Did you know that optimising your photographs before uploading them to WordPress may significantly influence the performance of your website?
Many novice bloggers just upload photographs without optimising them first. These huge picture files slow down your website. You may correct this by including image optimisation best practices into your usual blogging activity.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to optimise your photos for quicker online performance without sacrificing quality. We’ll also show you how to use automated image optimisation plugins for WordPress to make your life easier.
What is Image Optimisation? (Optimised vs Unoptimised Images)
Simply put, image optimisation is the process of reducing the file size of images (e.g., PNG, JPEG, GIF) while retaining their visual quality. When not optimised, a digital image’s file size can be several megabytes in size! This can slow down your website speed significantly.
Optimisation is essential if you are uploading several large images to your website. Such large files can lead to high page loading times, negatively impacting your conversion rates. WordPress has a built-in image editor that allows you to optimise images for the web. You can use it to resize, crop and compress your images.
However, WordPress’s image editor is not the best tool for this job. To save time, you can also use image optimisation plugins. These plugins can help you resize, crop and compress your images with just a few clicks.
How to Save and Optimise Images for Web Performance?
The key to successful image optimisation for web performance is to find the perfect balance between the smallest file size and acceptable image quality.
The three things that play a huge role in image optimisation are:
- Image file format (JPEG vs PNG vs GIF)
- Compression (Higher compression = smaller file size)
- Image Dimensions (height and width)
By choosing the right combination of the three, you can reduce your image size by up to 80%.
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.
1. Image File Format
The most common image file formats used on the web are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. When choosing a file format, you need to consider:
- How much detail your images contain
- Your target audience
For example, if you use images with a lot of detail, PNG is the best option as it contains more information than JPEG and GIF.
If you design your website for young kids or beginners, you should go with the GIF format. It has a smaller file size, which means your site will load faster.
The higher the compression, the smaller the file size – but with a loss of quality. So unless your website is for young kids or you don’t mind some pixelation, you should always use a lower compression level.
Here are the compression levels you should use for the different image formats:
- JPEG: 90-10 (Best for photos, images with a lot of detail)
- PNG: 10-3 (Best for line drawings, images with a lot of detail, screen captures)
- GIF: 5-1 (Best for simple images, images with little detail, images with
3. Image Dimensions
The higher your image resolution, the larger the file size. You should use the smallest possible dimensions for your images if you have the option.
For example, if you use an image with an aspect ratio of 1500 x 1067 px, you should use images with a maximum height of 1067 px. This will save you a whopping 30% file size. Make sure to use the same aspect ratio for your images.
Also, note that the resolution for desktop screens (e.g., 1440 x 900 px) and mobile screens (e.g., 320 x 480 px) are different. Using a responsive theme, you will have to resize your images to update their resolution.
Image optimisation is not a complicated process. The key is to select the best format, compression and image dimensions for your images. If you follow these guidelines, you will optimise your images without compromising image quality.
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