How to Optimize Images for WordPress

How to Optimize Images for WordPress
12Nov, 2019

Your images should be positive rather than detrimental to your website’s setup. They should help you achieve the goals you’ve set for your site.

 A slow website is everyone’s nightmare. As a website owner, you should know that images in their raw formats are bad news for the speed of your website. Slow website speed compromises your SEO rankings and costs you your audience. Apart from the speed, your images should also be well-positioned to help you get and keep as many users as possible.

In this piece, we are going to take you through the various ways on how to optimize images for WordPress. Optimizing images isn’t achievable in a single action. It is a combination of several measures that make your site as impressive as you want it to be. Allow us to take you through these simple actions.

Select the Right Image Format

select the right image format

If your images are multicolored and have high contrast, JPEG is the best format to view the difference. You can compress photographs in this format to reduce the file size, but this compromises the quality to some extent. On the other hand, if your images are less sophisticated in terms of color, PNG is your best option. PNG has the edge over JPEG with support for transparency in images. However, compressing PNG photos results in better quality photographs but with bigger file sizes.

As you edit images on your computer, you will need to select the type of file in which you want to save your images. The most common formats for images are JPEG and PNG.

Takeaway: for multiple colored photos, pick and compress JPEG. For plainer photos and transparent ones, go for PNG.

Resize Your Images

Reducing the dimensions of your images – regardless of their format – reduces their file sizes. The smaller you make an image, the more it shrinks in size. However, don’t get carried away and overdo it: consider the width of your website and make sure that the width of your image is less. If you make the new photos too small, their content could be less visible.

It is possible to upload images that exceed the size of your site in width, which your website will display in thumbnails. But this won’t take away the fact that you have a large image on your site that slows down your site. You can cut the file size in more than half by resizing.

If you didn’t resize your image before uploading, you can select specific photos in your WordPress media library, pick edit, and resize them.

scale image

Cropping Images

The difference between resizing and cropping is that resizing retains all the elements of the original image. On the other hand, cropping cuts out some of the edges of the original image.

Resizing images means that some of their elements will become minute and barely visible on any screen size. Cropping helps you out, especially when you have a focal point for your image. You can cut out the unnecessary parts of an image, make a file smaller while at the same time making the elements of interest better visible.

Compressing Images

After resizing and cropping your images, you can go the extra mile by compressing the images. You can compress JPEG images in a process called lossy compression. In this process, you lose some of the data of the original image to create a smaller image file.

Here, you will have to select between image size and quality. Reducing the size is the ultimate goal, but it comes at the price of the quality. Therefore, you should reduce the size as much as possible without compromising the functionality you want for the image. However, the image quality doesn’t fall too much with compression. You only have to check for the quality score and decide if you like it.

The compression process is possible with image compression tools available online.TinyPNG is the only image compression tool that boasts over 1 billion PNG and JPEG optimized images. It presents the perfect way to optimize your images before uploading them to your website.

How does TinyPNG work with PNG?

For PNG files, TinyPNG uses smart lossy compression to reduce the file size. Even though it means a selective reduction of the image colors, it is entirely unnoticeable with the naked eye, and the file size decreases dramatically.

Regular uncompressed PNG images contain combinations of 24-bit colors. Upon compression using the TinyPNG, you convert them into fewer and smaller 8-bit color images. This process, also known as quantization, also entails the stripping away of any unnecessary metadata. With TinyPNG, you reduce your file size by over 70% and make your images fully compatible with transparency.

How well does it work with modern browsers?

Another aspect that makes TinyPNG unique is its support for all modern browsers. Despite the refusal of Internet Explorer 6 to acknowledge the transparency of PNG, TinyPNG makes for transparent background on the browser. If your browser supports animated PNGs (Chrome, Firefox, and Safari), feel free to try them.

JPEG compression

If you want JPEG compression, look no further. TinyPNG was initially built to support intelligent JPEG image compression and does an excellent job of it.

If you’ve been frustrated with the slow loading of your website, use TinyPNG before uploading images to your website and experience the overwhelming difference. It will save you bandwidth and make your site load faster by compressing all your JPEG and PNG images.

Serve Images from a CDN

Users who are far from the server from your website may experience slower loading speeds. To take care of this, you can install a CDN. A CDN allows visitors to connect through the server closest to them. Once you have a CDN URL, copy it into the cache plugin that you use. Replace the image URLs so that they include the URL of your CDN. This way, your images will also be served to your visitors .via the same CDN criterion.

Use Lazy Loading

The nature of WordPress is to load everything on a page at the same time – the moment you request the page. Since images load slower than text, they are bound to slow down the loading of your pages.

Lazy loading makes sure that the images that are below the viewer’s interface won’t load as soon as a page begins loading. Instead, the pictures at the top will load first; then, the rest will load as the visitor scrolls down to them. This way, your pages will load fast despite the images you have in them. Some plugins that facilitate lazy loading will display a low-quality image version until the actual one is through loading.

Cache Your Images

If you’re intent on having a fast website, then you must try cache plugins, if you haven’t tried them yet. Caching content on your website and pages implies the creation of versions of them so that they will be available immediately upon request. A stellar cache plugin gives you the option to cache your images via “browser caching” – an easily accessible alternative.

Name Your Image Files Appropriately

While uploading your images, make sure that you name them. As you do, you may find that your plugin automatically adds alt text to them. This situation is ideal since the best way to name your images is through a simple description. Adding too many keywords isn’t all right for you. Keywords give you an advantage when it comes to SEO. However, when you have too many of them on your images, you stand the risk of incurring stuffing penalties!

Optimize Your Images for Featuring in Google Snippets

Getting rich snippets on search results isn’t easy. You need to have some keywords that give users precise and concise answers. Create an image that describes the keyword(s) you’re targeting. User quality references for factual content to inspire clicks. If you find that you don’t appear on the first page for the keyword, edit to improve your content.

Also, use structured data (schema) plugins to improve your chances of having rich snippets.

Use Original Images

Avoid using images from other websites. They slow you down since they entail additional requests to satisfy the server of the website from which you borrowed the photo.

Bottom Line

Those are our instructions on how to optimize your images for WordPress. As we mentioned, you can’t pick one and run with it, expecting good results. Image optimization entails a unified effort by several strategies. Make sure you understand the ideas, apply them, and get ready to amaze not only your visitors but also yourself.