Optimized Images for WordPress: It’s Importance and How It Can Be Done

You’ve probably heard of image optimization a million times by now. Browsing through sites offering social media tips will tell you that images need to be optimized. But why is it needed and how can you pull it off?

Why do images need to be optimized?

Images can range from a few kilobytes to megabytes in size. Since photos are an integral part of any website, site owners are always faced with the challenge of putting up a good shot but one that doesn’t take forever to show up. After all, a fast-loading site is always equates to a good user experience.

Basically, you can think of image optimization as providing the best quality images for your site that will load in the fastest time possible. Time is of the essence and not a lot of web users are willing to sit for two minutes while waiting for a photo of your business to show up.

Also, the smaller the image size, the faster it loads in the browser. However, there are different ways of creating an image which then results in different sizes (as mentioned earlier). The options for creating a web-optimized image differ depending on the image editor being used. However, several do have the “Save for Web” option which saves the images to the lowest possible size but still keeping it in good quality. In other words, the size may have shrunk but you can still tell what the photograph is about.

There is no one size for a perfectly optimized image. This is why doing so manually involves analysis on a couple of factors including pixel dimensions and pixel capabilities.

What are the different file formats?

Most websites support the following image formats:

  • GIF – mostly used for icons and graphics with small resolutions. The quality for this file is lesser than a JPEG.
  • JPEG – the file format most often used in photography. It is the format that has been in use the longest and can be used to compress images to a considerable level.
  • PNG – offers a larger selection of colors in a small-sized file.
  • Most of the modern image editors these days can save files in any of these formats.

    Can plugins be used to optimize images?

    Yes, yes they can. In fact, there are quite a few popular WordPress plugins that can do just that, and here’s a few of them:

  • CW Image Optimizer – automatically optimizes images when you upload them to your site. It also uses lossless optimization techniques so your image will be the same even after optimization.
  • EWWW Image Optimizer – just like CW, this one also automatically optimizes images as you upload them. It can convert images to the file format that produces the smallest image size. It will also apply lossy reductions for JPEG and PNG images optionally.
  • Not only is image optimization important for faster loading pages, but a smaller-sized image in general allows you to perform backups faster and use less bandwidth. Test images on your wordpress site, test different sizes, test everything. Keep the quality high, and the file size small to optimize images on your site. Still need help? WordPress tutorials is here to help. Contact us now!