File »Export as the option. The “Save File” dialog box appears. Give the file a name and click the “Export” button.
This is also an alternative to Photoshop; it is cheaper and features an integrated image compression functionality.
Optimizing Your Image Automatically
TinyPNG is a free web application; it utilizes a smart lossy compression technique to reduce the PNG file size. You only need to log on to their website and upload the images (drag and drop). They compress the image and provide the download link.
If you are a developer, they have an API to convert images automatically, and for beginners, they have a WordPress plugin that does this automatically.
JPEGmini utilizes lossless compression technology, which reduces the image size without tampering with the image quality. In addition, you can compare the quality of the original image and the compressed image.
Optimizing Your Image For SEO
Alternative text, also called ‘alt text’ or ‘alt tag,’ is an attribute added to an HTML image. Alternative text can help search engines understand the meaning of an image, describing what it contains and its use.
Use Proper Image Filename
The name of your image file can help website ranking in a Google image search, which is a good source of extra traffic. Instead of having a meaningless file name, please change it to a name that includes the targeted keyword or describes the image.