Optimising images for your WordPress website can significantly improve your site’s performance and loading times, leading to a better user experience and potentially better search engine rankings. Here’s how you can optimise images for WordPress.
Step 1: Choose the Right File Format
JPEG (or JPG) and PNG are the most commonly used file formats for web images. In general, use JPEGs for photographs or images with lots of colours, and PNGs for simpler images or when you need transparent backgrounds.
Step 2: Resize Your Images
Resizing your images to fit the exact dimensions they’ll appear on your website can significantly reduce their file size. Avoid uploading images that are larger than necessary and then scaling them down with CSS. This still requires your visitors’ browsers to load the full-sized image.
Step 3: Compress Your Images
Image compression reduces file size without significantly affecting image quality. You can use tools like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or online services like TinyPNG or Compress JPEG to compress your images before uploading them.
Step 4: Use an Image Optimisation Plugin
There are many WordPress plugins that can automatically optimise your images when you upload them to your site. Plugins like Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer, and Optimole can automatically compress and resize images, improve image loading with lazy loading, and more.
Step 5: Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN stores copies of your site’s files (including images) on servers around the world, and serves those files to visitors from the nearest server. This can significantly speed up image loading times for your visitors. Jetpack’s Site Accelerator (formerly Photon), Cloudflare, and Akamai are popular options.
Step 6: Serve Images in Next-Gen Formats
Next-generation image formats like WebP offer superior compression and quality characteristics compared to traditional formats like JPEG and PNG. Many image optimisation plugins and CDNs can automatically convert your images to WebP and serve them to browsers that support it.
Proper image optimisation can make a significant difference in how your WordPress website performs. By taking the time to correctly format, resize, compress, and serve your images, you can improve loading times, reduce bandwidth usage, and provide a better user experience for your visitors.