When I first started creating websites, optimizing images was not something that I worried about. After all, I had too many other things to learn and worry about. However, I did know that this was something that I should look into eventually.
First of all, what exactly does it mean to optimize your website images?
This involves reducing the file size and dimensions of your images. Doing so, results in the browser being able to download images faster so that your web pages load faster, resulting in better website performance and a better visitor experience.
When you take a photo with a digital camera or a smartphone, the dimensions can be large. For example, you can have dimensions in the 2000 px to 4000 px range, depending on your device. In addition, the file size (measured in MB or KB usually) is large. These images are print-ready so that you get the best quality for printing or editing. The same goes for images that you buy on stock sites or royalty-free images you find on Unsplash.com or Pixabay.com. Pay attention to the size of images. You can find this information by clicking on an image and looking up its “Properties.”
Why else is it important to optimize your image size?
This goes hand in hand with visitor experience. If you do not optimize your images, then the browser spends more time downloading unnecessary data about the image, as well as rescaling the image size to a thumbnail, for example. This results in extra data usage for mobile device (smartphone) customers. For those on limited data plans, they are more likely to leave your site if large images are taking too long to load.
The other reason why you should be reducing your image sizes is to save hosting space and bandwidth.
So how do you reduce your image sizes?
You can do it manually – I started out using a free service such as https://tinypng.com/. They also have a Pro version, which I have not used. This may work best for you, if you do not use WordPress.
You can do it automatically – This is what I do now. I chose to use Shortpixel, as it was recommended to me by someone I trust. The nice thing about this option is that, if you use WordPress, you can download this for free. You can then compress 100 images/month for free. If you have a lot of images, then you can upgrade your plan. You can either pay monthly, or pay a one-time fee. For only $9.99, I chose the one-time plan, and I got 10,000 image compressions with this plan. So far, I have compressed around 2500 images on two of my PLR websites (not The Online Chick yet!). That is another great thing about Shortpixel. I installed the free WordPress plugin on both of my PLR sites (BuyHealthPLR.com and BestPLRCentral.com), because I get to use the one-time plan on both of my websites. How this works is that you get one API key for multiple websites, which is really a nice feature. Had I known that when I made my purchase, I actually may have chosen the one-time plan for $19.99 (30,000 image optimizations). I know that might sound like a lot of images, but every single image (including thumbnails) gets optimized on your website. In addition, if you have several websites that you will be using Shortpixel on, it just makes more sense.
Once you have installed Shortpixel, head inside your Dashboard -> Settings -> And then you can customize your settings. For example, you can set it to “Optimize Media on Upload,” meaning optimization is done automatically for you whenever you upload a new image to your website. You can also run “Bulk optimization”, if you want, which is what I had to do when I first installed the plugin, as I had so many images that were already stored on my server/website that needed optimization. You can also choose whether you want PNG’s to be converted automatically to JPG’s, and much more!
I hope that helps. It is one more automated tool to make things easier in your business, while saving space on your servers and improving your website visitors’ experiences.