Having a website that loads fast is important. And having images on your site to break up the text is important. So what do you do when the images that are supposed to enhance the visitor's experience on your site are actually causing a less-than-ideal experience by making the site take longer to load. Well, that's when you need to optimize your images.
There are three primary methods that can be used to reduce image file size for your website. Image optimization works be removing some of the pixel information to make the file size smaller without compromising image quality.
Use the correct size for your image
Begin by saving images to the correct size. Using images that have larger dimensions than necessary makes the file size bigger, which takes longer to download. You can use software like Adobe Photoshop or FireAlpaca (which is what my daughter uses for drawing and image creation). There are also some online software services that you could use to resize the image. WordPress has some basic image resizing tools, too, in the Media Library, but they can be uncooperative at times.
Use a WordPress Image Optimizer Plugin
There are several good plugins that can help you optimize images for your website. Most WordPress specialists have their favorites, but I've included several below for you to choose from. All plugins listed below are available in the WordPress plugin repository and can be found by going to Plugins > Add New from the Dashboard of your site.
- WP Smush
- SiteGround Optimizer (available in the repo, only meant to be used on SiteGround hosted sites.)
Most of these plugins will allow you to optimize the images already on your site as well as optimizing future images as they are uploaded so you can stay on top of it moving forward.
Web-based Image Compression Services
There are several online image compression services that you could use if you don't want to use a plugin or aren't working with a WordPress website.
- TinyPNG & TinyJPG - either site allows you to upload PNGs or JPGs to be optimized
- ImageOptim - Web based service and downloadable software for Mac, Windows, or Linux
*Note - I don't use any of these web-based services on a regular basis. I usually just resize my image as needed and let the plugins on my site to the rest. However, I wanted to include them so you have several options and can decide what works best for you - or if you're website isn't built on WordPress.
Using any or all of the above methods can help you reduce image file size for your website, and keep your website loading faster, which will help to keep your visitors and the search engines happier, too.
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