How to optimize your website images and improve page loading speed
When you get into site speed optimization for your WordPress site, or any site for that matter, one of the first things you should do, besides making sure you are on good hosting with the latest software, is to optimize the images on your website. There are a two key steps to get your images optimized and these steps will not only boost your page load speed, but also free up the amount of disk space you are using, so you can potentially switch to a cheaper hosting plan, or to a better hosting plan. Of course, all of this will depend on how heavily your site uses imagery.
Step 1: Resize all of your images for the places they are used.
This first step can be done one of two ways, the best way or the second best way. Oh, and before you start, be sure to make a site backup. That’s always a good idea. Whether you decide on the best or second best way will probably come down to how many images you have on your site, how much page speed means to you and how much effort you want to put into it (or pay someone else to do it).
The best way
The best way involves downloading all of your images and resizing them one by one or using WordPress’s image editor to resize them one by one specifically for the places the images are used. This ensures you are using images that fit perfectly where they are used and not scaling down a 4000px image to fit in a place that is 400px.
The second best way
The second best way is to use a plugin to automatically resize all of your images to something like 1920px wide (which is usually wide enough for standard desktop screens) by 1920px tall so that you eliminate any super large images that could be taking up several Megabytes of space and really slowing down your page load speed. Obviously a 1920px image is going to load slower than a 400px image but it’s still better than a 4000px image. Anyway, this is much easier than resizing each image individually and can do a lot to speed up your page load time. A plugin I like to use for this is EWWW Image Optimizer.
Step 2: Losslessly compress your images to cut out any extra data.
There are website that allow you to upload images from your computer and losslessly compress them like TinyPNG but I prefer to use EWWW Image Optimizer’s affordable Compression API to automatically handle image compression whenever I upload images to my WordPress site. You can also bulk compress images in your Media Library or any folder on your server.
If you follow the steps above with all of your website’s images, you will probably have saved yourself several Megabytes to several Gigabytes of disk space and significantly helped your website load faster. There are definitely more steps that need to be taken to fully optimize your site speed, but assuming your site uses a decent amount of images, this is a big step in the process. If you need help getting your site up to speed, don’t hesitate to reach out through my request a free estimate form.