Are you running a WordPress website or blog and your website page load time is high due to large images? Don’t worry, it is a common problem and many WordPress website owners pay very little attention to this fact.
Since Google has attached website ranking with page load time, it has become critical for everyone. Optimizing your images not only helps your WordPress website load faster, it also boost your SEO by many folds.
High resolution images that are unnecessarily large in file size can drastically slow down your website speed. This ultimately leads to a drop in search rank and loss of traffic.
Fortunately, you can solve this problem without wasting much time and resources. It is possible to reduce the image size without losing quality.
In the following section, we will look into some of the best methods and plugins available to achieve best result.
Scale Your Image
The first important step is to determine the size of the image you need for your article or web page. If you want to show the image in 600px x 600px box, it does not make any sense to upload a large image with dimensions 1920px x 1240px. It will not help you to achieve good results.
Put your image in a graphics program such as Photoshop or Picasa, size it as per your need and export it. It will reduce the file size.
Compressor.io is a powerful online tool for reducing the size of your images and photos while maintaining high quality even after compression. It supports four file formats: JPG, PNG, GIF and SVG along with lossless and lossy compression.
It is a magical tool! If you are not using this, you are losing a lot in terms of page speed. Compressor.io makes sure that your image is fully optimized and it does not effect the image quality.
I have been using this for our website and it is phenomenal. Use this tool to compress your image file size further.
WP Smush will give that final bit of compression that is needed after Compressor.io, making sure all of your images on the website are lightweight.
WP Smush is the fastest, most user friendly and best performing image compression plugin for WordPress. It allows you to compress JPG, GIF, and PNG images up to 32MB individually or in bulk.
Leverage Browser Caching
When a web browser displays your web page, it has to load several things like your logo, your image files, and other resources. When you leverage browser caching, your web page files will get stored in the browser cache. Your pages will load much faster for repeat visitors and so will other pages that share those same resources.
WP Super Cache
Caching is super important for your page load speed. There are many awesome WordPress caching plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. W3 Total Cache has many advance features as compared to WP Super Cache.
If you want full control your website caching, I would recommend installing the W3 Total Cache plugin. It has page cache, database cache, object cache, browser cache and many more top features like CDN integration.
But if you are looking for a minimal and easy to use cache plugin, go for WP Super cache. This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After an html file is generated your web server will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts. It will improve your page speed significantly.
Images Lazy Load
Lazy loading is final step of images optimization for WordPress website. The idea behind it is “Load images only when required”. It does not make sense to load all the images when the page loads.
With lazy loading, you only load those images which are currently in browser window viewport at the start. When user scroll downs, the plugin automatically downloads the images and displays to user. It makes your site load faster and saves a lot of bandwidth.
BJ Lazy Load plugin is one of the good free plugins that does the job of lazy loading. It replaces all post images, post thumbnails, gravatar images and content iframes with a placeholder and loads the content as the visitor scrolls the page. It also works with text widgets.