How often have you pulled up a website and then sat and waited for it to load? If you’re like most people these days, if you have to wait more than three seconds, you’ll go elsewhere to find what you’re looking for.
The most common reason for slow-loading sites is large images.
The solution is to optimize your images . . . BEFORE uploading them to your site.
Optimizing images is the process of decreasing their file size. The best way to make your images smaller while maintaining quality is a two-step process:
- Resize the dimensions of your images
- Compress images to further reduce file size
Resize images to the optimal dimensions for you site
The first thing you want to do is make sure your images are saved at the dimensions you want to use on your website.
I resize (and compress) my images using Photoshop, but there are other options. You can download GIMP or go online to pixlr.com/e/. If you are using Windows, you could alternatively use Paint.
Paint is really simple. Open the photo you wish to resize, select ‘Resize’ from the options in the toolbar, select pixels and then make the largest number 1024 and click OK. Then save the resized image as a jpeg as a different name, or in a new folder.
This is the perfect time to use a human readable name as this helps the search engines. Images taken with a phone are typically named something like IMG_12345. No one will search for that. So rename it something that is a closer match to what they are looking for.
Compress images to further reduce file size
The next step is to drop the newly resized image into tinypng.com where it will make the image smaller.
These two simple steps will keep your site loading quickly, keep your viewers happy, and reduce the amount of storage space being used. It’s so worth the few extra minutes it will take!