How to Optimize Images for HD Web Performance! – Have you ever been when you were uploading an image on a blog or website, your image became not HD or cracked? Or did you know that optimizing images or photos on your website can have a big impact on the speed of your website?
Image optimization is one of the answers to the two questions above. Where it is a process of storing and sending images in the smallest possible file size, without reducing the overall image quality.
Although the process sounds complicated, it is actually enough to use one of the plugins and other image optimization tools, to automatically compress images up to 80% without losing image quality.
How Does Image Optimization Work?
It’s quite simple to use compression technology, compression can be ‘lossy’ or ‘lossless’.
compression lossless can reduce the overall file size without losing image quality at all. With lossy compression, there may be some slight loss in quality, but ideally, it won’t be noticeable to the human eye.
What are the Benefits of Image Optimization?
Does it matter? As it turns out, while there are many benefits to optimizing images, here are some of the top benefits to knowing about:
- Image optimization can increase website speed faster
- Can improve SEO rankings
- Higher overall conversion rates for sales and leads
- Less storage and bandwidth (which can reduce hosting and CDN costs)
- Faster website backups (which can reduce backup storage costs)
Images are the second heaviest item on web pages, after videos. According to the HTTP archive, the images form an average of 21% of the total weight of a web page.
Because we know fast websites rank higher in search engines (SEO) and have better conversions, image optimization is something every business website should do if they are to be successful online.
Now really how much difference can image optimization make? According to a Strangeloop study, a one-second delay in website load time can lead to 7% lost sales, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.
If this is not reason enough to speed up websites, then you should know that search engines like Google also give SEO preferential treatment, to faster-loading websites.
That is, by optimizing images for the web, you can increase website speed and improve WordPress SEO rankings.
How to Store and Optimize Images for Web Performance
The key to successful image optimization for web performance is finding the perfect balance between the lowest file size and acceptable image quality.
The three things that play a big role in image optimization 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 zoom out image size up to 80%.
Let’s look at each in more detail.
1. Image File Formats
For most website owners, only three image file formats matter i.e. JPEG, PNG, and GIF, because choosing the right file type means playing an important role also in image optimization.
Example, you want to use JPEG for photos or images with lots of colors, PNG for simple images or transparent images, and GIFs only for animated images.
For those who don’t know the difference between each file type, the PNG image format is uncompressed which means higher quality images. The downside is that the file size is much larger.
On the other hand, JPEG is a compressed file format that reduces image quality slightly to provide a much smaller file size.
Whereas GIF only uses 256 colors along with lossless compression which makes it the best choice for animated images.
2. Image Compression
The next thing is image compression which plays a big role in image optimization. There are different types and levels of image compression available, and the settings vary.
Most image editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop, ON1 Photo, GIMP, Affinity Photo, and others come with built-in image compression features, or you can use the web like TinyPNG or JPEGmini for easier image compression.
There are also several popular WordPress plugins such as Optimole and EWWW Image Optimizer which can compress images automatically the first time you upload them. Many beginners and even big companies prefer to use this image optimization plugin.
3. Image Dimensions
Usually, when importing photos from a mobile phone or digital camera, the photos have a very high resolution and large file dimensions (height and width).
Typically, these photos have a resolution of 300 DPI and dimensions ranging from 2000 pixels or more. While high-quality photos are perfect for print or desktop publishing, their large size makes them unsuitable for websites.
Reducing image dimensions to something more reasonable can significantly reduce image file sizes. You can simply resize the image using image editing software on your computer.
For example, we optimize a photo with a resolution of 300 DPI and image dimensions of 4900×3200 pixels. The original file size is 1.8 MB.
We chose the JPEG format for higher compression and changed the dimensions to 1200×795 pixels. The file size is reduced to only 103 KB. It’s 94% smaller than the original file size.