One way to achieve this benchmark is to include optimized images on your website.
Website owners are aware of the benefits that high-quality and visually appealing product images bring to their web design. However, this comes at the expense of heavy file size. And when an image is not optimized according to proper size, format, and dimensions - the overall page speed becomes slow. This eventually leads to poor user experience, lost opportunities, and reduced revenue.
In fact, a study by Google found that a one-second delay in mobile page load times can lead to a 7% drop in conversions. But don't worry; we've got you covered! In this article, we'll share 8 expert tips to help you optimize your images for the web and keep your visitors engaged. Let's get started!
1. Choose the Right File Format
Choosing the right file format can greatly impact your site's loading time and image quality. You can use JPEGs for photographs and images with lots of colors, as they use lossy compression to reduce file size while retaining quality.
On the other hand, PNGs are best for images with transparency or sharp edges. They preserve image quality with lossless compression. And if you are using animated images, we suggest going for GIFs file format. They can support simple animations and have a small file size.
WebP is another emerging format that offers some additional benefits, such as:
• Reduced file sizes: On average, these are 25-34% smaller than JPEG and PNG images, resulting in faster load times and reduced bandwidth usage.
• Supports transparency: WebP images can support transparency just like PNG images. Thus allowing for more versatile design options.
• Animation support: WebP images can also be used for animated images, making them an excellent choice for banners and ads.
• Improved SEO: Faster loading times can improve your website's SEO and search engine rankings.
2. Resize Images
Resizing your images to the optimal size for your website can significantly reduce their file size and improve your site's loading time. Use tools like Photoshop, GIMP, or Canva to resize your images while maintaining the aspect ratio to prevent distortion.
Consider the maximum size your images will display on your website and resize accordingly. Large images resized using CSS or HTML can still cause slow loading times. This is because the browser must download the full-sized image before resizing it.
If you purchase stock photos, many websites offer the option to modify the file size before downloading. This is a convenient feature as it allows you to choose the optimal size for your website without manually resizing the image later.
3. Compress Images
Compressing your images reduces their file size without compromising their quality. Use tools like ImageOptim or Kraken.io to compress your images for the web. These tools can also optimize your images by removing metadata and unnecessary color information, reducing file size.
By reducing the file size of images, you can improve website loading times. This leads to a better user experience and higher engagement. In addition, compressed images use less storage space and bandwidth, making them cost-effective.
4. Name and Tag Images
Naming and tagging your images is important for both SEO and accessibility. Use descriptive names and tags that accurately reflect the content of your images. In this way, search engines can analyze what your images are about and rank your site higher.
For example, most images are saved with generic file names like "image001.jpg" or "logo.png." These names may be easy to save, but they are of no value to search engine algorithms. Our goal is to aid the search engines so they make it easier for users to find your images.
Another aspect to consider is the Alt text. This is essential for accessibility, as it provides a text description of your images to visually impaired users. Such users rely on audio transcripts, but a descriptive alt text helps them understand the picture.
5. Test and Measure Performance
Testing and measuring your image performance is crucial for optimizing your images for the web. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to measure your site's performance and identify areas for improvement.
Besides highlighting the page speed, these tools can provide recommendations for optimizing your images. This includes reducing file size, leveraging browser caching, and minimizing image requests.
6. Choose the Right Image Dimensions for Different Devices
When uploading images on your website, consider the different screens and devices your visitors may use. With internet users accessing the web through varying portals, your images must look best on all devices.
For example, an image appropriately displayed on a desktop can appear pixelated or stretched on a smartphone if the size is not optimized accordingly. Therefore, you should use responsive design, so image quality appears the same on all devices.
Consider using different image sizes for different screen sizes, using srcset and sizes attributes. This will help you to serve the appropriate image size based on the user's device.
7. Use SVGs for Simple Graphics
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs) is a great choice for simple graphics like logos, icons, and illustrations. They are lightweight, easy to use, and don’t require any special software to view. These vectors can be scaled up or down easily with a single click without losing quality. They also have smaller file sizes than raster images, which can improve your site's loading time.
8. Use Proper Image Placement
The placement of your images on your website can affect the complete look and feel. A cluttered page or a lack of white space can overwhelm the viewers. In addition, loading a page with too many unnecessary images can slow down the page loading speed.
Therefore, only use pictures that support your content. Ensure sufficient white space between the picture and text to draw the reader's attention. This will also help make the visual and written content stand out.
Avoid placing large images above the fold, as this area is visible without scrolling, and the visitors will have to wait for it to download before accessing the rest of the content. This will slow down your site’s loading time and create a poor user experience.
Instead, you need to place larger images lower on the page, so they don’t impact the load time of other important content. You can also consider using lazy loading to reduce this issue.
Lazy loading is a technique that delays the loading of non-critical resources on a web page until they are needed. This means that images and other media assets are loaded only when users scroll down to view them.
Optimizing images for the web can provide numerous benefits. These range from improved page load times to enhanced user experience. Following the tips outlined in this article can optimize your website's images and improve its performance.
This will also ensure that your website loads quickly. Thus providing a better overall experience for visitors and search engines alike. For more assistance, get in touch with Appart_. Our team will create a web design that speaks for your brand.