The first thing to optimize to improve your site’s speed
Images are a big part of your website. They attract readers, and ultimately help drive traffic to your website. Image optimization is a technique used by many WordPress blogs around the web.
Why use Image Optimization on your WordPress site?
It can make your site’s loading time significantly shorter. This is done by reducing the files size of images, by reducing the resolution to what is needed and by stripping metadata (information such as when the picture was taken, what device was used etc).
Not only does it help your site load faster, but it can also help boost your Search Engine Optimization. This is achieved through adding alt and title tags to your images. If these tags are filled with key words relevant to your article, it will be easier to find on a search engine, as they pick out key words when search the web. Google also factors in Page Load time as part of it’s ranking algorithm, so your website speed really does matter.
This can be made a lot easier with automation, through plugins.
Before even using these plugins, you should make sure that:
- Your images are only as big as they need to be. The file sizes of images on your webpage can greatly affect the loading speed of your page. For example, unnecessarily large images, with big resolutions will take up resources, and ultimately will slow down the loading speed of your page. If these images can be set to a lower resolution, or compressed to be a lower file size, then this will speed up your website. To do this, images can be compressed, so that unnecessary information is no longer included, such as capture date and type of camera used.
- Your images are given relevant names. This will boost your SEO. Images with relevant names will be more likely to appear in search engines, thus optimizing your post, and directing traffic to your blog. This can be done simply, by adding a keyword into the title of the image.
The Best Image Optimization Plugins for WordPress
This plugin grants you the ability to utilize image optimization individually, or in bulk. With this plugin, you are able to compress .jpeg, .gif and .png images, using dedicated servers. The free edition of this allows you to compress images which are sized <1mb, whist the pro edition can compress images up to <5mb. It does all of this without the image quality deteriorating, as well as being able to compress newly uploaded images in the background automatically.
PB Responsive Images
This plugin takes the style of responsive text, and applies it to images. You are able to make images look great on screens of all sizes. It reformats your images to feel extremely responsive, and it improves the overall quality of your site.
EWWW Image Optimizer
This plugin can be ran on your own server, which gets rid of the waiting time for third party servers to process your requests. It has arguably the best .jpg and .png optimization, which integrates JPEGmini. It can also find the smallest file format for images to be converted to. In addition to this, you are able to optimize images individually as well as in bulk. These things will make your page load faster, and backups will be smooth.
Hammy is a plugin which takes your site’s images and reproduces them to make smaller sized images. The size of the image depends on your content width, as the plugin dynamically changes it. This plugin is extremely useful, as it provides a better experience on mobile, as well as on a desktop.
Media File Renamer
This plugin lets you rename your images by updating their titles. It can also change the links in your posts automatically, saving hassle. If used in conjunction with relevant keywords, your SEO will be boosted a lot.
Imsanity is a plugin which will automatically resize big images. This saves the hassle of having to manually edit each one of these. It can also resize images in bulk, as well as having the option of converting .bmp files to .jpg , for easy scaling. As well as this, it gives you the option to specify max width/height and .jpg quality.
CW Image Optimizer
CW Image Optimizer is very similar to the WP Smush.it plugin. It is able to optimize your images automatically when you upload them to your site. Whilst the file size of the image changes, the actual quality of it stays the same. It utilises Linux littleutils, which means that your images will never leave your server.
SEO Friendly Images
This plugin optimizes your images by adding alt and title attributes. This optimizes your images, because it will automatically add keywords, which make it more likely for your site and posts to show up on search engines.
As well as being able to have smooth image resizes (a perfect resize is created based on your resized picture in the editor), you are also able to add visual enhancements, such as captions and frames. You can also easily manage your media collection.
Prizm ImagePrizm Image is a plugin which uses a unique API. You are able optimize .jpg compression, strip metadata from .jpg files, as well as being able to optimize .png and .gif file types. However, you must register a free Prizm Image account to use the plugin, as you must obtain a free license key.
Overall, these are just a handful of image optimization plugins which can be found on the internet. You can use more than one at a time but be wary as they may conflict with each other. Using one plugin is advised.
The plugins listed are the most prominent and are packed with useful features which makes the task very convenient. If these plugins are used to your advantage, then it will boost your site’s SEO, and will drive more traffic to your website.
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