How to optimize your images and speed up your website

by | Blogging tips and plugins, Search Engine Optimization, WordPress Web design | 2 comments

Be careful, large images can slow down your website or blog.  A slow loading website could cause a potential customer (subscriber) to leave without reading your post. Luckily, there are lots of free tools and plugins you can use to help keep your pages loading as fast as possible.

Where possible try and use JPG images. JPGs tend to load faster, which is great for your visitors and for SEO.

Compressing images before you upload

The Radical Image Optimization Tool (RIOT)  is a free image optimizer that will let you adjust your image’s compression parameters while keeping the minimum file size.

riot_imageeditor

A few main features of RIOT are: 

  • You can open multiple image types including rare/scientific types
  • Save and optimize JPEG, GIF and PNG with a simple, clean user interface
  • Automatic optimization selects the most suitable format and parameters
  • Works in dual view: (original – optimized image) or single view (optimized image).
  • Automatic preview of resulting image
  • In-place compare function (alternativelly display the original image over the optimized image to notice small pixel changes)

Here are a few more image editors you may want to consider if you plan to compress images before uploading them to your website or blog.

Compressing images after you upload

WordPress is extremely functional and many people choose to edit their images once they have uploaded them. One of the easiest methods is choosing one of the presets Large, Medium or Thumbnail when inserting an image into your page or post.

defaultimageeditor

You also have a fourth option “Custom” which allows you to specify the width and height of the image.

customoption

Its important to remember that with this option, the image is still pulling the large image, it is just “squeezing” it into the sizeyou specify, thus this does not reduce load time.

Easy to use image compression plugins

Using plugins is a very simple and efficient way to help you manage your images. Here are 3 free plugins that are safe and easy to use;

  1. WP Smush.it. This plugin will compress all images you upload automatically. It will aslo compress any existing images, making it very useful if you have a lot of old posts with large images.
  2. Lazy Load. This plugin helps reduce image loading time by showing images as you scroll through the page.
  3. EWW Image Optimizer. This plugin compresses your images as you upload them.

 

If your blog or website is loading a little slower than you like try some of the methods above to reduce loading times. If you’re savvy blogger, you probably know about a few more handy tools. Please share …

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