Your photos and images can have a huge impact on your website speed. If you have a photo blog or you just have a lot of images on your blog, you definitely need to make sure you optimize them to improve your page loading times. Here are some techniques on how to optimize photos for your blog.
Use jpeg Format
Most people are familiar or already have their photos in jpeg format. However, with most cameras these days being able to take huge size photos, it’s important to use jpeg for the smaller file sizes.
Size Your Photos Correctly
Again, because photo sizes can be quite large these days, it’s important to make sure you reduce them to the appropriate size when adding them to your blog. Don’t upload a larger file and then let your website application resize it for the screen. Just size your photos correctly before you upload them.
Use a Photo Editor
While we’re on the subject of resizing photos and image formats, it’s a good time to mention that you definitely want to utilize a photo editor that you’re comfortable with. If you’re a photographer or photo enthusiast, you’ll probably want to use Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or some other higher-end product. However, for others there are many free or low cost editors available—whether you choose a WordPress plugin or outside product such as Canva, PicMonkey, etc.
Use a WordPress Plugin
WordPress has a number of great plugins you can use to compress and optimize your images. Two plugins I use are EWWW Image Optimizer and the Smush Image Compression and Optimization plugin. Since compressing your images is so important to speed up your page loading times, be sure to install and activate one of these plugins as soon as possible.
Choose the Right Web Hosting Plan
You web hosting can also have a huge impact on your website speed—particularly if your blog has a lot of photos. Make sure your web host includes features such as advanced caching technologies and a content delivery network (see below).
Use a Content Delivery Network
Using a content delivery network (or CDN) is a great way to speed up websites that have a lot of photos or static content. With a CDN, your photos can be stored on different servers around the world. Then, when someone visits your blog, they can access your photos from the server that’s closer to them—there by reducing page loading times.
Images are a vital part of a successful blog, but they can also cause some issues with speed. By properly optimizing your photos, you can dramatically improve your webpage loading times, keeping both your readers and the search engines happy.