Whoever said that a picture speaks a thousand words, probably forgot to mention that it also increases the load time of your website. As users, we expect the pictures to be of great quality but don’t want to wait long for them to download to our devices either. Usually, a site with low-quality images fails to create the desired impact on visitors. For website owners, it is critical to offer high-quality images without compromising on page load speeds. Today, we are going to talk about a technique which can help you offer high-resolution images on your website with the smallest size possible – Image Optimization.
The process of image optimization can be explained in the three steps:
- View the image at 100% and select the right dimensions
- Save the image for web (most image editing software offer this option)
- Remove hidden data and compress the images
While these steps can be done manually, WordPress offers hundreds of plugins and tools for image optimization.
WP Smush by WPMU DEV uses advanced lossless compression to automatically scale images of your website. It is available in free and premium versions. The free version offers image compression up to 1MB only. This limit can be increased with the premium version which also offers a host of additional features for image optimization.
EWWW Image Optimizer
EWWW Image Optimizer is a free image optimization plugin. The optimization process is carried out on your own servers rather than connecting to third-party servers. Hence, the images are resized and compressed within no time. There is no limit on the image size and the compression offered is lossless. Further, for users who do not have the permission of executing files on the server, EWWW offers cloud optimization too.
Using the Imsanity image optimization plugin, you can set the maximum height/width and quality of the images on your website. Any image which exceeds these limits is automatically scaled down by the plugin. This is a free plugin and it also offers an option to add the term ‘noresize’ to the filename to exclude images that you do not need compressed.
Imagify Image Optimizer
Imagify Image Optimizer offers three compression-levels: ultra, aggressive, and normal. The plugin also provides an option to revert the images to their original sizes by undoing the compression. It is available in free and premium versions. In the free version, there is a limit of around 25MB of images per month (approximately 250 images). This limit is higher in the premium version which also has many other features.
While image optimization can help you reduce the size of the images to improve load times of your website, there is a limit to which the compression can be done. If your website is media-heavy, then image optimization can only improve the load times up to a certain extent. To further boost page load speeds, you can choose a good WordPress hosting service which offers Managed Hosting, CDN, caching servers, optimized WP database, and a plethora of features to boost the speed of your website. Optimize your images and choose a web host dedicated to WordPress to ensure optimum page load speeds. Good Luck!