There’s no arguing, websites need images. But unoptimized and uncompressed images can add to your overall load time. Below you will find online tools and WordPress plugins to help you keep your images looking great while keeping their load times down.
Compress your images
One the easiest ways to reduce image size is through compression. Image files sometimes hold additional metadata that can cause file sizes to be larger than they need to be. Running your images through a compression tool can dramatically reduce the size of your image up to 80% while still retaining quality; which in turn, reduces your website load time. Below you will find tools you can start using to compress your images.
TinyPNG.com is one of the best freemium services available for image compression. TinyPNG offers a free online tool to compress up to 20 images at a single time. They also have paid options for those who need more access to their compression tool.
Compressor.io is another great tool that offers free compression on their website. With many supported formats and additional settings, you have more control over your images compression.
Compressnow.com offers you the ability to compress your image as well as the percentage of compression to use. If you are looking to fine tune your image’s compression process without having to worry too much about the technical side of compression.
Using WordPress? Not a problem, there are some great plugins available for you from the WordPress Plugin Repository. Below I’ve listed three popular compression plugins you can install now and start using immediately.
EWWW Image Optimizer
With over 500,000+ active installations EWWW Image Optimizer is definitely a great option for image optimization and compression handling on your WordPress website. EIO offers not only bulk image optimization of images already uploaded to your website but handles optimization during the upload of new images.
Get EWWW Image Optimizer here
Smush Image Compression and Optimization
Smush.it is another great tool that works similarly to EWWW Image Optimizer. While it does include a bulk optimization feature, it is limited to 50 images at a time for Free users. A major benefit of Smush, aside from it’s long list of features, is its ability to run free of any hosting and server class requirements. Depending on your hosting provider some image compression tools may require changes and or updates to your hosting account to function at 100% capacity.
Get Smush Image Compression and Optimization here.
TinyPNG’s Compress JPEG & PNG Images
The previously mentioned TinyPNG.com has a great plugin available for WordPress. With TinyPNG’s WordPress plugin you can utilize the same level of image compression available from their website directly in your WordPress environment. While this plugin does offer a limited FREE use, it will require a registered account with TinyPNG.com.
Get Compress JPEG & PNG images here.
Size your images accordingly
Compressing your images is critical in optimizing load time but another helpful practice is sizing your images according to their final use size. When preparing your images make sure they do not exceed the width and height of the space you will be placing them in on your website. Many times websites will depend on resizing their images through CSS or HTML.
While this is convenient and helpful with responsive websites. This does not reduce the size of the images and in turn your websites loads a large image to only ever display it at a smaller percentage of it’s actual size. Combining proper sizing and compression you can have your images looking great and loading fast.
Compressing and Sizing your images appropriately will already decrease load times on your website. Additionally the use of a CDN such as CloudFlare.com can help not only image load times but over load times. To really get the most out of your WordPress website and optimize loading times, combine a CDN with a Caching plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache and watch your website soar!